Visit the medieval town of Kamnik.
Discover the secrets of rich history
Back in the 15th century, Kamnik was surrounded with 3 to 10 metres high walls and a moat. Four gates led into the medieval town.
The first written sources about Kamnik go back to 1229. The two castles of Kamnik, Mali grad and Stari grad, were mentioned even earlier. The town boasts a rich Franciscan Library, where about 10,000 volumes of books printed before the end of the 18th century are kept. Šutna is the most beautiful street in the town, featuring typical signboards and other signs of the lively craft activities in the past. Take a stroll along the street and discover numerous attractions, including the birthplace of Rudolf Maister, the parish church of Mary Immaculate with a separate Gothic spire, the Sadnikar museum and the birthplaces of many other renowned inhabitants of Kamnik. The Samec pass marks the end of the Šutna Street. In the past, there was a natural slope, which divided Šutna from the medieval town, acting like a natural barrier.
Stari grad or in German Oberstein was first mentioned in 1207, though it is very likely it had been erected already in the 12th century and is thus one of the oldest castles in the eastern Carniola region. Excellent location of the Stari grad Hill and just the right amount of the visibility enabled the control of the medieval trade route that led through the town. To make the control of transport routes even more effective, Mali grad Castle stood on the rocky hill on the other side of the river. Today, Stari grad Castle Hill is a magnificent outlook point, where you can enjoy the panorama of Polhov Gradec hills, Julian Alps, Karawanks, Kamnik-Savinja Alps and Tuhinj Valley, if the weather is nice. The spot is popular among hikers and families, as the ascent is not that difficult and takes only 30 minutes. On top of Stari grad hill, Grajska terasa will offer you refreshment.
The Franciscans in Kamnik
The written records of the church of St James go back to 1423. Immediately after moving here, the monks began to the friary next to the church building. At that time, the townspeople of Kamnik lived in fear because of the Turkish invasions and transferred the relics of St. Primus and Felician, located in the Gothic church on the hill of St Primus above Kamnik, to the church in the centre of the town. The chapel of the Holy Sepulchre, the work of renowned Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik, is full of symbolism. In the last years of his life, he created several monuments in Kamnik and its surroundings. The real treasure of the friary is the library, which holds a number of incunabula, including the Dalmatin's translation of the Bible, published in 1584 in Wittenberg. The library does not only contains religious literature, but includes books from several different fields, including the history of medicine.