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You already know the reasons to visit Slovenia, and maybe you’ve planned your trip, but are you sure you’ve added every must-visit spot in the country? Novo Mesto, near the Croatian border, is a small city rich in history, and with so much to see and do in Slovenia, it can often get overlooked. Check out the reasons to add Novo Mesto, Slovenia to your bucket list.
1. Cathedral of St Nicholas
This Gothic church was built in the 15th century and sits atop a hill overlooking Novo Mesto’s Old Town. The Cathedral of St. Nicholas is filled with history, from the crypts to the paintings adorning the walls and ceilings, said to be painted by Jacopo Tintoretto of Venice in the 16th century. The stained glass windows of the church are also stunningly gorgeous, with vibrant colors radiating throughout the space. The Provost’s House is on the same grounds and is another popular site to visit. The small yellow home was built in the 15th century and quite literally, holds the keys to the Cathedral.
2. Water activities on the Krka River
If you want to get active in the warm summer months, head to the Krka River for your fill of freshwater adventures. The Krka River is home to great rafting, swimming holes, kayaking, and fishing, as well as hiking trails and cycling paths all around the area. The river heads right through the city of Novo Mesto, making getting to any of these activities, easy. If you’re looking for a change of scenery, head out to the small village of Krka, in the Krka Valley, just north of Novo Mesto.
3. Old Town Novo Mesto
The historic center of Novo Mesto is so charming and quaint, as well as full of history, that you can’t miss out on days exploring the captivating streets. The town was founded in the historic center, located along the bend of the Krka River in the 14th century by Habsburg Duke Rudolf IV. Today, the Old Town of Novo Mesto is bursting with rich cultural heritage waiting to be explored. Start at the historic Main Square, the heart of Old Town, and make your way through the cobblestone streets and alleyways. Be sure to stop by the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, as well as St. Leonard’s Church, and Kette’s Fountain.
4. Anton Podbevsek Theatre
If you’re an art fan, the Anton Podbevsek Theatre is a must. The theater is a popular attraction for both visitors and local Slovenians alike, offering award-winning productions, including up to four original premiers each year. The theater was named for Slovenian performance artists, Anton Podbevsek, whose name means “Man with Bomb” in Slovenian. The theater is known as the premier destination for modern and avant-garde art in the country, so if you’re an art fanatic, you simply have to stop by.
5. Dolenjska Region Archaeology
The region around the municipality of Novo Mesto is rich in archaeological history and treasures, so get your shovels ready. The region’s archaeology is ranked the most important cultural history in the region, with artifacts from the Early Iron Ages, or Hallstatt Period, as well as the archaeological site of Kapitelj Field, just outside the city of Novo Mesto.
6. Medieval Castles
For a small city, Novo Mesto and the surrounding area is home to a fair share of castles. Check out Grm Castle, built in 1586 as a home as well as the defense point against the Turks. Castle Otocec is another popular spot, in the middle of the Krka River. The 13th-century castle was burnt down in the 1940s and was rebuilt shortly after, nowadays used as a hotel. Struga Castle sits high above the river boasting incredible views, while the Stari Grad Castle is home to some of the richest history in the region. History buffs rejoice!