Atop a pier above the Sava, the town development began in the thirteenth century, reaching its climax in the sixteenth century. The former design of the town, with administrative buildings on one side of the square and crafts and trade buildings on the other, can still be seen today. During the passage from the fifteenth to the sixteenth century, Radovljica’s walls featured as many as 16 defence towers and a moat. The town's moat
, which was subsequently partly narrowed and built over, is the only preserved town moat in Slovenia and can be visited at the western end of the Old Town.
A series of picturesque Renaissance
and Gothic town house façades
can be viewed on the southern edge of the square. The overhangs on the upper floors, as well as the small windows and house portals made from green tuff
, a volcanic rock extracted from the nearby Peračica Quarry, are particularly characteristic of these façades.
A special place among these houses belongs to the sixteenth century Šivec House,
with its front façade dominated by a fresco portraying a Good Samaritan. It is today one of the best-preserved examples of sixteenth century Slovene town architecture
Other houses of interest include Mali House
—its‘shame bench’ served as the town’s stocks; there is also Vidic House
, with its projecting corner bowfront and Renaissance façade painting, Lectar House
which boasts an inn
and a gingerbread museum
, Magušar House
with its arcaded Gothic courtyard and pottery workshop
, and some other buildings with frescoes and decorations.
The mighty Radovljica Mansion
dominates as much as one third of the square and it is, without doubt, the queen of Radovljica’s architecture. It features a Baroque façade with an opulent entrance portal and stucco-work portraits and grotesque masks; the interior is dominated by a double staircase and the exquisite Baroque Hall. The mansion houses the world-renowned Museum of Apiculture
and the Municipal Museum of Radovljica
with its permanent exhibition entitled ‘Anton Tomaž Linhart (1756–1795): Now I am thinking about how to become famous’.
In the seventeenth century, a park belonging to the Radovljica Mansion was built.
The pier atop which Radovljica’s Old Town is situated ends with a square in front of the Church of St Peter
, which is a typical example of a Gothic three-nave town church. Next to the church is a presbytery
with a sixteenth century arcadedcourtyard. On the northern side of the presbytery is a Gothic tavern
, another speciality of Radovljica’s Old Town. The oldest part of town walls feature remnants of the onetime defence towers; beneath one of these (the Vestry Tower), a German bunker situated behind the church was built during World War II. The bunker has been arranged as the Chapel of St Edith Stein