The Slovenia Times

The home of the Poet



Kranj is a large conglomerate between the Sava and Kokra rivers. A city of classical architectural structure where the historical heart of the town is surrounded by industry, the product of modern urbanism. It was once a centre of electronic, rubber, shoemaking and textile industries. While the last ones had to surrendered to its fierce competition, Sava Tires and Iskratel/Iskra Emeco still function as a powerful engine of local development and enjoy great respect over the world. So it can be said that Kranj holds both a village spirit and an urban mentality, its old core and new, industrial surroundings and is especially proud of its sports and culture activities. Being only 8 km away from the Ljubljana International Airport, it is also presented as "The first stop in Slovenia". As the capital of Gorenjska, it is associated with many particularities of the area, like its typical foods: the Kranjska sausage, sauerkraut, and the stereotype of Gorenjska inhabitants being stingy, reflected in many jokes. It is known as the hometown of France Preseren, Slovenia's most beloved poet. In Kranj - where the poet is buried - Preseren lived the last two years of his life. In 1852, the Slovenian patriots made him a tombstone. In the house where Preseren used to live, the Preseren's Memorial Museum was opened in 1964. Slovenians remember the poet on February 8th, as various cultural events dedicated to the greatest Slovene poet take place. February 8th, now called ¯Preseren Day®, is a Slovene Cultural Holiday. In addition to Preseren Day, the municipality of Kranj also celebrates its holiday on the day of Preseren's birth, December 3rd. The Sights Kranj offers a variety of points of interest. The most important cultural-historical sights lie exactly in the old town of Kranj. The old town core was declared an historical and cultural monument in 1983. Glavni trg (main square) is the most important urban component of this core. The Town Hall is located here, and it is the central building of Gorenjska's Museum Kranj. On the ground floor of the Town Hall are the gallery and exhibition rooms, and beside the gallery activities, old Slavonic graves from the 9th and 10th century are on exhibition in the entrance hall. In the Town Hall there are also three permanent collections on exhibit: works from the academic sculptor Lojze Dolinar (1893 - 1970), an ethnological collection of folk art from the Gorenjska region, and the archaeological exhibition "Iron Thread". Beside the exhibits, the old Slavonic graves and three permanent collections, there is also the Renaissance hall, and in the front of the building in a colonnade outhouse is a Roman sarcophagus. On the northern part of Glavni trg opposite the Town Hall is Pavsalar House, which is an example of late Gothic civil architecture. Worth seeing here is a beautiful arcade passage, preserved frescos and on the 1st and 2nd floors is the Preseren Prizewinners' Gallery. Located in Glavni trg is also one of the finest pearls of Kranj - the Parish church of Saint Cantianus and his fellow disciples. At the end of the 14th century this late Gothic church with its presbytery was dedicated to the four martyrs: Cantia, Cantian, Prot and Cantianusila. Passing the Town Council building on Slovenski trg and then going along Gregorciceva ulica, we come to Preseren's grove. The grove was opened in 1952 and stands on a once abandoned Kranj graveyard. Because of its historical impact and natural piety, the area was metamorphosed into a grove, a place of rest, spiritual meditation and cultural inspiration. If you prefer a romantic walk through the narrow streets inside the town or peeking at displays and shop windows, keep in mind that Kranj is also known for its local products still made by craftsmen, artists and tradesmen (shops and galleries offering cottage industry products and practical arts). After shopping, visitors can relax, have a cup of coffee or tea or try homemade bread in one of the pleasant local inns.


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