Its border location has given both residents an advantage and a disadvantage in Brezice's turbulent history. It played a strategic role during the Turkish wars, and the Habsburg Empire provided huge sums of money to strengthen the city's defence system.
Proof of this is the castle, which is still in excellent condition, where the Posavje Regional Museum now operates. However, the Military Border Guard also caused much trouble for the city. It was first occupied by the Turks, then by the Germans during the two world wars, and finally annexed to Yugoslavia.
The name of its settlement comes from the Slovenian word breg, meaning river bank, but there is no trace of a river or even a stream in the city. The Sava used to cross Brezice, but over time it changed direction and left the city so that the buildings that used to stand on the waterfront are now on dry heights.
Map - Where is Brezice located?
- Distance from Ljubljana: 1 hour / 110 km
- Distance from Novo Mesto: 30 minutes / 45 km
Brezice is not short of attractions. The Catez thermal spring and the wine cellars dug into the diatomaceous earth called repnice can be found here. The spa built around the spring is now known throughout Europe.
#1 Water tower
Although Brezice is a medieval town, its symbol does not date from that period. It is a 46 m high water tower on the oldest street in the old town, built in 1914 on the remains of the old city wall. The pink tower already marks the city from the highway.
Its octagonal dome preserves old German traditions, similar to that found only in Kranj in Slovenia. The water tower is no longer in use today, and a café has been set up on the ground floor and ideas for the use of the building are constantly being developed.
#2 Old pharmacy
One of the oldest buildings in Brezice is the old pharmacy, with a peculiarly twisted chimney on top. This type of chimney is typical in Italy but is a rarity in Slovenia, especially in this region. The former pharmacy now houses a restaurant.
Brezice is waiting
#3 Castle of Brezice
The castle of Brezice in the heart of the old town attracts many tourists. Spectacular Renaissance building with stunning Baroque-style rooms. The regional museum is also located here.
The castle was built in the 11th century by the order of the Archbishop of Salzburg. It became the property of the Habsburgs in the 15th century, and the next century held many turns for the castle.
It was located on the border of the Austro-Hungarian-Turkish territories and was of strategic importance. During a Turkish attack, he became almost nothing. The Habsburgs then decided to build a smaller castle in its place.
For this, Italian masters were hired, who finally proved their competence, as, during the peasant uprising of 1573, the castle of Brezice was the only one in the entire Posavje region that could not be overthrown during the siege.
The museum offers exhibitions related to ethnography, painting, archeology and modern history. The most beautiful part of the castle is the Ceremony Hall, the most luxurious baroque hall in all of Slovenia.
One of the most interesting sights in Slovenia, but less well known by foreign tourists, is the Repnice wine cellars, mainly characteristic of the Bizeljsko region. In the 18th century, they were mainly used to store crops, and in the 1990s, they began to be converted into wine cellars.
Dozens of them are open to tourists, although due to bureaucratic hurdles, few have been permitted to officially call themselves a repnice. The temperature in the cellars is 5-10 degrees, and the humidity is around 96%, which is just right for storing wine.
The beautifully patterned flint walls of the cellars have been shaped by nature with millions of years of work, so every detail is unique and unrepeatable.
In the vicinity of Brezice there are also opportunities for active recreation. The two ecologically protected areas, Jovsi and Dobrava, are also located here.
- Jovsi is a grassy, floodplain area between the river Sotla and the mountain Kapelske Gorice, which was regularly flooded by the river before the regulations. Today it has become a marshy, swampy area with rich wildlife and 80 different bird species.
- Dobrava is located on the other side of the mountain, in a hornbeam, oak area with plenty of small streams. The combined area of Jovsi and Dobrava is approx. 3000 hectares are open to tourists all year round.
You can also take a guided tour, and learn more about the history of the countryside in an interactive exhibition at the information center. On the outskirts of Jovsi, approx. There is also a bird-watching station 1 km from the visitor center.