On 5th and 6th September 2017 the 2nd Bilateral Study Visit within INSiGHTS project took place in the municipalities of Litija and Šmartno pri Litiji, Slovenia. Development Centre of the Heart of Slovenia hosted 4 participants from Croatian partners LAG Central Istria and 2 thematic experts from Hungarian partner CEEweb for Biodiversity.
The partners met at the rural villa “Good Fairy” in the village of Šumnik, where they were accommodated during their stay in Slovenia. “Good Fairy” is located not far from the main road between Litija and Zagorje ob Savi and is a house for agreeable experiences in a natural environment.
After the light lunch the partners visited the Charcoal Land in Dole pri Litiji. At the Brinovec homestead, where a 200-year tradition of charcoaling has been preserved, Miroslav Brinovec presented this living tradition and the ways they organise group visits, guided tours around the sights of the Charcoal Land and learning programmes for school groups.
The visit was continued at village of Velika Preska. At the development and education centre called the Exterior Arrangement Centre - in the– partners were introduced to the authentic examples of outdoor space experience in the presentations of outdoor designs, exhibits of Slovenian tree species, photographs of implementations and the presentation of materials. The centre is the house of ideas and integrations, which emphasises the innovative integration of entrepreneurship and nature, along with respect for old traditions and new approaches to using wood.
Partners finished the day with a dinner at the Juvan Inn, situated in the village Polšnik where they prepared homemade dish specialties made of local products. The village of Polšnik which was awarded with European Association for Rural Development and Village Renewal (ARGE) in 2012 because of it’s events and visions of economic, pilgrimage-focused and event tourism.
On Wednesday the partners meet at the Litija municipally headquarters for a meeting with representatives of Litija and Šmartno pri Litiji. Both municipalities that represent the INSiGHTS pilot area of the Heart of Slovenia were presented by their local representatives. The meeting continued with the Sustainable Tourism Product Development Workshop lead by Michael Meyer from CEEweb for Biodiversity.
The visit of mighty Bogenšperk Castle in the proximity of Šmartno pri Litiji was next on the agenda. The renowned polyhistor Janez Vajkard Valvasor lived and worked in this castle in the 17th century. Partners took a guided tour through various collections of attire, superstition, copper typography, and stylistically arranged castle halls such as Valvasor’s study with an original copy of the book The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola (printed in 1689). On the castle yard the partners set around the table for a short workshop with a brainstorming for the future possibilities for common projects related to the topic of Valvasor.
The participants had lunch at one of the oldest family restaurants in this area, working since 1906, called Maček Restaurant, located in the very center of the Šmartno pri Litiji.
Visit of Slivna Village was the last stop of this Bilateral Study Visit. The Geoss Adventure Park, located in the vicinity of the Geometric Centre of Slovenia, is a place of unique experiences amidst the treetops. It offers six tree-top climbing routes of various difficulties, each set up at a different height - from 1 to 25 metres. The last editions to the park are the Giant Flying Fox with total length of 915 metres, and the sleeping or a picnic in the treetops experience.
At the Škunder Homestead in the village of Slivna participants were surprised by the unusual wooden and stone sculptures connected to the homestead’s heritage. They were also able to see more than 200-year-old granary and a large double hayrack (“toplar”).
Text prepared by DCHS team, Slovenia