Discovering Slovenia: Pleterje and its Open Air Museum

I like exploring my country and taking day trips that make me feel like a cross between a local and a tourist. Last Saturday we went to the SE part, where just about an hour from the capital hides a region of Dolenjska, famous for its rolling hills adorned with churches almost like cherries on ice-cream. It gets even better as the hills are scattered with vineyards and adjoining cottages, that were cottages long ago, now they are more like full blown houses. Like the scenery isn’t pretty enough it is enriched with the enchanting river Krka meandering through. People of this region are friendly, proud of their specific wine Cvicek, that causes a bit of controversy as not everyone is convinced it is wine, because like Chianti it is the only wine made of both white and red grapes and has low alcohol content (up to 10 %). But to judge it, you’ve first got to taste it.

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Traveling with kids, our goal sadly wasn’t wine tasting, though we did have some at lunch. The goal of the trips was to visit the Open air museum situated in Pleterje, better known for its Carthusian monastery. The monastery itself is surrounded by a high wall intended to separate the secluded monks from the rest of the world. Since it’s all men and no contact, my hubbs was contemplating his escape there, urged by the fact neither among us three girls could follow him there. In the end he figured he wasn’t cut out for monkshood.

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So, what you can see of the monastery is only an old Gothic church and the Sacristy. If you call ahead you can also view a multi-vision presentation on the monastery and life within it. We didn’t – again small kids, they barely understood the silence signs. Since the monastery lies in the valley, you can climb (by car or ride a bike) the Gorjanci hills and get a better view of its size as well as enjoy some pretty sights of the vineyards and small villages along the way. We opted for this road instead of going back to the main road to get to Kostanjevica on Krka.

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But back to the museum. I wanted to visit it, since not long ago I read an article about it. I really like this type of exhibitions, because they give you a better understanding of the time past. The museum is located right next to the monastery. It represents a traditional 19th century farm from that region. These buildings were actually transfered from where they stood originally and then put back together at this new location. They are all made of wood with thatched rooftops. The farm is home to some animals; pigs, chickens, turkeys, goats and also a a pair of ferrets. You can see a typical farmer’s dwelling, with the black kitchen – meaning the kitchen didn’t have a chimney – yeah, you get how that must have felt. They had the stow on, to give you an idea and I was able to stay inside for like a minute, before the smoke made me rush out. Another building houses the gift shop where you can buy their clay pots or pans and is the only building that was a bit remodeled to suit the need of the shop.

IMG_0092There are also other typical buildings farms had; stables, pigsty where they now keep chickens and roosters, a big haystack. The huge field in between was perfect for our kids to run around and get chased by some very angry and scary looking turkeys. I enjoyed the visit, as we had nice weather and the kids were having fun. But I must say I was expecting it to be bigger and more of it. It would’ve been great had they also had people dressed up and enacting the life in that period.

We finished up our trip with a nice lunch, made even better with Cvicek and then we drove back home. Nice one day family trip.

Website of the museum: http://www.skansen.si/skansen/English.html

 

 

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