On my way back from Bled to Ljubljana I took a break in the quaint town Skofja Loka, which is well worth seeing for a day trip. It is located at t the Selska Sora river about 25 km northeast of Ljubljana.
The 1000 year old town was proclaimed a cultural monument in 1987. Many historic buildings and squares prove its medieval character. Among them are the castle (Loski grad), parts of the historic city walls and the market square.
Puštal is a small suburb that lies just south of Škofja Loka and can be reached by leaving the southern end of Mestni trg and walking down a road called Kopaliska Ulica. From here you can cross a wooden footbridge that is known as Devils footbridge. The views of the river are very picturesque as you can see a weir and houses near the river. Further on is Nace's House which has an 18th century baroque wooden upper storey on top of a 16th century stone lower storey. Puštal also has its own castle which was originally built in 1220 but today is looking a bit rustic. The whole village is very peaceful and quiet and makes for a nice small walk around.
Škofja Loka (Bishop’s Meadow) is located 25km west of Ljubljana and is one of Slovenia’s oldest current settlements. Its history dates back at least 1000 years when in 973, German Emperor Otto II presented the Bavarian Bishops of Freising with the valleys along the Poljanscica and Selscica Rivers. Škofja Loka lies at the confluence of these two rivers and the town still retains some of its medieval charm despite being burned to the ground in 1457, attacked by Turks two decades later, hit by an earthquake in 1511 and succumbing to several fires at the end of the 17th century. Most of what survives today was built in the 18th century except for the town’s castle which was originally built in the 13th century and renovated in the 15th century. It commands a dominating position on a hill to the west of the town and today houses one of the best ethnographic collections in Slovenia. Other noteworthy sights include the towns small parish church of St James which dates back to the 13th century but whose main structure dates to the 16th century, a large 16th century granary, the 14th century stone Capuchin Bridge and several nice houses both in the town itself and in the nearby suburb of Puštal which features the beautiful 16th century wooden Nace House.
As Škofja Loka is only a short distance away from Slovenia’s capital, it only takes approx 30mins by bus to reach and as the town is small you really only need a morning or an afternoon to visit. I visited one morning before taking the bus to Kranj which I toured round in the afternoon.