ŽIRI: A PLACE OF CURIOSITIES
Žiri is a settlement in the Poljanska valley at the crossroads of three regions – Gorenjska, Notranjska and Primorska – and is full of surprises, with drops of quicksilver at the bottom of a stream, the Matjaževe Kamre (Matjaž's Chambers) cave formations and the intermittent Račevsko Jezero (Lake). Above the settlement are the remains of the Rupnik Line, a number of small churches and a stone table in the Ravne forest. Žiri has a small museum dedicated to the shoe-making tradition, and hosts a number of cultural and recreational events. The renovated Žirovska Pristava which used to be part of Škofja Loka castle’s lands houses collections and hosts exhibitions.
Žiri has a long shoe-making tradition. The craft of shoe and mountain boot making gradually became a speciality of local cooperatives and finally developed into the ‘Alpina’ footwear company; a brand acclaimed for its ski boots and hiking footwear.
The Rupnik Line is a system of fortifications along the former border between the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and Italy and extended into the Žiri basin. The remains of this defensive line are still preserved today, and at Goli Vrh you may visit a system of subterranean tunnels and halls.
Bobbin lace from Žiri
Žiri has a tradition of lace making dating back nearly 150-years and the Lace-making School has been constantly active for more than a century. During this time a number of special patterns, techniques, forms and tools have developed. Visit the Bobbin Lace Gallery of A. Primožič and take home a small and delicate souvenir.
Quicksilver stream in Podklanec
In a karst spring, mercury is born in the shape of tiny silver drops. Stir up the sandy stream bed, and it won't take long before something glitters. This is a rare example of native quicksilver in Slovenia.
This was once a shelter for Neanderthal man, with remains of cave bear, buffalo and wolves found alongside their ancient fireplaces. The site in the lowest depths of the cave is the oldest archaeological site in Gorenjska.