Favorite thing: As the town is a popular tourist attraction, there's a good sized tourist information centre in the towns main square - Mestni trg. Here you can obtain a good map of the town and also of the nearby suburbs of Pustal and Stara Loka as well as other nearby villages. They also have a lot of arts and crafts items for sale.
Favorite thing: Craftsmen in towns in the middle ages, in order to protect themselves from the both foreign and local competition, formed trade guilds, which existed in Skofja Loka from the 15th century onwards.
A signboart FREISING in the entrance to the court yard of the castle.
The castle is nowadays a museum. It keeps Ivan Tavcar's (author of many novels) furniture (see in travelogue) as well as the originals and copies of many works of art.
The castle is located at the top of the hill, as most of the castles in Slovenia are.
A gently sloping footpath as seen in the photo, is one of the way to reach there. One of the way to get there is also by car.
The castle of Skofja Loka was the one-time administrative seat of the bishop's dominion, (under the rule of the Freising Bishops of Bavaria) which was first mentioned in the year 1215
See the castle in bacground
The town of Škofja Loka was esteblished more than a thousand years ago, archaeological finds, however, testify to the presence of settlement in this area from at least 20th century before BC. During the great migration of peoples, Slavic tribes settled here and the names of the settlements bore Slavic names.
Škofja Loka started to develop at the confluence of two rivers: the Poljane Sora and the Selca Sora. Towards the end of the 13th century, the settlement was given its present name.
The medieval structure of the old core of the town which stands right opposite of the Church of Mary Immaculate.
The Town Gate, called Selca, lead in the direction of the Stone Bridge (Capuchin Bridge) and the northern entrance in the old city core. It was a part of the medieval defending system of the town.
It is the type of house which prevailed in Škofja Loka and it is the last of its kind. It is known of its late Gothic portal, windowes in ground floor and arched hall. It was build as an extension to the city walls which eas built for security reasons in the 14th century by bishop Konrad III. The city walls are perfectly preserved in that part of the town.
Near the house there was Poljane's gate with its guardian tower and crossing bridge from the town over defensive ditch which is still visible.
The parish church of Šentjakob (St. Jacob) is late Gothic hall building which was built in 1471 on the site of smaller church which was about 200 years old.
It is divided in three naves by supporting octagonal columns; the naves are equally high and there is a starry arch on the top of them.
In 1532 after the earthquake there was new presbytery made and mighty bell tower constructed.
The most important values in the church are: 1694 Renaiccance altar of Saint Catherine made of black marble, late 17th century paimtings of Christ on Mount of Olives, etc.
The whole interrior, the altars and chandeliers were changed under the project of architect Jože Plecnik.
Kasca is one of the most respectable antiques in the town. In former shape it existed already before the earthquake in 1511. It was ordered to be completely renewed by the bishop Filip as it could be read on late Gothic-Renaissance modelled relief plate sealed by the bishop's seal. Beside the castle the Granary was the most important building of the Landlords because in the Granary all of the natural tawes were kept. It was managed by special bishop's official called granary-men. At that time the Granary was a part of the city walls.
Today it is France Mihelic Art Gallery which displays the works donated by the artist to his birthplace Škofja Loka.
On view are his graphics, drawing, and tapestries, but the greater part of the wxibition presents Mihelic's extensive painting opus from the 1970's with its remarkable thematic links.
Fondest memory: France Mihelic Art gallery is situated on Spodnji trg 1, tel. +386/4/5170400
Stone Bridge or Capuchin's Bridge was built in 14th century by bishop Leopold. The bridge was built from carved stone in the semicircular form.
In the Middle Ages there was Selca's gate with its guarding tower by the bridge.
Fondest memory: The fate was that the same bishop Leopold riding across the fenceless bridge together with his startled horse fell from the bridge and got drowned in the water.
Škofja Loka today pleasantly combines a thousand years of tradition with a modern touch. In recent times there has been substantial development of the textile, wood and machine industries, but this has been deliberately kept to the outskirts of the town. This progress has given Skofja Loka a considerable economic importance within the country. Yet despite all the development, the old town centre still offers the authentic image of a thousand-year-old town, and on closer inspection the visitor will encounter numerous sights of interest, now restored to their former brilliance. The visitor will also be attracted to the many works of art in the local churches, the diversity and intactness of the natural surroundings, the rich cultural life and, not least, the warm and friendly service of the local people.
One of legends tells that the Landlord Abraham from Bavaria travelled through the valley Poljanska dolina with his Negro servant. In dark thicket they came across a huge bear. Prince Abraham stopped; the Negro on the other hand stretched his bow and knocked down the bear. The master embraced the servant and said: You saved my life, servant. I shall reward you for your heroism for the late generations to know what a hero you were. He returned his thanks so that he let to paint the head of the Negro in the town coat-of-arms. There is inscription on the circuit of the seal from the 14 century saying: SIGILLUM CIVITATIS LOK - the seal of the town Škofja Loka.
When I arrived in Škofja Loka I had a problem, I was running out of space in my camera memory card. I tried to find a photo shop where I could burn my photos to cd but I couldn't. I even asked at the tourism office for places where I could solve my problem but... they said there weren't aware of any.
I had the camera, the cd-rw and the usb cable with me in my day pack, I just needed the cd burn drive! I just couldn't run out of space with all that natural beauty around.
I decide to do the correct thing... to ask locals for solutions. So, I decided to ask any person in the street. Hugo offered to help me asking people.
I only needed to ask one person! She was a student and had returned from a music festival somewhere. She told me she had just woken up and was still a bit dizzy because of the alcohol/ music mixture in the previous days (nights) but she was certain there was a solution nearby. She came up with the idea of going to a students association. She took us there (to a nearby street) and explained, in Slovenian, to the guys what my problem was. They said they'd help me.
Hugo and I entered the place which was really nice. They had some nice couches in the first room and then they had a big, cool room with about a dozen computers connected to the internet and a couple of burn drives. While the photos were being burnt on the cd they even turned on a computer and said we could read our email as we were far from home and could write home just to say everything was ok.
Really cool guys.
Before leaving the fantastic place I asked permission to take a couple of pictures. I had to record it on photo!
Hvala lepa. Thank you so much.
The castle of Škofja Loka dominates the old part of the town. The primary castle was built after the donation of the territory of Loka to the Bishop Abraham from Freising in Bavaria in 973. The castle was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1511 and reconstructed in 1513-1516 by the Bishop Philip.
Nice view from the castle.