I went to Radovljica, located near Bled and about 30 minutes from Ljubljana, after hiking around Bohinji Jezero. I spent the latter part of that rainy day exploring this small, but interesting and delicious town. Most of the points of interest are located around the old town’s Linhart Square, past the Tourist Information Center.
If you haven’t read my other entries about Bled you might be confused about how to pronounce this quaint little town. The crash course is to pronounce the “j” like the “y” in yup and the “c” like the “ts” in tsar. Oh, and roll the ‘r”. It took me half of a day staring at a map for it to finally roll off my tongue. Radovljica.
There are many buses that go to Radovljica (the station is very close to the old town) from Bled, Ljubljana, and other towns. Go to the Alpetour site to plan your trip. Pretty much everything in Radovljica is fairly kitschy, but because it is such a small town it’s very endearing. I didn’t do an exhaustive exploration of the town, but did find a couple gems.
Undoubtedly the most eye-catching (and largest) building on the square is the Radovljica Mansion. This 18th century building used to be home to the counts of the region, but now has several purposes. It is home to the Apiculture Museum, Municipal Museum, and various event venues for concerts, weddings, etc.
The Carniolan Bee is the second most widespread bee in the world, and many of those far-flung bees originated in this region of Slovenia.
Apiculture is the science and study of bee keeping, and Slovenia has one of the richest and oldest histories. This museum is oddly fascinating. Complete with some of the oldest bee keeping paraphernalia on the planet as well as an active bee hive. While the Carniolan Bee is one of the least aggressive species, if you have a bee allergy, maybe don’t visit…
This small house serves as a museum, hotel, and delicious restaurant. The museum in the lower level is still an active bakery. for lectarstvo, a traditional decorated honey dough pastry.
When I was there in October they were already gearing up for the holiday season but were kind enough to answer my questions. You could even say they were quite the busy bees as they continued their work of baking and decorating these presents.
On the ground floor the restaurant is very traditional in its decor (again, a tad on the kitsch side). Its menu has a large traditional section as well as more common dishes. I ordered a piping hot traditional goulash with dumplings that was the bee’s knees! Paired with a local red wine, I was warmed all the way down to my wet socks.
As You Walk Through Radovljica
While you’re around the bus station walk up the block to the Upravna Enota Radovljica (Municipal Offices for Radovljica). While there is nothing to see inside the building, the beautiful mosaic façade pays homage to the bees of the region.
Just west of Linhart Square, the old town moat is one of the oldest in Slovenia, and dates back to the 15th century. On the opposite end of the square is the Late Gothic style Cerkev Sv. Petra (Church of St Peter),. It was under construction so I wasn’t able to go inside but just taking a walk around the perimeter was nice.
On the south side of the square take one of the alleyways out for a bee’s-eye view over the countryside.
So now you know what all the buzz is about. Ok, no more bee puns I promise! But really, it was a great half day trip.