Begunje is the birthplace of Slovenian popular folk music and the inspiration for numerous songs by Slavko Avsenik.
The village at the foothills of the Karavanke mountains boasts numerous attractions and wonderful nature. The attractive village offers hiking paths, the ruins of Kamen Castle, the Katzenstein Mansion and park, and the exceptional musical heritage of the Avsenik family.
The brothers Slavko Avsenik and Vilko Ovsenik began creating a new type of music in their family homestead 'Pri Jožovcu' in 1953. Today it is known as popular folk music and is popular both in Slovenia and abroad.
The memory of the brothers continues to thrive in the Avsenik restaurant where every week concerts are performed by Slovenian and foreign national folk ensembles. Part of the building is occupied by the Avsenik Museum which contains an exhibition about the ensemble and its rich legacy. In summer a popular folk music weekend take place in Begunje, and the Avsenik Festival takes place biennially.
In the past a cargo route ran through Begunje over the Karavanke mountains, today, however, the road through the village leads to the ruins of Kamen Castle. The marked Lambergh Trail begins at the castle and leads past two archeological sites and continues to the Draga valley, which is the start point for numerous hikes in the Karavanke mountains. From Begunje a short hike leads to St. Peter's church above the village from where there are magnificent views.
St. Ulrich's church and the Katzenstein mansion stand in the centre of the village. Surrounding the mansion is a well-kept park with pavillions designed by famous slovenian architect Jože Plečnik.
During the second world war Begunje fell under German rule. The Germans had a prison in the mansion. There are graves of the executed hostages next to the mansion and in the Draga valley.
Today Begunje is also known for the world-renowned Elan ski and yacht factory.
Text and photos by Miran Kambič, January 2018
I was given the task of choosing and presenting 'My Favourite 10' in Radol'ca. And, since 2018 is dedicated to Slovenia's cultural heritage, it's only right that these 10 should be cultural heritage themed.
Text by Sašo Gašperin, july 2018
If Slovenes had to choose what was dearest to their heart, they would place Mt. Triglav on the very altar of their homeland. If they were to look further for the altar table, their attention would be drawn to a lush strip of land stretching between the Sava River and the villages of Žirovnica and Begunje.