Novo Mesto is not yet a well-known destination in Slovenia, but it does not take away from its values. It is worth visiting only because of the beautiful villages around it. It is also called the metropolis of the Dolenjska region and, indeed, its role is central in almost every way.
Even before our time, it was one of Europe's most important cultural centres, where the Romans left their mark. Today, it has a population of 23,000 and is the 7th largest city in Slovenia, with a significant industrial presence.
Map - Where is Novo Mesto?
Novo Mesto is located in the southwestern part of Slovenia, only a few kilometres from the Croatian border. It is located almost halfway between Zagreb and Ljubljana. The river of the town is the river Krka, which was built on both sides of the settlement.
- Distance from Ljubljana: 1 hour / 70 km
- Distance from Zagreb: 1.5 hours / 80 km
The town was built along one of the meanders of the Krka River, in an area that was already inhabited during the Stone Age. Due to the routes, the favorable conditions of the area and the pleasant climate, smaller settlements developed here even in the early Iron Age.
Almost every year, finds are found around the city that reaffirm that Novo mesto is 8-1. Between the 16th century, it was one of the most culturally significant cities in Europe. In Roman times, the strategically significant military and trade route from Ljubljana to the East passed here.
In the Middle Ages, the city and its trade were also under the control of royal families and the church. Later, the Habsburgs tried to assert their power here, in 1365 IV. The Austrian Archduke Rudolf granted city rights to the town, which was then renamed Rudolfswerd.
Handicrafts became the determining factor in the trade and economy of the settlement. He managed to survive the Turkish wars relatively fortunately, not least thanks to its massive city walls. In 1786, most of the walls were demolished, and the stones were used to build new houses.
#1 Old Town
Breg, a part of the old town, was built from the worn-out city walls, whose houses follow the line of the old city wall. Remains of the original wall can still be discovered in one or two places today.
#2 Main Square
The main square of Novo mesto is Glavni trg, which was the heart of the city in the Middle Ages and with its restaurants and shops. Its charming arches and arcaded courtyards are almost symbols of the settlement. It hosts the most important events, open-air exhibitions and fairs in the life of the city.
Glavni trg was established in the second half of the 16th century, and around it you can see the houses of the city's wealthiest merchants. Here also stood the original Town Hall, built in 1720, which was demolished in the early 20th century and replaced with the new one seen today. On its façade it bears the coat of arms of the city, on it IV. Representing Rudolf.
There are also two religious communities in the city. In 1472, the Franciscans fleeing the Turks found a home here, at which time they built the church and convent of St. Leonard next to the Town Hall.
The monks played an important role in the city's education system, especially after the founding of Maria Theresa in 1746. He made the Franciscans their leaders. The school operated under the direction of the monks until 1870, when it became the property of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.
The building, with its rich library, ornate interior and renaissance tombstones, still attracts many visitors today. In addition to the Franciscans, the Capuchins were also active in the city from 1672 to 1786. they also had a monastery.
#3 Church of St. Nicholas
The church of St. Nicholas was used as a church until 2006, when it became a cathedral after the establishment of the diocese of Novo Mesto. It was already standing in the 15th century, and the church at the highest point of the peninsula was rebuilt in the 17th century, and its tower can be seen for miles.
Its most valuable monument is the altarpiece depicting St. Nicholas, created by the Italian Renaissance painter Jacopo Robusto Tintoretto.
#4 House of Nations
In the heart of the historic center of Novo mesto is the Narodni dom, the House of Nations, built in 1873-1885. built between. From the second half of the 19th century onwards, the revival of nations began in the countries of central and eastern Europe, and Slovenia was not left out.
In Novo mesto, associations and movements that unite local communities became even closer. The Narodni dom was built as a reading room, but it was no secret that it was meant to serve the purpose of nation-building. In the following years, a library and music school were opened in it, and then it became the headquarters of the Sokoli Sports Association, which is why it is also called the Sokoli House.
#5 Provost's house
Among the famous buildings of Novo mesto is the House of the Prostate, which has been standing since 1493. The simple but massive building features Latin inscriptions and three coats of arms above the gate. In the house you can see portraits of the city’s 24 provosts, as well as an interesting collection of theological and archival books.
On the first floor is a chapel whose ceiling frescoes were made by the baroque painter Anton Cebe in the late 18th century. The baroque altar in the chapel is also remarkable. There are many events in the courtyard during the summer months.
Undoubtedly the most beautiful part of Novo mesto is Breg, which literally means a steep beach. The houses of this part of the city were built on the site of the demolished city walls, so the remains of the wall can still be seen in the basements and basements of the buildings. The foundations of the houses were often made of rocks on the banks of the river Krka.
In Breg lived the less affluent city dwellers, e.g. merchants trading in dried meat and vegetables, landlords renting rooms, laundries. A II. until World War II, the women of Breg rented rooms to high school students, hence the nickname “student mothers”.
The buildings here lack decorations, they have been excavated halfway into the ground, and their southern façade rises above the river Krka. These buildings have also changed over time, but their original layout has been preserved.
The rows of houses - precisely because of their modest appearance - almost blend into the environment, are in harmony with nature, and are an integral part of Breg Novo mesto’s identity.
About the area
Outside the city limits of Novo mesto you can see 8 medieval castles. Their task was to protect the countryside, and today most of them have a museum, where we can see the finds that have surfaced locally.
As in much of Slovenia, Novo mesto is ideal for hiking, cycling on nature trails and beautiful parks.