The history of Trebnje Library goes back to 1962, when teacher France Režun set up a small reading room in the Prosvetni dom. It is named after Pavel Golia (1887–1959), one of the most important Slovene authors of plays for young audiences. At the outset the library had 1,800 books, but this has since increased to more than 70,000 units of book and multimedia material available to approximately 4,700 registered members. Today the Pavel Golia Library is the public library of Municipality of Trebnje, with three additional lending branches in Mirna, Šentrupert, and Mokronog. The facility also houses an e-point, where users are able to access the Internet. The library organises various cultural events, story telling hours and creative workshops for children, literary evenings, book presentations, literary tea parties, and exhibitions. In 2009 they launched the project “Our Club of Fantasy” [Naš klub domišljije] in cooperation with Dob Prison, the aim of which is to encourage literary and artistic activity among the prisoners, whose contributions are then published in a collection.
Mikl House Library is the municipal library for the Ribnica and its surroundings, also encompassing the two branches in Sodražica and Loški Potok. The library was founded in 1946 but only acquired proper premises in 1991 within the restored Mikl House. Today the 307 square-metre library, featuring an 18-seat reading room, houses a collection of around 71,000 items.
The Mikl House Library, Ribnica cooperates closely with the Mikl House Gallery which is locate din that same house, organising joint concerts, literary evenings, exhibitions, lectures, and also events for children.
Located in the small town of Ribnica, the Mikl House Gallery has a rather long history that goes all the way back to 1972. Nowadays the gallery runs a well curated series of contemporary visual art exhibitions, takes care of its strong art collection, collaborates with a local private collector and runs educational and workshop programmes. It is a part of the Mikl House cultural complex, also featuring the Mikl House Library on the second floor. The gallery is administered by the Public Institute Ribnica Handicraft Centre.
Originally established under the name Petkova Galerija in the early 1970s, the gallery used to be located in the premises of the Ribnica Castle and was the first space in town dedicated to art exhibitions (which were previously hosted in the local school and health centre). Later, in 1988, its programme and collections moved nearby to the ground floor of the Mikl House, a former mansion that was renovated and adapted to the needs of the gallery as well as the local library in 1991.
In 1979, on the initiative of the painter Jože Centa, artist’s symposiums started to be organised in Ribnica and up until 1991 artists, critics, curators and local personage were meeting there. This meeting are the basis of many a public sculpture as well as the source of the 350 piece art collection that is owned by the Mikl House Gallery.
For a time the library and gallery were administered together with the Museum of Ribnica. In 2011 the Public Institute Ribnica Handicraft Centre was formed to run the gallery, the museum and a programme of promoting and researching the local heritage of handicrafts.
A regular programme of contemporary art exhibitions is held at the gallery, often featuring established curators from around Slovenia that present the work of contemporary artists like Jaka Babnik, Maja Smrekar, Sanela Jahić, Katja Felle, Pila Rusjan, Sašo Sedlaček, and BridA.
The annual exhibition from the Riko Art Collection presents parts of the rich art collection of the Riko Company’s director Janez Škrabec, also one of the most visible contemporary patrons of Slovene culture. In 2015 the gallery collaborated with ArTcevia, an international contemporary art festival from Italy.
The gallery ownes and takes care of an important art collection which includes around 350 works of art dating from the 1980s and 1990s by Slovene artists Mirsad Begić, Gustav Gnamuš, Emerik Bernard, Lujo Vodopivec, Matjaž Počivavšek, Janez Bernik, Dragica Čadež, Zdenko Huzjan, Dušan Tršar, Zdenka Žido, Marjetica Potrč, Marjan Gumilar, Sandi Červek, Bojan Gorenc, Marija Rus, Lojze Logar, Andraž Šalamun, Tugo Šušnik, Jože Barši, Mirko Bratuša, and Sergej Kapus.
The second, so called didactic collection contains 82 works of art. It is showing different techniques and genres as well as the key Slovene authors in visual arts. It was created together with the Slovenian Association of Fine Arts Societies (ZDSLU). The second part of this collection also includes several works by old masters, including Meister H G G, Valentin Metzinger, Matevž Langus, Ivan Franke, and Ivan Grohar, plus three golden altars dating from 1648.
The capacities of the gallery do not allow for a permanent exhibition of either of the collections. However, these works are regularly shown in smaller thematic clusters through temporary exhibitions, art workshops and courses.
A part of the Mikl House Gallery collection are also works of a public character, created during the Art meetings between the years 1978 and 1991. Besides sculptures (there is a miniature Forma Viva-like park in front of the Ribnica Castle) there are also various sculptures and paintings integrated into the local public buildings.
The gallery runs annual, year long visual arts school programmes, one meant for people over 15 and another for primary school children. These are complemented by various sporadic projects, like the year-long photography workshop series in 2015, led by Jaka Babnik.
Metlika People’s Library is a public library with a collection of more than 40,000 items. Its aim is to educate, inform and offer cultural events to the local population. It has a branch in Gradac and mobile book collections in Radovica and Suhor. The library has 1,640 registered readers who borrow around 53,000 items each year. It also has a reading room which seats 26 people. It organises and hosts numerous events including book presentations, storytelling hours, literary and cultural meetings, and various educational projects.
The library serves as the cultural and information centre of Metlika Municipality and cooperates with the regional Centre for Lifelong Learning. Several projects are organised, catering to all age groups, from children to elderly people. Adults and secondary school pupils are encouraged to participate in the library’s book clubs, which meet monthly to discuss selected books.
In cooperation with the Metlika Centre for Social Work, the Metlika People’s Library prepares an array of activities for the Romani people in the region, including events in the library, as well as workshops, storytelling hours, and puppet shows for children that take place in Romani settlements. In 2011, the project “Romani People Invited to the Library” (Romi, povabljeni v knjižnico) was granted the International Reading Association Award for Innovative Reading Promotion in Europe, sponsored by the International Development in Europe Committee (IDEC) of the International Reading Association.
Librarians also pay monthly visits to the Metlika Retirement Home to bring books, as well as read to and discuss them with the elderly who cannot come to the library. The mobile library strives to bring a selection of books, films, and cartoons to remote parts of the Metlika Municipality.
Kostel Castle lies above the settlement of Kostel in south-eastern Slovenia, on a steep hill above the Kolpa River. The entire castle complex includes the castle, the settlement and the Gothic church of St. Three Kings. The castle itself forms the second largest castle complex in Slovenia, after the Celje Castle. It is also the only still-inhabited castle complex in Slovenia. Kostel Castle is an important cultural-historical monument, which opened its doors to the public in the beginning of summer of 2018, after two decades of gradual reconstruction.
The Kostel Castle probably existed already in the 12th century, but it was first mentioned in written record in 1336 as “castrum Grafenwarth”, which means fortress, a refuge. Its first owners were the Counts of Ortenburg, vassals of the Patriarchate of Aquileia. In 1418, the Counts of Celje inherited the castle and expanded it into a formidable fortress, one of the largest in the Carniola region. At that time, the castle served as a border fortress in defence of the house’s landholdings in Carniola, and later in the defence against the Ottoman invasions. After the death of prince Ulrich II of Celje in 1456 and the extinction of the house, the castle was taken over, according to the hereditary contract, by the Habsburgs. Since 1620, it has been in the possession of various owners.
The castle had an important strategic position, as the local area presents the most transitive route across the Kolpa River. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle was a border fortification against Ottoman invasions, as it stood along one of the Ottomans’ most frequent incursion routes into the Slovenian territory. The Ottomans attacked the castle several times, but they managed to conquer it only in 1578, by deception – dressed up as Croatian peasants and pretending to be refugees in need of refuge. After this incursion, the castle and village were burnt, and only 7 of 300 farms remained. The fortress was then demolished once again in 1809, when Napoleon’s troops destroyed it, along with the settlement. The castle was not restored after this, only the so-called Lower Castle, leaning against the walls of the old castle, but it too was burnt down, by Partisans in 1943, so that the units of the enemy Home Guard could not settle there.
In the 1990s, the state of Slovenia began to renovate the castle, and in 2014 it was handed over to the Municipality of Kostel, to its Institute for Culture and Tourism, which brought the reconstruction to its present look.
After the opening in 2018, the castle in its renovated part hosted an exhibition on peasant uprisings, and various events. Chamber concerts, exhibitions, performances and workshops also take place there.
Though the Kočevje Library was officially founded in 1951, its roots can be traced back to 1919, when a national reading room was established in the city. Today it strives to provide information to and foster cultural awareness in the population of the region. The premises encompass an adult department, a children’s department, which also features a fairy-tale room, where the youngest of library-goers can read and play, a reading and study room, and a gallery suitable for smaller exhibitions. The media department offers a selection of DVD titles, while in the music corner members can listen to a variety of genres and artists. The library hosts several events, such as story-telling hours, lectures, literary evenings, author meetings, creative workshops, and exhibitions.
Established in 2013, Baza 13 handles and hosts an array of cultural, educational, and entertainment events. Primarily aimed at the local youth (it was founded by the Kočevje Student Club), Baza 13 is nevertheless also open to the wider community of those interested in the arts. Its programme includes concerts, exhibitions, poetry readings, film screenings, round-tables on local issues, and socialising events; it collaborates with other local festivals and also on community actions.
The club works with other initiatives from the region, like the Society of Kočevje Musicians and the Muzikalija Society. It actively forefronts the local artists, especially the upcoming musicians, and cooperates on initiatives like that of a compilation album that presented the local music production. The former is often presented on concert evenings.
Some of the bands and musicians who have graced the stage of Baza 13 were Barb Wire Dolls (GR), Erotic Market (FR), Damir Avdić (BA), Lovely Quinces (HR), Miki Solus (HR), Moonlight Sky, Štefan Kovač Marko Banda, Same Babe, and Muškat Hamburg. The venue also hosted the I love HC and I hate metal festivals and is one of the stops for the Club Marathon.
The Baraga Homestead is a birthplace of Friderik Irenej Baraga (1797–1868), a bishop, missionary, and linguist. The two rooms in his manor in Mala vas, a village near Trebnje in the Dolenjska region, display his personal belongings and documentation of his missionary activities among the native peoples of North America. The collection is managed by the Archbishop’s Ordinariate in Ljubljana. Part of Baraga’s collection, however, is on display at the Slovene Ethnographic Museum and represents the oldest non-European contribution to the museum (donated by the missionary himself in 1837). A part of his collection, however, is kept also by the Slovene Museum of Christianity.
Friderik Irenej Baraga
Baraga worked among the fur-traders and the Ottawa and, later, Ojibwe Indians from 1831 till his death and wrote a catechism in Ojibwe language as well as guide to its grammar and a dictionary (still in use today). His letters about his missionary work were published widely in Europe, and his book (written in German) History, Character, Customs and Manners of the North American Indians was important in presenting the Native American society to European readers.
Furthermore, he also worked to protect the Indians from being forced to relocate. A county and a town in the state of Michigan (USA) have been named after the bishop.
An arcade bookshop stocking the best of Slovene literature, plus a cultural centre staging events, with both a gallery space and a cafe.
The Novo mesto Cultural Centre is a multi-purpose municipal venue which presents a performing arts and music programme, with special activities for children such as puppetry, drama, dance and film screenings, and music lessons. The cultural centre also hosts conference activities, organising regular seminars, lectures and exhibitions.
The centre’s activities are divided into four main parts: theatre, music, musical theatre and a programme for children. All are available on a subscription basis. At the centre, one can see theatre performances by local groups as well as touring performances by Slovene theatre houses such as SNG Drama Ljubljana, Ljubljana City Theatre (MGL) or SNG Nova Gorica as well as performances from domestic and international musicians with Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra, Bill Evans and Mitteleuropa Orchestra amongst others. The centre also serves as a venue for jazz concerts which are part of Jazzinty international summer jazz festival and musical workshop that has been taking place annually in the historic city centre of Novo mesto for twenty years.
The main hall has a capacity of 366 seats and is suitable for concert and dance performances, technically less demanding theatre plays, film screenings, conferences and meetings. The Janez Trdina Cultural Centre’s hall can also be rented.
Within the venue, there is also an exhibition space with 80 seats available. It is suitable for smaller-scale performances and exhibitions as well as banquets and receptions. In 2019, it hosted an ongoing concert series called Kocka Out of the Box Sessions which presented a diverse selection of music performed in an intimate setting.