Starting point: Valburga 357 m.a.s.l.
Goal: Smlednik / Stari grad 517 m.a.s.l.
Name of the hiking trail: Path through Calvary
Route difficulty: Easy and marked way
Estimated time: 20 min
Altitude difference: 160 m
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To the east of Zbiljsko Lake and to the north of Mounta Saint Mary, there are the ruins of the medieval castle Smlednik. The first mention of the Smlednik dates back to 1136, and the first mention of the town dates back to the year 1118. The first owner of Smlednik castle was Urh (German Udarlikus), with which the first mention was also associated.
Given the rich history of the whole area, it is not surprising that some of the most important medieval events associated with Slovenia happened here. Altogether, there were 15 major rebellions, including the Great Slovene peasant rebellion, which occurred in 1515. The Smlednik is also known for the abolition of the thrall in 1848. The fact that the Smlednik Castle began to deteriorated pretty soon is also witnessed by Valvasor’s record, which mentions ruin and desolation of this, once difficult to conquer castle.
Just below the castle, there is a very interesting depiction of Golgotha or. Jesus’ crossing. The crossing is depicted with paintings that are painted on the wall of 14 small chapels (see pictures). The path then leads to three crucifixes at the top, and in the center, of course, there is the body of Jesus Christ. Built in 1772, the chapels belong into the period of Rococo. The entire composition was renewed twice over time, in the years 1872 and 1992. The last upgrade was carried out in 2001. Today, there is a path by the chapels, leading to the ruins of the castle.
The Smlednik Castle is a wonderful location for walking, but also for exploring millennial history. In addition to creating beautiful photos, you will surely enjoy the beautiful view of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, the lake Zbilje, Mount Saint Mary and the whole of the surrounding area, the valley, and many hills.
Smlednik is definitely one among many pearls of Slovenian history, which, despite being only ruins, is a special point worth visiting. Just below the castle, you can also relax by the inn, offering quite some food and beverages.