History & heritage
The region of Ilirska Bistrica boasts millennia of rich history. Remnants of past times, from cyclopean walls built by mys... → more
The region of Ilirska Bistrica boasts millennia of rich history. Remnants of past times, from cyclopean walls built by mysterious Illyrian tribes to the striking modernist monument on the Freedom Hill, tell stories of this rather remote, pristine and unique part of Europe waiting for you to explore it.
The fascinating cultural heritage of Ilirska Bistrica and the villages around it leaves no soul untouched. The renowned Škoromati masks dance and wreak havoc during Shrovetide carnivals, driving away the gloomy Winter and ushering in Spring. Famous poets like Dragotin Kette composed their elegies here and artists expressed themselves capturing the unique atmosphere of the place. Mighty castles and magnificent mansions dot the landscape, and on every other hill there is a church with astonishing frescoes painted by masters from the early Gothic times and up to the modernist Tone Kralj. Fortresses bear witness to the Great War on Volovja Reber, brave warriors from Russia repose deep in the forest and a partisan hospital from World War II still hides in a secluded valley. Walking through the woods above the town and further north by the village of Šembije, you will stumble upon ancient walls of Illyrian hillforts and settlements. When emperor Augustus defeated the Illyrians, Romans marked their presence in the Reka Valley. On the undulating hills of Brkini, the villages are as though they were taken straight from the medieval times – the visitors of the Prem Castle can even experience a greeting by the Duke and his lovely Duchess.
Welcome to the heart of history – welcome in Ilirska Bistrica.