The Liquid Treasures

Crystal waters of Slovenia

Planšarsko lake by Andrej PavlinSlovenian Tourist Board

Conquering beautiful Slovenian mountain peaks has many perks. 

The views are surely amazing, but the feeling of refreshment in the lake while looking at the majestic mountain you have conquered is even better.

Kamniška Bistrica (2019) by Nina KurnikSlovenian Tourist Board

The water that flows from under the rocks, which are overgrown with moss, is ice cold and as pure as it can possibly be, touched only by nature.

Saving the drinking water from a spring at Pokljuka (2019) by CJ STUDIO d.o.o., foto Ciril JazbecSlovenian Tourist Board

Drinking tap water is not very different to drinking water from natural springs, as it is of great quality. 

To prevent the commercialization of the country’s water resources, Slovenes were the first nation to enshrine the right to drinking water in their constitution. Therefore, water resources are public good managed by the state.

Ljubljana, Tivoli park (2020) by Mediaspeed, Anže KržeSlovenian Tourist Board

But some springs are especially extraordinary.

The springs of mineral water, which can be found in Rogaška Slatina and Radenci, are full of minerals that have a healing effect on our body and help stimulate digestion, as well as help with heartburn, constipation, and other health issues.

Pegasus illustration (2021) by Meta WraberSlovenian Tourist Board

The legend about the creation of it says that, while flying over Rogaška Slatina, Pegasus stuck his hoof on a mountain and a mineral water spring appeared.

In fact, the town bears the word “slatina”, which is a synonym for sparkling mineral water.

Postcard of Rogaška Slatina (1930) by Josip PelikanSlovenian Tourist Board

In the 16th century, Swiss alchemist Leonhard Thurneysser named the springs “Rogaška mineral water” while studying the water’s healing properties. 

By the 18th century, the water had become the 3rd most popular mineral water in the world. 

Health Center Rogaška Slatina (1960) by Dragiša ModrinjakSlovenian Tourist Board

Later, in the beginning of the 20th century, after discovering the presence of high magnesium levels in the water, they named it Donat Mg. It’s 8000 years old and contains more magnesium than any other water in the world.

Summer in Rogaška Slatina, Thermal Park (2019) by Andrej TarfilaSlovenian Tourist Board

You can even bathe in it. The Rogaška Slatina health resort has a 400-year-old history of offering revitalizing mineral water baths to nobility from all over Europe in the Middle Ages.

Among the famous people to visit it are Maria Theresa, Franz Liszt, Franz Joseph I of Austria, Aleksandar I Karađorđević of Yugoslavia, and Josip Broz Tito.

Kamniška Bistrica spring by Luka VundukSlovenian Tourist Board

But even before the discoveries  of healthy mineral water springs, water had a great role in people’s lives. It was considered a bringer of health, bread, and gold. 

People believed water has its own personality and that it is the home of many mysterious creatures, dragons, fairies, giants, and elves. People interpreted natural phenomena with this folk wisdom.

Mill on the Mura river (2016) by Rok Deželak, arhiv EKVisuals d.o.oSlovenian Tourist Board

And not to forget, it was - and still is - a great helper too. While flour milling is not exclusively a Slovenian craft, the speciality of this areas in the past were private house mills, which were used for milling the flour for only one family.

Fountain in Ljubljana (2017) by Nikola JurišičSlovenian Tourist Board

Water brought happiness and prosperity to Slovenian villages. On New Year’s Day, there was a custom of decorating springs and wells. People brought gifts, such as apples, potica, candles and bread to the water. 

With these gifts, they wanted to ensure enough clean water in the next year. The unmarried girls brought gifts to the well too, as it was believed that the water will bring them a husband.

With SUP on the Ljubljanica river (2019) by Andrej TarfilaSlovenian Tourist Board

The river that flows through Ljubljana is Ljubljanica. It’s also known as the river of the seven names as it goes under the surface and back up again many times. 

Because people believed that they have discovered a new river over and over again, it has different names in different regions. From its source it’s known as the Trbuhovica, then as Obrh, Stržen, Rak, Pivka, Unica, and finally, Ljubljanica. 

With canoe on Ljubljanica river by Andrej TarfilaSlovenian Tourist Board

From its surface, there is a quite unique view of the city centre and many of its beautiful bridges. As it’s pretty calm, you can explore it on a sup or with a canoe. 

River Soča (2016) by Tomo JeseničnikSlovenian Tourist Board

Only an hour or so from the city centre there is a paradise for those who prefer adrenaline rides. 

The magnificent emerald rapids of the Soča River are much quicker, as opposed to the  surroundings, which are much calmer than the bustle of the city.  

I feel Soča Valley, Slovenia (2015) by Jan ZupančičSlovenian Tourist Board

Hikers on a bridge over the Soča River (2020) by Jošt GantarSlovenian Tourist Board

Even though it’s hard to believe that something so terrible could happen in such a beautiful place, the Soča Valley was once a part of one of the bloodiest frontline in World War I. 

In a total of 12 major battles, approximately 1.7 million soldiers died or were mutilated. The valley and the river are described in this context in Ernest Hemingway's novel Farewell to Arms.

Peričnik Waterfall (2017) by André AlexanderSlovenian Tourist Board

Not far away you can find the 52-meter Peričnik Waterfall, which is one of the highest waterfalls in Slovenia. For some time it ran like a two-stranded waterfall and sometimes still does today, after a few days of heavy raining.

Peričnik waterfall by Andrej PavlinSlovenian Tourist Board

Peričnik is not only one of the most beautiful Slovenian waterfalls, but also one of the few waterfalls in the world under which you can walk. 

Zelenci, Alpine Slovenia lakes from the air (2019) by Produkcija Studio, foto Dražen ŠtaderSlovenian Tourist Board

The nature in Slovenia really seems magical. There’s nearly 30,000 kilometres of watercourses, the highest in Europe compared to surface area. 

So if the waters of Slovenia present a unique kind of refreshment in the summer...

Bled (2021) by Luka VundukSlovenian Tourist Board

…in winter they offer some magnificent views, as you can sometimes see the majestic nature of the surroundings on the clear surface of beautiful Slovenian lakes.

Jasna lake at Kranjska Gora (2020) by Mediaspeed, foto: Jaka ArbutinaSlovenian Tourist Board

Not only that the two interconnected artificial lakes in Kranjska Gora, named Lake Jasna, look like something from a fairy tale, it is also believed that the Goldhorn used to live somewhere around here. 

Listen to the story about it or some of the other Slovenian Folk Stories, interpreted by Dušica Kunaver.

Credits: Story

🔎 Sources:
Čar vode, Kunaver D., Ljubljana: D. Kunaver; Radovljica: TOP Regionalni izobraževalni center, 1997
Domače obrti na Slovenskem, Bogataj J., Ljubljana: Državna založba Slovenije, 1989
Experience the richness of Slovenia’s rivers
Tourist destination Kranjska Gora
Inhabitat 
Tourist destination Soca Valley 
BBC 
Haihui Story 

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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