Beautiful landscape, friendly people – this is The Upper Savinja Valley. Its beginning is a small town Mozirje which is more than 30 years known as one of the most beautiful parks in this part of Europe – Mozirski gaj – the Slovenian gardeners’ park. It is situated on the right bank of the Savinja river and covers the area of 7 hectares. For visitors it is open from the middle of April to the end of September when millions of blossoms can be seen on the carefully well-kept flowerbeds.
In spring the bulb-flowers are the first to show their gaily- coloured blossoms, enriched by perennials and shrubs, but in summer thousands and thousands one-year flowers are flourished.
Tha park is given a special character by ethnographic objects : a farmhouse, blacksmith’s workshop, beehouse, granary, venetian saw, mill, St. Valentine’s Chapel, “preužitkarska hiša” and “Krančeva hiša”. They enlarge the misteriously charm of the park as at the same time they show, how people used to live in this part of the country in the past centuries.
In the last few years, we arranged some more theme parks e.g. the garden of spices, medicinal herbs and alpine garden. Every your step is accompanied by several birds, squirrels and some other small- animal species.
Since 2005, we are offering you the possibility to see the park from the other prospect. For that reason,with our main sponsor Svea Zagorje, we have built an 18 metres high tower.
Mozirski gaj is offering you all the beauties that people need in their everyday stressfull life to releive of it and to feel well. We want you to experience them and to find pleasure in them.
Blossom with the tulips
Blossom with the tulips
End of April and first days of May we invite you to come to Mozirje Flower Park ‘Mozirski gaj’ as the tender tulips will put on their prettiest colours.
After every Christmas Fairytale which in December enchantes you with its 1.5 million colourful lights, Mozirski gaj invites you during the 1st May holidays to its traditional Spring Exhibition- exhibition of tulips.
Among millions of tulips and other spring flowers you will definitely be captivated by the Mozirski gaj tulip. It was cultivated in the Netherlands especially for the Mozirski gaj and you will see it bloom only here. With its durability and unique colour it especially embodies the message of tulips, which conveys deep and strong romantic feelings. The romantics have long praised tulips as a sign of elated love and insatiable longing.
Express your love by visiting the exhibition of tulips in the Mozirski gaj!
To make the exhibition of tulips memorable and fun also for your kids, there will be Disney cartoon characters to make your time here even more enjoyable. Kids will be able to have a word with them and take photos.
Of course, also this year we cannot do without the charmingly dangerous reptiles, as we will again side with the Bioexo society from Ljubljana. Its members will, as they did a few years earlier, introduce us to the exotic animals. The Mozirski gaj will therefore be bursting with colour and life.
You will also enjoy the heavenly sound of the largest wind chimes in Europe.
Legend about the tulips
Once there lived a Persian prince, who gave his heart to a beautiful, yet simple girl. Not wishing their union, his mean confidants brought false news to the prince about the girl’s death. Blinded by grief, the prince mounted his horse and galloped into his death. Where stones were touched by his blood, red tulips had grown, a symbol of his love.
The sights of Mozirski gaj
The sights of Mozirski gaj
THE EUROPEAN UNION TREE AVENUE
In the autumn of 2007 trees were planted along the walkway from the look-out tower to prevžitkarska hiša to form a tree avenue of the European Union, festively open to visitors in the spring of 2008. The avenue is composed of 27 equal-size ornamental maple trees representing the EU member states. With the creation of the avenue we celebrated both the 30 anniversary of Mozirski gaj and a historical event of Slovenian EU presidency in the first half of 2008.
Just as the maple trees will grow well through our attentive care, so let prosperity grow for all members of the great family of European nations.
THE HERB GARDEN
Herbs are plants which are, due to their properties and beneficial constituents, often equaled to curative herbs. Herbs supply the human body with minerals, vitamins and substances that facilitate the functioning of the organs and the immune system, and increase natural resistance of the body.
In 1976, the Slovenian Institute for Hop Research and Brewing in Žalec established a Garden of healing and aromatic plants as a central institution for the research of production, processing and use of herbs. Up to now, the collection of healing herbs from all over the world has increased from 40 to about 300 specimens. The main purpose of the Garden is to do research, to provide advice and to train people in the area of healing plants.
Apart from expert guidance, the visitors of the Garden are offered certified organic seeds and nursery plants.
The Institute started to cooperate with Mozirski gaj in 1991 when the herb garden with herbs planted in beds was designed in the flower park of Mozirski gaj. In 2003, the present shape, appearance and contents of the herb garden started to be formed.
THE ROCK GARDEN
Gardens that are planted with astonishing variety of alpine plants from different parts of the world are called rock gardens. Slopes facing south or southwest are the best for creating a rock garden, its rocks and soil must be of such quality as to offer home to many alpine plants. We can create raised or trough rock gardens.
Plants that are suitable for a rock garden are those that grow slowly and stay low enough in order not to disturb balance. Included are dwarf trees and shrubs that form the background, and many other non-alpine plants.
THE MOZIRSKI GAJ TULIP
On the 30 anniversary of Mozirski gaj (in 2008), the Dutch suppliers of plant bulbs did great honor to the park by giving it as a present a special species of tulip named and registered as MOZIRSKI GAJ.
The tulip no. 9589-185-4 (now named Mozirski Gaj) started to be worked on back in 1995 and is the result of grafting done by Mr Mellem. It is a crossbreed between WhiteTriumphator and West Point. It belongs to the group of Triumph tulips and blooms at the end of April and at the beginning of May (a medium-early species). Mozirski Gaj tulip is special for its rare color and a long lasting blooming period. It is not suitable for forcing, and it grows best when planted in beds.
What is a granary? It is a depository of rural housekeeping which used to store wooden cases for the keeping of flour and grain in its lower part, and in its upper part there was place for the keeping of meat and grease. The cellar was intended for storing potatoes and similar crops. The granary used to be the mirror of the farm, so the women grew flowers on the ‘aisle’, ie the balcony, and thus announced to the visitors that on the farm there lived tidy people. The size of the granary bore witness to the economic power of the farm, so in some places the granaries were a few stories high.
THE GRANARY 1
This granary was built in Podter on the Komšak farm. When it was destroyed to be re-constructed later in the park, a piece of paper was found between the beams on which it said: ”It was put up in 1741”. The granary is of respectable age.
The farmhouse in Mozirski gaj is an exact copy of the building in Čele above Mozirje. According to experts such a construction was typical for small houses in the area. The part of the house with the smoke kitchen is built of stone due to fire safety reasons, the part with a house, closet and a small bedroom is made of wood. The farmhouse does not have a cellar but it has a typical shed. The equipment in a house is genuine and originates from Konjski vrh above Luče and Podvolovljek.
THE BLACHSMITH’S WORKSHOP
The blacksmith’s workshop which is driven by water wheel was constructed by the Upper Savinja Valley craftsmen. Such workshops used to be frequent in this area. Blacksmiths were known as experts for making tools, in particular forest tools. Grindstones were also connected to water wheels. The Upper Savinja Valley is abundant in waters so the people utilized cheap water power to their advantage on numerous mills, sawmills and smithies.
THE VENETIAN SAWMILL
Due to abundance of water sources in the Upper Savinja Valley there used to be a lot of water driven sawmills. Venetian sawmills were powered by water which flew on a large water wheel and thus turned the axle. The shaft, which was fixed on the axle, transferred horizontal force into vertical power. The procedure of cutting wood (logs) consisted of moving the blade up and down. In Mozirski gaj the visitors can see the Venetian sawmill which was situated at the Pečovnik farm in Skorno. In its present location the Venetian sawmill does not operate.
THE OLDEST MOZIRJE HOUSE
The oldest Mozirje house survived the devastating fire in Mozirje more than 240 years ago. Later it was relocated from the Mozirje square to Olnek, the hill near the Mozirje cemetery. During de-assemblage it was discovered that the west facade was in a very bad condition and needed new logs. The management of the park decided that only the exterior of the building would preserve its historical appearance. The interior had been reconstructed for too many times to make it possible for experts to establish its original appearance. The same holds true for the roof as there are no data regarding its type of roofing from more than two centuries ago. Nowadays inside the building there are a gallery and the center for freetime activities for school children.
ST VALENTINE’S CHAPEL
St Valentine celebrates his name day on the 14 February. The people’s tradition has it that each spring he brings the keys of roots for the new growth and flora. This is the day when birds mate; those who want to see the birds mating have to approach the shrubs barefoot although it can still be very cold on this day. The old farm calendar says that in Slovenia Valentine’s day used to be named the first springday.
The St Valentine’s chapel in Mozirski gaj invites lovers of all ages to visit it and ring the bell in its belfry. Some of them decide to have a wedding ceremony in this chapel. In this way, the beginning of their joint life path is abundant in flowers.
THE OFFSPRING OF THE OLDEST VINE
In 2005 the Municipality of Maribor gave the offspring of the world’s oldest vine to the Municipality of Mozirje as a sign of friendship. It was planted in the sunniest part of the flower park Mozirski gaj where it has the best conditions for growth and development. It is remarkable for its respectable origin. Its ancestor is a famous “old grapevine” (modra kavčina or žametna črnina) that has been growing and bearing fruits for more that 400 years on the bank of the Drava river, in Lent, the oldest part of the city of Maribor. It is acknowledged as the oldest grapevine in the world and therefore, it has been entered into Guiness Book of World Records.
We wish its offspring in Mozirje a long and healthy life, and a good yield of fruit.
The basic purpose of beekeeping is to produce honey, bee pollen, propolis and wax, and to produce honey liqueur, candles, royal jelly, propolis tincture, and honey mixed with dried fruit.
Slovenia has around 8,000 beekeepers what means that the Slovenians are truly a nation of beekeepers. In the past, rare were Slovenian farms that did not keep bees alongside other domestic animals. So it is rightly to say that the bee is the only domestic untamed insect that works for welfare of a human being.
Honey used to be the only sweetening agent, and wax provided an indispensable material for making candles. In Slovenia, trees are very important for beekeeping, since bees make honey by collecting nectar from flowers of trees such as fir, spruce and recently maple, as well as chestnut, linden, acacia and various fruit trees. In the Upper Savinja Valley bees collect forest and flower honey and various mixtures of honeys from nectar and honeydew.
THE SVEA’S LOOK-OUT TOWER
In the midst of thousands of flowers, a beautiful wooden creation rises up from the colourful ground. The remarkable tower, made by the company Svea d.d. from Zagorje ob Savi, offers a wonderful view of the park and its surroundings. It is a real feast for the eyes of visitors to look down at well-kept lawns, colorful flower beds and shrubs, water, and numerous ethnographic objects that represent an interesting collection of rural implements.
The tower is constructed entirely of wood. The four primary pillars of size 20 mm x 20 mm are made of quality spruce wood, and so are the secondary pillars and all cross pieces.
The stairs are made of high quality larch wood.
|GROUND PLAN:||Ground plan size of the look-out tower is 10 m x 10 m.|
|HEIGHT:||The height of the tower from the base to the ridge is 18 m.|
|FLOORS:||The tower has a ground floor and five floors above. The floor height is 2,50 m|
|ROOF:||It has a pavilion roof (a pyramidal hipped roof) inclined at an angle of 25 degrees, with copper roofing. All wooden construction is protected with fire proof coating.|
Apart from producing kitchen and other home furniture Svea Company offers also sawn wood and quality adhesive pillars. Svea’s pillars are distinguished for their beautiful appearance, extraordinary constructional properties and bridging capabilities. They preserve basic characteristics of wood, and are quality and long lasting products.
One of the reasons for building towers is to broaden the horizons. Another reason for Svea was to express gratitude for the beauty of nature. Being part of nature itself, the 18 m high tower is a perfect complement to the surrounding flowers.
THE JAPANESE GARDEN
In Japan the systematic development of parks and gardens started in the 7 century with the arrival of the Chinese. The design of gardens directly blended with the development of the religion and its modifications. The gardens were influenced by Taoism and later by Buddhism which emphasizes the relation between garden creation and contemplation.
The art of Japanese gardens has evolved through the observation of nature, respect of natural forces and human interaction with the environment. The development of the Japanese garden composition tends to aim at abstraction. In the Japanese garden we can detect continuity and a thousand year long respect for nature. The changes through the time are slight, while the principles of the European garden art transform by leaps and bounds.
The plot in Mozirski gaj which is intended for the Japanese garden offers only a cursory glance at the understanding of the Japanese garden design principles. The primary maxim, ie human interaction with the nature, environment and enhancement of thinking, is the only guidance for the design of a Japanese garden in the Slovenian space.
One of the basic characteristics of the Japanese garden design is the promenade on the footpath which offers new prospects and messages. The walk across the garden is a story experienced by each visitor in his/her unique way. The change of direction symbolizes the change of thoughts and directs the sight towards a new scene.
Besides being a delight for the eyes the garden is a space for meditation, consolation and contemplation.
Reminiscent of the Japanese garden are in particular the bridge and stone lamps, larger rocks and stones are taken from the nearby environment. The plants are selected from the available plant material in the park. The bridge is painted in red color that symbolizes fire; when crossing the bridge from one side of the water to the other, it would help to symbolically burn old thinking patterns and to enter a new space clean and purified.
THE WATER DRIVEN MILL
Water powered mills were scattered near smaller and larger rivers in the valley. Each farm had its own mill, only in rare cases did more farms use one mill together. These buildings’ interior and exterior devices were made of wood. They were made by master carpenters. The water driven mill in Mozirski gaj used to be located at the upper stream of Ljubija and belonged to the Pleška farm in Šmihel above Mozirje.
THE PREVZITKARSKA HIŠA
‘Prevzitkarstvo’ used to mean separation of unmarried aunts and uncles from the family circle. For this purpose, the farms had a special house where unmarried aunts and uncles lived. A part of the house which is situated in the park where a smoke kitchen is, is made of brick, the other part is made of wood. Dwelling rooms are downstairs, a depository is upstairs. The latter is important due to the fact that the unmarried uncles and aunts were not permitted into the granary.
Hayracks are the most recognized and distinguished structures in Slovenia. The original hayracks did not have features of buildings. They were designed as a simple dry rack made of posts and cross bars. Many years later the development in construction brought interesting ‘kozolec’ designs. In desire to make its role even more important, two horizontally standing single hayracks were joined into a double hayrack which was later covered with a roof.
Single hayracks existed already in the17 century. But the majority of today preserved hayracks in Slovenia were constructed at the end of 18 century and in particular in the 19 century. In the second half of the 20 century the role of hayracks started to diminish as a consequence of technological advancement of grain harvest. Recently the gathering of hay has also changed. A wooden hayrack, typical for this landscape, is one of the most recent ethnographic acquisitions of Mozirski gaj.
The Kalin Association for safety and growth of birds has been present with its building in Mozirski gaj since the opening of the park. The most deserving person for the realization of the idea regarding the home of bird lovers in the park by the Savinja river is Mr Ljubo Benetek after who the home got its name. Besides the mentioned building the Kalin Association has put up four bird aviaries in which various birds are exhibited from spring to autumn.
THE HIKERS’ HOME
During the arrangement of the flower park the members of the Mozirje Hikers Association constructed a small cottage in the flower park and named it their home. They wanted to draw attention to the respectable tradition of the organized Slovenian hiking in the Upper Savinja Valley which dates back to the period of Mr Fran Kocbek and the establishment of a subsidiary of the Slovenian Mountain Association in 1893. The Mozirje Hiking Association was established in 1950 and today it has more than 600 members.
|Adults – a group of over 15 persons||6 EUR|
|Senior citizens||6 EUR|
|School groups (science day)||5 EUR|
|Children (7 to 14 years)||4 EUR|
|Children (3 to 6 years)||2 EUR|
|Annual ticket||40 EUR|
|Severely disabled people||FREE|
* At the time of events and exhibitions prices may be higher.
After previous agreement we can organize professional guided tour.
The price is 1 EUR/person, minimum price is 30 EUR (for small groups).
Park Mozirski gaj is open from April (depending on weather) until the first weekend of October every day (including Sundays and public holidays) 9am to 7pm.
Then, by the end of November, the park is CLOSED.
During the Slovenian Christmas Fairytale the park is open every day from 4pm until 9pm.