Radovljica – a town full of history, beauty and charm
The aim of this post is to get you excited about visiting the town of Radovljica (sometimes shortened to Radol’ca), located just a short drive from the famous Lake Bled. In our opinion Radovljica has one of the most charming Old Town centers in Slovenia. It is also one of the most preserved ones, with houses dating from the 14th and 15th century. Scenic views of the Alps are included in your visit.
Radovljica, it feells so good to be here!
Before walking into the Radovljica Old Town we are faced with a bit of an exciting choice. It is possible to either enter through the one-time Upper Town Gate or use the only preserved moat tunnel in Slovenia from the late middle ages. Well, the moat tunnel it is for us! We walk through the tunnel all the way, our silent step is accompanied with a light medieval breeze and a thought of what the life looked like above our heads some five hunderd years or more ago …
Radovljica contains the only still-existing moat in all of Slovenia:
Once on the main square, the colorful facades of the Old Town cheerfully radiate in the bright summer sun. The main Linhartov trg square is calling to be explored and enjoyed, it is really good to be here taking in all this splendidness.
Radovljica is also filled with nice cafes and wine places:
Every Old Town House is special
We stop by the Radovljica Tourist Information Office just before the town square for a map, which will do a great job in helping us identify the important historic buildings. Here, they also supply us with Radovljica & Surroundings mini guide and a Tourist Guide of Radovljica.
We are all set for a travel back in time, while also visiting some of the town’s finest inns – with one dating back to 1822. But we will leave this for a bit later …
Let’s walk through the Old Town first!
Radovljica was first mentioned as a market town in 1333 and became a town-on-record at the end of the 15th century. You will be happy to learn that much of the original architecture is still standing and looks almost unchanged from those early days.
Possibly the most important house on Linhartov trg is the Šivec House (pictured below) which is a rare example of an entirely preserved gothic-renaissance building from the 16th century (Renaissance on the outside and Gothic within). On the ground floor is a vaulted hall, which now serves as a gallery (changing exhibitions).
Old Town’s Linhart Square was named after Radovljica’s native Anton Tomaz Linhart (1756 – 1795) – Slovenian playwright and historian, best known as the author of the first comedy and theatrical play in general in Slovene, Županova Micka (Micka, the Mayor’s Daughter).
Walking down the Old Town main street you will also pass the baroque Manor House which now among other also houses the Apicultural Museum. One of the largest attractions however is the Church of St Peter (pictured above), which is adorned by gorgeous vaults, an angel star, and a black marble altar.
A little green alien on the corner of “Nostalgia” shop and trumpets on the wall – this is also Radovljica (see photos below)! “The wall looked plain and ugly, I just wanted to make it look a bit more happy” shop owner tells us with a smile about the trumpets on the wall art installation …
The Gingerbread Museum & Shop – where the famous lect hearts are made
»Lectarstvo« is an old and renowned traditional handicraft of Slovenia. In the old days, a so called lect heart was a special romantic gift, a sort of an “engagement ring” given to a woman by a man as a proposal and promise of marriage. The honey bread could also be shaped as a little toy or a horse and given to a child for birthday.
Today, honey-bread products are precious souvenirs from Slovenia! In the Live Gingerbread Museum in Radovljica visitors can watch how this kind of bread is made and decorated. The lect hearts come in various sizes.
The bakery’s workshop is located in the basement of Gostilna Lectar, where women in traditional costume show how to bake gingerbread with historical tools and equipment. A restaurant is located on the ground floor.
Gostilna Lectar Inn was first opened to the public in 1822 on the premises of a chandlery and bakery and it is one of the oldest inns in the region. Check out its history here, and stop for a drink or lunch after visiting the downstairs Ginger Bread Museum. They also rent rooms, they are all furnished in a traditional Slovene style, doubles from 90 euros per night with breakfast included.
The Avguštin Inn for wine & views …
The town of RadovIljica has so many interesting things to see and learn about, it would be pitty not to put it on your map while visitng Bled or Bohinj. Also, since it’s so close to Lake Bled (only about 6 km away), which in the summer months is overflown with tourists, you may want to consider staying in a quiet small town like Radovljica.
Most might be also happy to hear that Radovljica has the highest amount of sunny days in the entire Gorenjska region.
Ater all, having dinner or just sipping wine on a terace of Gostilna Avguštin Inn is definitely a highlight for most travelers who know how to fully enjoy life!
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