Sometimes the locals affectionately call Škofja Loka 'the medieval beauty'. Its medieval town center is the best preserved in the whole Slovenia. The red roofs of the dense town, the bell tower of St. Jacob church and the majestic Škofja Loka Castle draw our attention already from afar. You can walk through the narrow alleys, treat yourself to an ice-cream at the lively Town Square, rise up to the castle and discover the local history and traditions in its cute museum; also do not forget about the interesting Nace’s House from the 16th century.
Starting point: If you come to Škofja Loka from Ljubljana or Kranj, turn left towards Žiri behind a Petrol gas station. Descend slightly and it is best to park at a large parking lot just before the bridge across Sora River. Although this parking lot is a private property, you will not disturb anyone here on weekends and holidays. Otherwise, you can carry on across Sora. When the main road turns sharply to the right towards the hill you can also park a) at a parking lot on the hill itself; b) turn left before the hill to Puštal and park on the left by a football field ca. 100 m later.
Description: You have parked (the first mentioned parking lot) practically at the start of the Lower Square, which is pretty but unfortunately quite a lot traffic runs through it and thus it is not the most pleasant spot for strolling. The less wealthy people used to reside here, so the houses are a bit smaller. Cross the bridge over Sora River on foot and on the right side you will soon spot a passage towards the amazing Town Square and St. Jacob church.
The 'real' Škofja Loka starts here. Children are playing football, locals and tourists are sipping coffee and there are almost no cars. The Town Square has always been the hub of the social life. This was the home of upper class people, which is obvious from the mighty houses with colourfully painted frescoes, which had given the town its nickname “colourful Loka”. Most of the Škofja Loka sights, which are thoroughly described in detail here, are located around the Town Square.
Walk to the end of the square and then visit the Škofja Loka Castleas well. This grand building is nowadays the home of Loka Museum, which has proved to be an extremely pleasant surprise. In addition to numerous other exhibitions, it presents the history of the castle and the entire Škofja Loka region and it shows the ethnological and craftsmanship peculiarities of the rural and urban life in this area in an intriguing way.
Škofja Loka is renowned for one more thing: in 1721 a capucine monk Romuald wrote the oldest preserved drama script in Slovene language - the Škofja Loka Passion play. The original manuscript is kept in the capucine library in Škofja Loka. It is a huge theater procession (over 800 actors) with biblical content, which takes place on the streets of the old Škofja Loka town center. The next performances are scheduled for 2015.
After visiting Škofja Loka center itself, go to Nace’s House at the other bank of Poljanska Sora River (from the above mentioned parking lot drive across Lower Square towards Žiri and turn left on the first crossroad. Cross Poljanska Sora River and turn right behind the Puštal Castle and then immediately right again. Park next to trash containers and walk on for about a 100 meters). Nace’s house is around 500 years old and still has most of its original interior, two working black kitchens and plenty of history. All the peculiarities and stories about this house can be explained to you by the owner of this homestead - Natalija Polenec. You have to call her in advance for a tour (+ 386 40 500 791). Upon prior notice bigger groups can get a home-made meal in the unique ambience of the house or in the wonderful summer garden.
A hint: an organic market is organized on Wednesday afternoons at the Town Square by the local farmers.
Find out more about Škofja Loka and its surrounding area on the websites of Škofja Loka tourist offices here and here.
Sometimes the locals affectionately call Škofja Loka 'the medieval beauty'. Its medieval town center is the best preserved in the whole Slovenia. The red roofs of the dense town, the bell tower of St. Jacob church and the majestic Škofja Loka Castle draw our attention already from afar. You can walk through the narrow alleys, treat yourself to an ice-cream at the lively Town Square, rise up to the castle and discover the local history and traditions in its cute museum; also do not forget about the interesting Nace’s House from the 16th century.Škofja Loka
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