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The Ribnica Valley, Kočevska, Dolenjska and Bela Krajina

The Ribnica Valley is represented by a wide range of functional and decorative wooden products, which are collectively referred to as »ribniška suha roba«. Trading in these products has hundreds of years of tradition, as travelling traders are known to have distributed the products across the entire southeastern and central parts of Europe. The symbolic decorative product, made up of miniature wooden utensils, is the set of Ribnica woodenware arranged in a bouquet, known locally as »suha roba«.

The Ribnica Valley has rich clay deposits, which gave rise to the development of the art of pottery. This tradition has been carried on by four workshops. One of them, Nosan's workshop in Prigorica, produces horses and riders, whistles also referred to as »little horses with whistling rear ends«. Copies of these little horses can be found in several museums around Europe.

The nearby Kočevje area is home to Kočevje wild honey, which has a protected designation of origin, which means that its quality, properties and tradition are safeguarded. The high quality of the product can be credited to honeybees, which collect nectar in a pristine forest environment.

The central souvenir of the Dolenjska region is the most specific of Slovenian wines, ruby red Cviček. It is a very popular low-alcohol wine which has a pleasing bouquet and special properties that facilitate digestion of meaty and high-fat foods and are good for one's digestion in general.

And, speaking of Cviček, there is the typical jug from which this wine is poured. The jug is shaped like a cock, which is the emblem of Šentjernej, one of the main centres in the land of Cviček. The cock also appears on the town's coat of arms.

The Dolenjska Museum in Novo Mesto holds a remarkable collection of archaeological artefacts, which also include a number of objects belonging to the art of situlae. Replicas of some of the artefacts can be purchased at the museum shop.

The road across the Gorjanci Hills leads to Bela Krajina, the region bordered by the Kolpa River on the opposite side. Bela Krajina is home to painted and ornamented Easter eggs called »pisanice« and »drsanke«.

Other distinctive features of the region are Bela Krajina needlework and linen, and the traditional musical instrument – a bass made of pottery – called gúdalo


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