The castle was built on a steep ridge of the Brinjeva Gora hill at 588m above sea level, north-east of the Pilgrim Church of the Mother Mary of God and above the Podgrašek farm. The name of this farm (“Undercastle”) led the Zreče parish priest Matija Karba to rightfully conclude that a castle once stood here that was in decay since the 15th century and in the 20th century the decay was so severe that only the name of the farm linked it with the former Freudenberg. It is believed to have been built at the end of the 12th century, since in 1224 Ortolf from Slovenske Konjice was named after it.
The castle is last mentioned in 1497 as Freydenberg. The document from 1375, when Herman, the Lord of Viltuš, and Henrique, the Lord of Konjice, sealed a document, is also worth mentioning, since the seal greatly resembles the one of Lord George, who occupied the castle between 1377 and 1381. In his seal, he had two leaves placed in a heart, and on this basis historian Dr. Otorepec Božo developed the current seal of the Municipality of Zreče.
Lušperk (Luschberg) Castle
This castle lies on a steep hill (607m above sea level) at the confluence of the Dravinja and Ljubnica Rivers in Loška Gora and has a spectacular view of the Dravinja valley and Zreče. Its precise location prevented it from becoming more important later on. It stood on the property of a Krško land complex, which Hema Breško-Seliška donated to Benedictine nuns in Krka. It is unknown who built the castle. A castle bearing this name first appears when in 1279 Henrique of Lušperk testified at the Maribor Castle and later documents also speak of the fact that Henrique of Lušperk came from Maribor.
Speculations on the initial appearance of the castle are unlikely to reveal the initial shape and measurements of the castle, since the remains of the castle are meagre and time has erased most evidence of a once mighty building. At some places, the walls were up to 6m high and over a meter thick; the castle also had a defensive trench and defensive wooden hallways on top of the walls.
Jamnik (Holenstein) Castle
Its precise location is unknown and it is not entirely clear whether it even existed, but it is mentioned in written sources in 1342, when Henrique Tanner built the chapel of St. Pancratius under the Jamnik fortress and attained benefits and a permanent priest from the Patriarch of Aquileia. Thus it is assumed that Tanner is also the one that had the castle built. It stood close to an enlarged manmade cave and was a cave-type castle that did not comply with the existing mansion. It is assumed that it was surrounded by high walls, trenches and towers, but its measurements and arrangement are unknown.
The beginning of construction of this mansion perhaps dates to 1369 when brothers Henrique and Leopold were enfieted Jamnik by the Viltuš family. It is not entirely clear when the mansion decayed; in 1783 the chapel of St. Pancratius was abandoned and in 1911 it was also blasted for the purpose of the mine. An approximate image is provided in the form of the copperplate engraving by Vischer.
Source: LTO Rogla – Zreče
Brinjeva gora is one of the oldest high-altitude settlements. It existed as far back as the early Stone Age and outlived many lower lying settlements. Archaeological excavations in the 1960's discovered numerous antique findings, which indicate that a vibrant community was present here three to five thousand years BC. An exhibition of the Brinjeva gora excavations is currently held in the lobby of Hotel Planja at Rogla. Archaeological excavations led by Stanko Pahič took 11 years to complete. Archaeologists discovered several sites from various different prehistoric and historic periods: the ancient Bronze Age sites in Brezje and Zreče, the cave containing prehistoric earthenware in Dobrava, sites at Brinjeva gora containing artefacts from the Bronze Age, the urn burial period, the antique and the late antique. Other notable discoveries include the Bronze Age barrows, the urn burial ground, the Roman barrows and the late-antique and Slavonic burial grounds, all located in the area around Brinjeva gora.
“Black Kitchen” near St. Barbara Church
The renewed sexton house is to be found near the St. Barbara Church. Once sextons resided there, but today it houses an ethnological museum. It was built in the 16th century, which we may assume from the “black kitchen” and the fact that there was still no construction date inscribed in the wooden beam in the “hijša”. As is typical for houses of the time, it was very plain and had a “hijša, lujpa”, a “black kitchen” and a cellar. “Lujpa” connects the “black kitchen” and the “hijša”. “Hijša” is a genuine farmer’s room with a bread stove, a closet, a spinning wheel, a sewing machine and a bed. Nowadays, individuals and societies use the sexton house for organising various activities that help to preserve old rural traditions.
The Šrekl – Zajc Blacksmith's Forge in Dobravlje
The Šrekl – Zajc Blacksmith's Forge was established when Ivan Šrekl's small workshop joined forces with Ignac Zajc's blacksmith's forge. In 2007, Ignac Zajc Junior organized the deconstruction of machinery and tools from the Šrekl blacksmith's forge and transported them to his blacksmith's forge in Dobrovlje, where master blacksmith Ignac Zajc Senior used to work. It is here in Dobrovlje that a workshop is still running, along with housing a collection of objects of blacksmith heritage.
The "100 Frankolovo Victims" Museum- te Frankolovo Crime
The "100 Frankolovo Victims" Museum was established in honour of an event from World War II, when 100 Slovenian patriots were hung in Graben na Stranicah. The cruel crime against Slovenian patriots, committed on February 12th 1945 in Graben na Stranicah, is considered to be one of the worst Nazi crimes of World War II. The hanging was executed to avenge the death of a prominent Nazi functionary Anton Dorfmeister, who was killed in a partisan ambush in the Tesno gorge on February 2nd 1945. In return for his life, the Nazis brought 100 hostages from the prisons in Maribor, Celje, and Trbovlje to the prison "Stari pisker" in Celje, where they hung them from the apple trees lining the road, and buried them in two mass graves.
Narrow Gauge Railway Museum in Zreče
The Zreče Railway Station is the only remaining railway station of the Poljčane – Slovenske Konjice – Zreče narrow gauge railway track. At the station, a train including a locomotive, a passenger car, and two freight cars is displayed.
The Poljčane – Slovenske Konjice narrow gauge railway track was opened in 1892 and extended to Zreče in 1921. It was built to connect the Maribor – Ljubljana railway track with the upper Dravinja Valley, rich in timber and coal, and its emerging industry. The track saw vibrant freight and passenger traffic, which unfortunately started to decline after World War II. In 1962, the track Poljčane – Zreče was closed due to a lack of profitability.
The Ošlak Forge is one of the few remaining forges in the Zreče area which still employs traditional methods. According to written sources, it was established around 1770. Another important landmark in the development of this forge is the year 1789, when the building took its current shape (this is the year that is inscribed above the entrance). The Ošlak Forge is located three kilometres from Zreče, in the heart of Pohorje. It contains an old residential house, outhouse, forge, saw with a joiner's workshop, wooden shed and a new residential house.
The forge is powered by two water wheels. It is located in the central room of the building, while the smaller room is used as a storage room for materials and products. It includes several interesting water powered devices, such as the water powered air pump, the piston air pump, the "repač" (a special hammer), and a rich collection of homemade farming tools used in that time.
Fun fact: Skomarje House
- The house from 1803 is considered to be one of the most important sites of cultural heritage in the southern parts of Pohorje and the Dravinja Valley. It was built in a transitional design between the late medieval smokehouse and a more advanced house with a black kitchen. The traditional smokehouse design is best preserved in the big kitchen, which contains a fireplace with a big stove.
Vodovnik Collection in Skomarje
The Vodovnik Collection sheds light on the culture of living from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, and the religious-education activities of the village. The collection is housed at the St. Lambert Church in Skomarje.
Skomarje was the birthplace of Jurij Vodovnik, folk singer and actor, who lived at the same time as France Prešeren and Anton Martin Slomšek. He was a cloth weaver, but he preferred to weave words into songs, since he was also able to read and write. Wearing his bottomless basket, which had a philosophically symbolical meaning to him, his restless spirit took him on journeys around Pohorje and the Dravinja Valley. The Vodovnik Collection is a picturesque hist
orical presentation of the culture of living.
Source: LTO Rogla – Zreče
Church of the Holy Mother of God at Brinjeva Gora
The pilgrim Church of the Holy Mother of God is located at an altitude of 630 metres and is the youngest of the three nearby churches (at Brinjeva gora, Golika and Brezje), but is the most famous of the three. It used to be called "little Višarje" and it had attracted numerous pilgrims until World War II. The construction of the church began in 1769 with the presbytery, and the nave was added in 1830. Before the church had been built, there used to be a chapel at the same location. The church was expanded in 1830, when the high altar and the baroque statues ware added. It used to have three church towers, but unfortunately they were removed during World War II by the Germans. It was given a new bronze bell in 1950, and a little bell from the St. Agnes Church, which had been hidden from the Germans by Vladimir Mohorič (the organist), was placed into the church tower. Today, the renovated church at Brinjeva gora hosts services and various spiritual meetings.
St Agnes Church
The church is perched atop Golika, a windy hill rising 608 metres high. It is famous for its high church tower, which is visible from far away. Its construction started in 1723, when the Zreče parish had not yet been independent, so the Carthusian monks from Žiče controlled the construction. The church is dedicated to Saint Agnes, Saint Sebastian and Pope Fabian. The traditional Christmas hike with lamps to the St. Agnes Church is very popular and attracts many locals. The church is the first object that can be seen in the easterly direction upon arriving in Zreče.
St. Giles Parish Church in Zreče
The St. Giles Parish Church in Zreče is situated at an altitude of 397 metres. Its first written accounts date back to 1375, even though it was built as early as the 11th century, in a period when St. Giles was most revered. The church is essentially Roman, but Gothic elements, late-Gothic elements and four Baroque altars were added after it had been built. The main of these four altars features an image of St. Giles under the Holy Trinity, depicted as a Benedictine abbot with a hind lying at his feet. This altar was made in 1850 by Janez Rangus from Vojnik, and renovated by Miloš Hohnjec from Celje in 1951. Another church was built in Zreče in 1988, which was an important achievement in the post-war period of sacral architecture.
Church of St. Jacob Senior at Resnik
The Church of St. Jacob Senior at Resnik (altitude: 932 metres) was built sometime in the middle of the 15th century. It is the smallest church in the Slovenske Konjice area. According to the legend, the St. Jacob Church was built by the Counts of Celje as a hunting chapel, but no evidence exists to support this theory. It is, however, a historical fact that until 1890 the church was situated in a larch forest, which unfortunately is no longer there. The parish chronicle also mentions a statue of St. Jacob, which had been kept in a cell behind the altar and was supposedly "horribly ugly". During processions, the statue was carried on a pole instead of a cross. This very statue and one such procession are the subject of one of Jurij Vodovnik's humorous songs.
St. Kunigunde Parish Church in Gorenje
The first written accounts of the St. Kunigunde Parish Church in Gorenje date back to 1391. This church is situated at 748 metres and has splendid views all over the whole valley, all the way to hills Boč and Donačka gora, overlooking many other churches, villages and hills. The only remains of the original wooden church is the impressive church tower from the first half of the 14th century, while the nave and the presbytery were supposedly built in the second half of 14th century. The church boasts five altars. The main altar is dedicated to the patron of the parish, empress Kunigunde, who was declared a saint in 1200, and the painting on the canvas depicts the saint during her ordeal by fire.
Source: LTO Rogla – Zreče
Fun fact: The Zreče Forma Viva
– It is a result of cooperation between the artist Vasilij Četković and Marjan Osole, who was the managing director of Unior at that time. The blacksmith tradition of the area is directly connected with the Forma Viva, as the blacksmiths were involved in the creation of the sculptures. Source: LTO Rogla – Zreče