Slovenian towns writing creative stories

You’ll find intriguing places connected with rich history and traditional crafts dotted all over Slovenia. Many have become synonymous with their locally-designed products, such as lace, woodwork, pottery, and forged iron. Local arts and crafts reflect the diverse landscapes and characters of individual areas. Local artisans are keen to reveal their knowledge and skills to visitors.

Start your journey in southwest Slovenia in Ribnica, the cradle of woodenware, where this tradition has been rooted for centuries. Pottery is also among the crafts that characterize the area. Learn more about local handicrafts by visiting the Museum of Ribnica or trying your skill at the wickerwork and pottery school. If you’re there on the weekend, visit the Ribnica Fair, which has about 400 stalls, all selling local products.

Onward to Idrija, a UNESCO-listed town. Next to its significant mercury mining history, Idrija also has a strong tradition of lacemaking that has made it onto the UNESCO Intangible Heritage List. Although lacemaking traditions exist elsewhere in Slovenia, Idrija lace is recognized as a particular type of bobbin lace. The Idrija Lace School is the oldest continuously operating lace school in the world.

Next, head to Škofja Loka, home to many preserved handicrafts and skills. Learn about the work of blacksmiths and lacemakers, linen-weavers, milliners, comb-makers, and masters of other traditional crafts. For a wholesome experience, visit the Duo Škofja Loka Arts & Craft Centre or KreativNice.

Move on to Radovljica, where a walk through the charming old town reveals rich handicraft traditions from the town and its surroundings. The old town is illuminated by unique, hand-forged streetlamps from Kropa. The majestic buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries host handicraft workshops, such as Lectar Workshop or Magušar’s House, where you can gain insight into traditional and contemporary methods of making pottery.

A bit further north lies Tržič, once known for its rich shoemaking tradition and leather and textile industries. Even though most of these activities have declined, you can still pick out traces of these once very active craft traditions.

Another town worth visiting, thanks to its precious handicraft history, is Kamnik. This medieval town used to be a flourishing trading center. Traces of the lively craft industry can be found by strolling along Šutna, the most beautiful street in Kamnik, adorned with characteristic signboards. You’ll also find boutique shops featuring handcrafted Kamnik products.

Finally, to Pomurje, an area in the Mura River Basin which is full of clayey soil that encouraged the locals to produce clay cookware and ornamental pieces. Pottery was the prevalent handicraft in the Prekmurje region until just a couple of decades ago. To finish up your trip, visit The Filovci Pottery Village, a unique open-air museum with a unique display of traditional crafts and Prekmurje’s architectural and cultural heritage.

Things to consider before traveling

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Some tips to consider while traveling

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