The Slovenia Times

The Charming City of Stone



Štanjel, situated in the heart of Kras, has a rich and interesting historical background. The Romans turned the top of the hill it is situated on into an ancient fort, in the Middle Ages the village expanded beyond the hill, and the settlement was later enclosed by defensive walls to protect it from Turkish invasion. However, the dominant features of the village are the Castle and the Church of Saint Daniel, which make Stanjel truly remarkable. While walking through the narrow streets, the houses built of stone tell the story of stonemasons, who created the unique architecture of Kras. There are many more interesting sights to see in Stanjel, including the art gallery in the exhibition tower next to the gateway to Kobdilj, and Ferrari's Garden (middle picture), a masterpiece of the architect Max Fabiani, which makes for a very interesting passage from the stone village to the green surroundings. You can continue your walk from Ferrari's Garden to Kobdilj along a path named after Max Fabiani, discovering the beauty of the setting. Ferrari was a famous Italian doctor who had a practice in his own tower. Legend has it that the ghosts of some poor people, who died in pain, still wander around the tower. Nevertheless, it is only a legend! The only remaining inhabitants of the towers are some birds who make their nests in hidden nooks and crannies.

A touch of art

Stanjel has also a lot to offer to people interested in the arts. You can experience Kras from a different perspective in the renovated part of the castle. The castle's halls, where you can meet brides and their bridegrooms on Saturdays, host a collection by the recognised painter and graphic artist, Lojze Spacal. There are also other interesting galleries where you can look at the remains of the fascinating history of Štanjel and discover more about the people who contributed to it. It is also worth visiting the late-Gothic St Daniel's church, which was built in the second half of the 15th century. Later, in the 17th century, a particularly outstanding church tower was added. In the interior there is a very interesting marble slab on the high altar depicting an image of the castle at the end of the 17th century.
During the summer season (from May through to September) many cultural events take place in the region. You can attend numerous interesting drama productions, concerts of classical and modern ensembles as well as many other performances. Sport associations organise some marathons around the area of Štanjel, which have already become cultural events, where locals prepare food and drink for the competitors and encourage them around the course. If you are interested in entering the marathon of wedded life, there are few more romantic spots than St Daniel's church. In short, there are many interesting and unusual things to do in Štanjel - the pearl of Kras.


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