A trip to Žiri: a traditional town in Gorenjska

Darja | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Žiri is an intriguing little town, located 40 km out of Ljubljana. It is said the town is placed at the end of the world (even the city anthem says that!) and there are exactly 47 streets in Žiri. That being said, we cannot argue that the town is really small, but there is a lot to see and experience. Like in many other places in Slovenia, traditions are very well respected and still kept alive. Making a trip to Žiri will get you some insights into life in Gorenjska region and leave you with unforgettable memories.

For example, you can visit a local beekeeper, who might share some secrets about his work and let taste some local, delicious honey.

In ancient times there were no routes through the valley and you could only access Žiri by crossing hills and passes. Travelling from Roman Emona (a Roman city, built on the territory of present Ljubljana) to Žiri Basin would be a two-day journey – this is just unimaginable nowadays.

In Žiri Basin there used to be a lake. According to a legend the Lake Fairy who lived there was taking care of people living in the area. Then the lake drained off and the fairy gave two gifts at her departure: the art of shoemaking and bobbin lace-making.

Visit the Žiri Museum, where you can get a feeling how life was like in the past and how world wars affected it. Shoemaking was the main occupation for many people in Žiri, whereas this is still true for the ones being employed in Alpina factory, Slovenian well-known producer of footwear.

Bobbin lace-making was the main source of additional income for many women in Gorenjska region and even though many left this occupation when they got employed in a local factory, the tradition is still very well preserved. There are many exhibitions of these fine items being presented, and a great piace of art is on display in Žiri’s Cooperation hall, the installation devoted to shoemakers and bobbin lace-makers of this town.

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