Posavsko Hribovje

The Posavsko hribovje hill range is the biggest Slovenian region, spreading over 1909 km2. While the name has been in popular use for ages, it has only recently been termed a subregion in the official natural-geographic regionalisation of Slovenia. The Zasavje region, however, only refers to a statistic region, consisting of three municipalities (Zagorje, Trbovlje and Hrastnik) in the middle of Posavsko hribovje.  But often the name Zasavje is also used for neighbouring municipalities Litija, ?martno pri Litiji and Radeče ? that is the case also for the Regiomarket project.The assorted tourist offer of the Posavsko hribovje region, marketed under the slogan ?Valleys and Hills for Recreational Thrills?, includes all mentioned municipalities and municipality Dol pri Ljubljani as well.  Posavsko hribovje, more precisely, Spodnja Slivna is the location of the geometric centre of Slovenia ? GEOSS.

The Posavsko hribovje region lies in a wide belt of hills alongside the Sava river, situated between the Celje Basin in the north, and the valleys of Dolenjsko podolje in the south.

Due to the outline of the terrain ? the barely traversable landscape of elongated ridges and deeply cut valleys ? the geologists discovering that this in fact was a seperate geographical unit described the hills as corrugations. Flatland is scarce around here.

Most of the hills lie between 300 m and 600 m above the mean sea level, only a few tops are above 1000 m: Kum, Čem?eni?ka planina, Mrzlica, Planina. Almost two thirds of the landscape is woodland, rich in waters. The Sava Valley is joined by transversal valleys of its tributaries: Medija, Trbovelj?čica, Boben and Sopota.

Cutting into these hills the Sava river nas formed a barely traversable gorge that was mostly avoided by transport routes and colonizers. However, there were exceptions. There was supposedly a Prehistoric Amber Road leading from the Savinja Valley, over Vače and towards Stična, linking the Baltic sea with Mediterranean. In Roman times, an important route over Trojane linked Emona and Celeia ? Ljubljana and Celje of modern day. There was also a narrow path cut into the rocky gorge alongside the river that was used for towing boats upstream, usually with oxen.

On the Sava river, boating has been present since the Roman Age and was mostly used for transport of wine and grain trade between Ljubljana and Sisak with several stopping points in the Posavsko hribovje region. Boating introduced new crafts into the region and many of the local churches were dedicated to St. Nicholas, the patron saint of boatmen and ferrymen. The river transport ended in the 19th century when the two-track railroad linking Vienna to Ljubljana was built. Later, in the 20th century the two-lane road was built as well.

Archaeological finds indicate that the region has been populated since prehistoric times. There are several archaeological sites with finds from the Neolithic, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age; the most interesting is the late Iron Age site in vicinity of the village Vače. This is the site where the magnificent Vače Situla was found, a bronze pail with narrative ornamentation. Later, this area was populated by the Illyrians and the Celts, then it became a part of the Roman Empire, and was finally populated by the Slavs in the 6th century.

Even though mining was well developed in the region (e.g. galena, zink ore, silver and other ores mined in the Sitarjevec mine near Litija) the region was transformed when lignite was found around Zagorje, Trbovlje and Hrastnik. This has had great impact on the region, still visible in the mining and industrial legacy of the region. Coal mining was started in 1755 when first coal was dug out around ?emnik, and it reached its peak in the 19th century when the railroad was built. The mines have gradually been closing over the recent years and the coal is now only mined in Trbovlje and Hrastnik.

The valleys of the Sava river and its tributaries host many larger settlements; Dol pri Ljubljani, Jevnica, Kresnice, Litija and Radeče grew on the broad river plains while settlements like Sava, Zagorje, Trbovlje and Hrastnik were constrained in their development by the surrounding hills.

The settlements in this region are typically small and dispersed, the biggest is Trbovlje. In the region as a whole the population is gradually growing. The average population density is 70 people/km2.

This dynamic landscape is rich with numerous valleys, crests, ridges and tops, which makes it very attractive for hiking and walking. The tops are wonderful vantage points. Many of them have catered cabins and lodges with marked trails leading to them, including the European Long Distance Path E6, the Badjur circular trail and the Zasavska hiking trail, but hikers often choose other tops as destinations as well. The Posavsko hribovje trademark includes 25 interesting paths of various lenghts and grades. The paths have 28 checkpoints where hikers can rest and refresh themselves and stamps to mark the brochure Posavsko hribovje Hiking Trail. Posavsko hribovje also offers a number of natural free climbing sites.

Large meadows and woods are also interesting for hores lovers. On the outer rim of the region there is a 255 km long riding path, with shortes paths connecting different points in the region. The paths have a network of checkpoints and rest stops for riders and horses. The combined offer is collected in the brochure Riding Paths of the Posavsko hribovje.

This landscape is also perfect for cycling, for this enables the visitors the chance to uncover the hidden beauty. There are 33 cycling roads in the region, both for recreational cyclists and families with children taking time to see the landscape. The roads are compiled in the brochure Cycling roads of Posavsko hribovje. They are all marked and are of various lenghts and grades, the longest is a 140 km long transversal road.

The slopes of Posavsko hribovje are attractive in winter as well. The visitors can choose from several skiing slopes in the region. Even ski jumping is available.

Entering the Litija Plain, the Sava river is rather calm, but when it continues into the Sava gorge its current becomes faster and the landscape more varied. In Litija, Hrastnik and Radeče visitors are able to feel the water by rafting or woodrafting.

In addition to diverse natural beauty, the Posavsko hribovje region is rich with cultural heritage. This was the reason for compiling the most interesting points of natural and cultural heritage in the catalogue Knocking on the Door of Heritage.

The culinary specialities of the region are another exceptional element of the local cultural heritage. Some of them are unique to this region and go back to the mining days: jeternica (liver sausage), fun?terc (miners' sun), grenadirmar? (potatoes and pasta), krumpantoč (potato steak) and others.

Welcome to Posavsko hribovje!