Ajdovscina is the largest settlement in the Vipava Valley, the economic and cultural center of the region. It could be a completely average small Slovenian town, but it is not. It is the only city in Slovenia founded by the Romans and is still surrounded by city walls in an almost intact condition.
Ajdovscina's name was made known far and wide by artists such as the painter and graphic artist Veno Pilon or the Renaissance painter born here, Anton Cebej.
Map - Where is Ajdovscina located?
Ajdovscina is located in the Vipava valley, which can be found on the western part of Slovenia. From Ljubljana, you will find the village within a comfortable distance.
2.500 years ago, the Romans established a fortified settlement here called Fluvidium Frigidum, which was an important stop on the Via Gemina road from Italy to Pannonia and the Balkans. In 451, King Attila destroyed the settlement on his way to Italy.
Here, the history of Ajdovscina is interrupted for a time. The closest account of it is from the 1500s. In 1507, Emperor Miksa I granted the settlement the rights of a market town, thus starting the path of development.
Today, the town also preserves Roman and medieval buildings, thanks to which it has a special atmosphere. They are found in large numbers in the eastern part of the city, including the city walls and the beautiful Renaissance arches.
#1 Sturje district
Built on the banks of the Hubelj River, Sturje was originally an independent settlement. Its houses are grouped around the church of St. Giuseppe, centered on an irregularly shaped square from which narrow streets branch outwards.
Exciting details of this part of the city are the ornate facades, small courtyards and squares, with many special architectural solutions.
#2 Roman towers
The town of Ajdovscina is surrounded by 13 Roman towers. They once protected the area. The 22 m high part of the city wall is preserved in the best condition in the north-eastern part of the settlement. In some sections, a prosthesis added to them can be seen in the Middle Ages.
You can go up to the towers, but it is better to look at them from the outside, because the inside is often in an unworthy state.
#3 City wall
You can also walk along the road running through the city walls, through small squares and the main square of the city, which served as a forum for the Romans.
#4 Roman baths
In the area of today's market, in the southern part of the city, you can still see the ruins of the ancient Roman baths. These were not only used for toilet purposes at the time, but social life also took place here.
#5 Old mill
There is also a museum in the old mill of the city, with fossils and fossils excavated on site. Stanislav Bacar has collected more than 1,200 finds here, including rarities that were first discovered in Slovenia in the world.
These were baptised after the Slovenian cities. The history of Fluvio Frigido, first founded here, can be traced back to the Middle Ages.
For those interested in archeology, the area around Ajdovscina has many attractions. There were many Roman settlements in the countryside, the remains of which can still be seen scattered today. Gradisce above the town now merged with Ajdovscina, but was formerly an independent settlement.
#7 Nelcic and Ledenica Caves
There are also two caves in the vicinity of Ajdovscina, which tourists can only visit with security equipment and professional guidance. Below the nearby village of Brje is the 600 m long Nelcic Cave and the Ledenica Ice Cave near Dol.
It is connected to a natural sink and reaches a depth of 150 m. The cavers of the Ajdovscina Cavers' Association provide guidance for exploring the caves.
There are many opportunities for hiking and cycling in the Vipava Valley. There are both short-haul and long-haul routes to choose from, depending on whether you want to roam the area for just a few hours or an entire day.
All seasons are ideal for excursions here, in winter only the sharp wind can be an inconvenience.