with a medieval Old Town

Škofja Loka is situated a good twenty kilometres to the northwest of Ljubljana, at the conjunction of the two Sora rivers, the Selca Sora and the Poljane Sora. It is a small town with about 20.000 people, which are living in 62 villages. In the town itself live about half of the inhabitants.
The old stone bridge, leading over the Sora, also called Capuchin bridge, is more than 600 years old and one of the oldest, still existing bridges in Europe. In its mid there is a statue of St. Nepomuk, carrying the coat of arms of the town.
Škofja means bishop, one can see that in the old, German name, Bischoflack.
It is a very old town - the first time it was mentioned in writing, was already in the year 973, when Emperor Otto II gave away the town to Bishop Abraham von Freising. In 1248 it got market rights and in 1310 it already had become a township. In 1511 the town was devastated by a heavy earthquake. A major part of it was destroyed.
It was quickly rebuilt, though, and in that way, in which we still today can see the old part of the town. It is said, that Škofja Loka is the best kept medieval town in Slovenia.
The bishops governed there until 1803, after that it became part of the Habsburgian Empire. In the coat of arms, one can see a "black man", who - according to the legend - saved Bishop Abraham's life, when killing a bear, which had attacked the bishop.
The statue in the middle of the the Main Square was raised in 1751, in honour of Virgin Mary. The side statues figure the Saints Rochus and Antonius. All of them recieve the town's gratitude for having been spared from plague as well as fire.
The Martins-house (picture above) has very old origins, as far back as the 14th century. It is combined with the city wall and one of its sides can still be seen in its original state.
Also the Homan-house (picture to the right) has Gothic origin, even if it was renovated in the 16th century in Renaissance-style.
Škofja Loka is known for its Passion play, which is played according to the oldest dramatic text in Slovenian, which was found in this town. In 2015 (every seventh year) the play will be organized for the next time.
The last weekend of June is dedicated to the Middle Ages - in the town then stories are told from that era. In January there is a demonstration of skiing history on the Castle Hill. There you can see the beginnings and the evolution of (alpine) skiing.
The old city hall has a Gothic port and in the yard arcades from the Renaissance. It dates back to the 16th century as well.
It is a pity that the officials of Škofja Loka have not seen the needs of tourism yet. So is for instance the tourist information closed on Sundays. Neither can you get a description of the sights of the town anywhere else. There are too few restaurants, which - of course - are more than crowded at lunchtime. Even the pub in the castle opens first late in the afternoon. The unprepared tourist, who dares the climb to the castle in the heat of midday, has thus no chance to quenche his thirst.

A part of the Main Square
On the other hand, the castle is a sight, which you should not leave aside. Here is also a museum inside, as in so many of Slovenia's castles. But this museum is outstanding among the others - not at least because of its manifoldness.

In any case - all of Škofja Loka is worth to be seen, from Ljubljana it takes only three quarters by bus.

Bernhard Kauntz, Wolvertem, Belgien 2012      

The castle on the hill

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last update: 21.7.2012 by webmaster@werbeka.com