Slovenske Konjice is full of surprises

A routine has developed. We wake up and have breakfast on the veranda.

There follows an excursion into the locality to appreciate the area’s culture and history. We return for lunch.

A snooze follows whether planned or not, shower, dinner, and red wine this time, on same veranda watching the sun dusk on the. same stunning view and the plumping moon come around the corner along with singing stars, in a slightly different place each night.

Today’s trip out is focussed on Slovenske Konjice, a small market town started about 1,000 years ago, nestling under the northern slopes of Konjiska Gora. From the tourist bumf it seems nothing special but it has all kinds of secrets to reveal. A small stream runs down from the mountains through the middle of the main. main street. Locals call it ‘dragon’s slobber’ after the local saint, George, supposedly killed the beast who lived in the mountains.

Like all towns it has a church – the Church of St George, built originally in 1146.

A ruined castle overlooks the town.

An intriguing main street has smart, plaster-painted houses lining each side, looking dapper in their fresh colours. However further investigation reveals more. Built in the 16th century the houses had new facades created 200 years later. Go through an open door and it is as if you have arrived in medieval times with an open courtyard surrounded by balconies and windows.

The surrounding hills are patterned with beautifully maintained vines which produce grapes to create high quality red, white & sparkling wines. Wine has been produced here for 800 years.

Every day has a special nugget. Today’s wonder place is the tranquil, partially ruined Zice Charterhouse Carthusian Monastery. It is situated in a small valley surrounded by rolling hills and forest. Over lunch there is no-one there and the full impact of the place hits you. Serene, peaceful, contemplative, harmonious. The white habits of the twelve monks who inhabited these hallowed walls since they first arrived in 1165, still linger in these empty cloisters, studying their ”book for the day’ as they did all those years ago until the monastery was dissolved in 1782.

Just down the valley is the Church of Virgin Mary’s Visitation. This lower monastery housed lay monks who looked after the 12 ‘proper’ guys up at the big one, and also took in guests and travellers.

50 minutes drive and late lunch on the balcony follows. Aaarh. Hard work this exploring.

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