The main square Trg svobode is surrounded by castle, commandry of the German Knights Order and the building of the former savings and loan bank. The pastoral centre with its archaeological heritage located next to St. Peter’s parish church and the gothic Church of the Holy Spirit are a testament to the town’s long history. The Church of the Holy Spirit dates back to the 15th century and is located on ancient grounds that were inhabited during the Neolithic Period. Today, after a complete renovation, it reopened in 2007 as a cultural venue. Nearby, you will find Primožič House, the home of local craftsmen.
With prior arrangements, groups like to visit Črnomaljska klet, a wine tasting cellar of the Wine Information Centre Bela krajina. Many also visit the impressive monument in remembrance of those killed in the Second World War at Griček hill. Bela krajina was the cradle of partisanship and memorial plaques on many buildings all around Črnomelj bear witness to the importance of the town in that period. The Museum of Brown Coal Mine Kanižarica located near Črnomelj tells the story of the town's industrial past.
Through the squares of Metlika to museum collections
Discover the treasures of Metlika in three picturesque squares!
In the Mestni trg square, there are the Church of St. Nicholas, the provost’s house and commandry – the former seat of German Knights Order. Among the multi-storey houses lined next to the former town wall, you can also spot the building of the first reading society in the regions of Dolenjska and Bela krajina. The memorial plaques around the old town centre tell the story of important Slovenians who were born and worked in Metlika. In the Trg svobode square, there is an impressive castle that is home to Bela krajina Museum, civil wedding hall and tourist information centre. The memorial park in front of the castle is full of statues and memorial plaques in remembrance of those killed in the National Liberation Front, as well as busts of important people from Bela krajina.
The Slovenian Firefighting Museum with the collection of the first firefighting brigade in Slovenia and the building of first savings and loan bank in Dolenjska and Bela krajina are situated in this square as well.
Along the main road and close to the old town centre, there is the Kambič Gallery with a rich art collection donated to the town of Metlika by academician Dr Vinko Kambič and his wife Vilma Bukovec, a well-known opera diva. In Metlika, you can also find the biggest wine-cellar in Bela krajina at the farm cooperative KZ Metlika. All this and more can be seen if you take part in the walk around Metlika that is organised every year on Metlika Day, the town's holiday.
Behind defensive walls in Semič
Towns and market towns in Bela krajina had an important defensive role throughout history. While the two rivers provided Črnomelj with a good natural defence and Metlika could similarly defend well due to its strategic location between the river and the Veselica hill, Semič on the other hand had to be heavily fortified during the time of the Turkish raids. Its parish church of St. Stephen, built in the baroque classicism style, and Tabor house are surrounded by a partly preserved defensive wall that served as defence against the Turks. Today, the Tabor house hosts various cultural events and painting exhibitions.
You can find out more about the history of Semič in the Local Museum Collection where you can also see the interior of an old Bela krajina vineyard cottage and the natural science collections on geology and protected natural areas of Bela krajina. Cultural Centre Semič organises theatre plays and serves as a congress, conference and seminar venue. In the immediate vicinity of the town centre, there is the learning garden of Dr Derganc where you can learn more about fruit growing and agricultural traditions in Bela krajina.
Semič is also famous for its beekeepers and their honey. Why not taste it?