Celje - the city of counts
When the average resident of our region mentions Celje, a city in Slovenia, the first association would most likely be the well-known jewelry company - Zlatarna Celje. The tradition of goldsmithing in this town is very long (the company was founded in 1844), but the treasures of Celje are much more diverse and noble than gold itself.
Celje is the third largest city in Slovenia with about 38,000 inhabitants. It lies at the mouth of the Voglajna River in Savinje, between wooded hills, in the area known as the Celjska Kotlina. The city is 70 km from Ljubljana and 60 km from Maribor, with which it is well connected by the A1 highway.
Celje can truly be said to be an ancient city, because the medieval settlement developed on the remains of the Roman Celeia, i.e. the ancient Celtic settlement of Keleja.
It was first mentioned in records in 1122, and during the reign of the Counts of Celje, the settlement experienced a great economic and administrative boom. The city's rich history has defined and guided local residents, who respectfully remember and preserve valuable elements of the past.
The old town, which is located in the immediate vicinity of Celje, can be reached on foot, from the city center itself. The medieval castle that first welcomes you is a witness to the saga of the Counts of Celje.
It used to be the largest fortress in Slovenia, built by the counts of Vovbržan in the 13th century, and today it is a wonderful tourist attraction, one of the most visited places in the area. Festivals, music concerts, cultural and historical programs, the organization of romantic weddings, all this attracts visitors throughout the year, and especially in the summer season.
The Celje Cathedral is a rather significant Gothic monument built at the beginning of the 14th century and since then it has been remodeled and restored several times. The last Radović works were carried out in 1858. The year when the cathedral got its current neo-Gothic style.
In the old city center there are other sights such as the Celje House, the Slovenian National Theater, Protasi's Palace, and Slomško Square...
Do you like vacations in nature? The green Savinja River offers you numerous bathing spots, along the way to Logarska dolina.
For lovers of quiet, long walks, cycling or fishing, Šmartinsko jezero is perfect. Located not far from the city center, the idyllic lake offers a wide range of opportunities for rest, entertainment and recreation. Beautifully landscaped forest paths, clean beaches, pleasant bars, two high jumps, possibilities to rent paddle boats, boats and kayaks.
And for mountain lovers, Celje has a rich offer. Celjska Koča is a wooded hill and an attractive resort that you can reach by bike, car, or on foot. The hotel itself offers a restaurant with national dishes, an adventure park and a wellness center that includes a sauna, swimming pool and massage. Well-maintained hiking trails attract adventurers, explorers, mountaineers and cyclists.
The city of Celje itself can boast of a large city park, an urban forest with an area of 94 hectares. In the city forest, in addition to walking on the trim track, running, cycling, you can also train in the outdoor gym, and children have their own separate area, a children's playground. One interesting thing about the City Forest is that there is the largest tree house in Slovenia. The unusual wooden building attracts a variety of visitors, from children, school excursions, to tourists who want a new experience of recreation in nature.
For a true experience of Celje, from the picturesque streets of the old town, you must take a look at the museums and galleries that invite you to take an artistic and historical walk. The City of Counts tells stories from prehistory to antiquity, from the time of the Counts of Celje to the Baroque, and to modern times, through sophisticated exhibitions.
Among the more interesting buildings in the city center is the Town Hall building from the 17th century. The specificity is the Renaissance core and the classicist facade with a balcony resting on eight columns. In the first half of the 19th century, the building was modified for the city magistrate, and today it houses the Museum of Recent History of Celje and the only children's museum in Slovenia, Herman's Lair.
With the architectural renovation in 2009, the city market was modernized and is the center of the city's events. The well-stocked city market is one of the city's popular gathering places, where you can find and try many local specialties. It offers a wide selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and dairy products, and the best day to visit is Saturday, when the ecological organic market opens.
In the city center, you can visit the boutiques of famous Celje designers, shop for local products, jewelry and souvenirs, and you can look for inspiration for gifts in art galleries. In the small neighborhood around the square, there are painting studios and workshops, and the place for exhibiting their work is the nearby AQ Gallery.
Celje also has a number of large modern shopping centers in which the offer of shops, restaurants, cafes and entertainment is intertwined, from cinemas to children's playrooms and themed animations.
Celje bus station is located at Aškerčeva ulica 20, approximately 850 m from the city center.
Popular bus routes that include a return ticket.