Goricko Landscape Park is located in the northernmost part of Slovenia, part of the Mura region on the left bank of the Mura River. This is perhaps the least developed area of the country, which is why the state has set itself the goal of catching up in recent years. Its 462 km2 area includes a total of 90 villages and 23,000 inhabitants.
It's a fairytale region surrounded by three other landscape parks: the Austrian Naturpark Raab, the Hungarian Őrség National Park and the Kerka-mente Nature Park. The idea of creating a three-ethnic landscape park arose in the early 1990s.
The streams, the forested ridges and the sloping hillsides invite tourists to explore. The thatched farm buildings, the old mills and the traditional flavours complete the Slovenian rural idyll.
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The Goricko Landscape Park is part of the Prekmurje region in the Mura Region. Practically the entire Hungarian minority in Slovenia lives here.
Why is Goricko unique?
Some live here permanently, while others use the old houses as holiday homes. Some have opened inns and are waiting for the tourists with food and accommodation. The delicacies are baked for tourists in the houses and in the oven. Traditionally made homemade products, such as pumpkin seed oil, are excellent souvenirs.
The agricultural character, the orchards, the vineyards, the fields, the meadows, and the arable lands mosaic the landscape. They blend harmoniously with the villages and smaller towns. The soil in the countryside is not fertile, so it also took the ingenuity of the people living here to start agriculture. Locals realized how to use the earth, the rain, and the sunlight. Man and nature have long lived symbiosis, creating this diverse cultural landscape.
There is still plenty of land for farming today. One of the basic rules of the locals is that every house should have at least as many grapes as the home-grown wine. The orchards of Goricko were already popular in the Middle Ages. Hundreds of fruits grow on cultivated trees today.
In some places, you can still see relics of old peasant architecture and learn about handicraft traditions that no longer exist in the rest of the country. Many foreigners who have rebuilt abandoned homesteads live in the Goricko region today.
Tourists visiting Goricko are sure to head to Slovenia’s largest castle, the 365-room triangular castle in the village of Grad. All we know for sure about the time of its construction is that it was already here in the 11th century.
- It is said that the knights built it as a temporary accommodation, and based on the excavated finds, it is probable that it later became the property of Hungarian feudal lords.
- During World War II, Soviet soldiers were stationed in the castle and later inhabited by poor families until the start of the renovation.
- Today, an information centre in the castle provides a detailed exhibition where you can learn about the castle's history and the countryside.
- Traditional Prekmurje wines are tasted in the cellar, and the halls serve as wedding venues.
- A spectacular English park has been created around the castle, with special types of wood in it.
- At the foot of the soft hills of the landscape parks, the Pannonian Sea was once undulating, and its traces are still preserved by the many millions of years old fossil shells that can be seen everywhere.
- The history of the Goricko Landscape Park is rich, as evidenced by archaeological excavations. Traces of ancient urn burials have been uncovered in the area, but Romans, Slavs, Germans, Hungarians and Turks have also left their mark in the countryside. As a result, Goricko has become such a diverse and diverse region.
- From an economic point of view, it is considered one of Slovenia's most backwards parts, but this does not always disadvantage the countryside.
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