The Village of Polhov Gradec

Distance: 20 km
Direction: Ljubljana – Dobrova – Polhov Gradec

Polhov Gradec is a picturesque village situated in the middle of the Polhograjsko hribovje hills. The old village centre is dominated by the Church of the Virgin Mary's Birth (Cerkev Marijinega rojstva), a famous Baroque church built in 1736 and reconstructed in the second half of the 19th century. The church houses four paintings by the famous Baroque painter Valentin Metzinger and a painting of Virgin Mary's birth by Andrej Herrlein, which dates from 1811.

The nearby hill of Gora (824 m) was settled already back in the Early Iron Age, while in Roman times, the settlement of Ad Nonum was located in the vicinity of the present village. On the hill of Kalvarija (460 m) you can see the remains of the old castle of Polhov Gradec. The new castle, which assumed its present appearance in the 17th century, is situated in the valley next to the village, surrounded by a beautiful garden. Next to the castle, which currently houses the local museum, is a fountain with the statue of Neptune and four nymphs.

The surrounding area of Polhov Gradec is the habitat of a botanical curiosity, the small mountain shrub with fragrant flowers called Blagay's daphne (Daphne blagayana), which was first discovered there. A monument dedicated to this plant, which is in Slovenian also referred to as "the royal flower", was built at the foot of the Gora hill by Count Ursini Blagay, who lived in Polhov Gradec from 1808 to 1858.

Not far away from the village of Polhov Gradec is the village of Dvor, which is protected as a cultural heritage site. The village is renowned for the Late Gothic Church of St. Peter (Cerkev sv. Petra), which was built in 1526 and is considered to be one of Slovenia's most important 16th century buildings. The decoration of its wooden ceiling includes two inscriptions in Slovenian, a curiosity in the times when all inscriptions in churches were in Latin.

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