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Reasons to love Skofja Loka, a medieval Slovenian town

I bet you don’t know a lot about Slovenia and its beautiful small towns. Slovenia is a great destination for outdoors, but it also has a few enchanting small towns. One of them is certainly Skofja Loka, located near our capital city. Skofja Loka is full of charming spots and the best of all – you’ll have a lot of time to explore this gem if you’ll take a day trip to Skofja Loka. If you wonder how to spend your day here, this is all you need to know.

First of all, you need to know how to get there. You may come with a car or by bus/train. There are several buses and trains from Ljubljana and the ride will take you about 30 minutes. It is extremely easy and inexpensive to come here from Ljubljana. The bus will take you directly to the old town of Skofja Loka, while the train station is about 2,5 km away from the town, so you’ll have to walk or take a taxi to the old town (that will cost you about 5€). So, now you know how to come and you can join me on the walking tour around this medieval town.

Selska Sora Riverfront

To visit the Old Town you’ll have to cross the Selska Sora river. This isn’t bad at all. The riverfront has to offer some scenic views with lots of stunning greenery. In fact, this is one of the most scenic views and sights in Skofja Loka – this is the view towards the Capuchin bridge. I’ll tell you more about this sight of Skofja Loka later.

The Old Town

Once you’ll cross the river, you’ll reach some streets that will let you know that you’re in the Old Town. Once you’ll reach the main square – Mestni trg, you’ll see restored buildings, painted in pretty colours. The Old Town looks really picturesque and you’ll want to explore more. Skofja Loka is not huge, so exploring won’t take you a lot of time to walk down the streets and alleys.

The first written records of Skofja Loka date to 1248. Historically, Skofja Loka was enclosed by stone walls and could only be entered by way of one of five gated towers. Skofja Loka and its surrounding estates were the property of the Bavarian Bishops of Freising for more than 900 years.

The Capuchin Bridge

This bridge over the Selska Sora river was built in the mid-14th century from carved stone in a semi-circular shape and it’s the only one of its kind in central Europe. The bridge was renovated in 1888, when it was equipped with iron railings. In the centre there is a statue of St. John of Nepomuk. In the Middle Ages the Selca Gate with a guard tower stood beside the bridge.

The bridge was first known as a Stone Bridge and was renamed when the Capuchin monks moved into Skofja Loka at the beginning of 18th century.

Across the Capuchin Bridge is the Capuchin Church with its monastery and library that date back to 1709. There are around 30,000 books in the library, including the Jurij Dalmatin’s Bible (the first translation of the Bible to Slovene) and a copy of the famous Škofja Loka’s Passion Play.

Loka Castle

One thing you don’t want to miss is the Loka Castle overlooking the town. The mighty castle stands on a small hill above the main square and dominates the view as you arrive into the town.

It was built in the early 12th century and it was completely destroyed by the 1511 earthquake. Today the castle houses the Skofja Loka museum with some permanent exhibitions and some interesting events. Visiting the museum you’ll see the castle interior and you’ll get the display on local history. In castle garden there is the excellently preserved farmhouse from 16th century, called Škopar’s House.

Enjoy the untouched nature

As you have noticed, Skofja Loka is a great choice for history and culture lovers, but there is even more to offer. When you’re done with your castle visit, you’ll have to take a nice walk back into town. The trail back down offers excellent views of Škofja Loka and the local countryside. I suggest you to take some extra time to explore the beautiful nature here. On your visit you will be able to capture many beautiful shots of this lovely town with its stunning nature and surroundings. There is a wealth of natural beauty you really shouldn’t miss.

You can head towards Puštal to find out how the people from Puštal used to live. You’ll find out some interesting stuff and hear even more interesting stories.

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Does a day trip to Skofja Loka sound like something you would be interested in? Had you heard of the town before? Please share your thoughts in the comments below and feel free to ask me anything about Skofja Loka or Slovenia in general.

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