About Gorje

What truly magnificent inspiration had to be involved in the creation of these places, safely nestled at the foot of the Julian Alps and surrounded by the green forests of Pokljuka and Mežakla! Placed in the midst of this environment, as if being gently laid in the greenery of a carefully created manger, lie the villages belonging to the parish and the municipality of Gorje. The domineering bell-tower of the parish church of St. George can be seen from far away; it is thus no wonder that the most famous song about Gorje goes: »The Gorje bells are ringing hard, making the bell-tower sway.« However, the bells of the bell-tower are but one of the recognizable features making the area known far and wide: there are also the »Godba Gorje« brass band, the »Alpski kvintet«, as well as the renowned cow-bells which bear witness to the old bell-making tradition in the area and to the cows that graze the nearby pastures of Pokljuka in the summer.

The still-clear waters once turned the water-wheels that powered mills, sawmills, and forges strewn all along the length of the River Radovna as far as the narrow passages cut between the hills of Hom and Boršt, where the powerful current is channelled through the gorge known as Vintgar. Yes, it is just as Ivan Godec once said: »Whosoever attempting to describe the beautiful countryside of Gorenjska needs very little imagination or dazzling embellishment. Simply noting that which an ordinary observer sees will certainly be enough.«

The name Gorje, “gor” meaning “up high” in Slovene, translates as highlands. The villages of Gorje are the final larger settlements one encounters on the way to the Triglav mountain. Their names are are old and traditional, and have been taken from the names of the nearby hills. Višelnica gets its name from being higher than the centre, Zatrata from being a village behind the meadow, Poljšica from being behind the field, Podhom from being under the Hom hill, and and Krnica because it is situated in the typical Alpine glacial shape named “krnica”  – like a theatre formed by glacial erosion.

Gorje consists of 11 villages. In addition to the already mentioned ones, there are is also the central village of Zgornje Gorje, followed by Spodnje Gorje, the largest village with the higest population, as well as Mevkuž, Radovna, Perniki, Spodnje Laze, Zgornje Laze and Grabče.

The oldest evidence of a civilization in the Gorje area harks to the early Stone Age period. Archeologists found tools made of stone in a cave called Poglejska cerkev situated above the Poljšica village.