Olimje, Church of Mary’s Assumption
Coming to Olimje, one can hardly miss the Church of Mary’s Assumption. It is a parish church with Baroque architecture and gilded black altars, and was initially intended for pilgrims. Besides having the biggest gilded altar in Slovenia, the church also keeps the bust of the blessed Anton Martin Slomšek.
The Church of Mary’s Assumption is part of the Olimje Minorite Monastery complex which has existed since the 11th century. When the Pauline monks came to Olimje in 1663, they began studying the plant life methodically. Some monks dedicated their life to medicine entirely - they cultivated and collected medicinal herbs and prepared remedies. They started what we call the Old Pharmacy on the ground floor of the South Tower. When in 1990 the Minorite monks settled in the monastery, the apothecary tradition was revived.
Olimje is a town in the Podčetrtek municipality, lying at the foot of the Kozjansko hribovje hills. Its surroundings are interspersed with wine and tourist routes abounding in homestays. Nearby the Olimje Monastery you find Jelenov greben, an enormous ranch with free-roaming deer, as well as the Land of Fairytales and Fantasy, a home of fairytale creatures. Olimje is also the perfect place to relax since one can unwind in Terme Olimia spa and wellness centre. Moreover, the visitors can enjoy hand-made chocolates at the Čokoladnica Olimje chocolaterie located close to the monastery.
Podsreda Castle is counted among the most important examples of Romanesque architecture in Slovenia, since its medieval core remained nearly unchanged over the centuries.
The Kozjansko park is among the biggest and oldest protected areas in Slovenia. It consists of two extremely important habitats: extensive dry grasslands and high-trunk orchards. Nestled inside the park is Podsreda castle. www.kozjanski-park.si
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