The thousand-year-old "selfness" of Savinja can be experienced in the largest Slovenian cathedral, where you can indulge in the spirit of the former Benedictine monks of Gornji Grad and benefit from the wisdom of the Poor Clares.
Spiritual rebirth in the largest Slovenian cathedral
Take your time for a sensual journey through the turbulent past of Savinja in the largest Slovenian cathedral and awaken your senses. Indulge in the gastronomic and aromatic traditions of the former monks of Gornji Grad, calm your thoughts with harmonious music like the bishops of Ljubljana and internalise the wisdom of the strictly closed order of the Poor Clares.
Awaken your inner feelings and change your world view
Gornji Grad is marked by the mysterious period of the Benedictine monks, the glorious period of the Ljubljana bishops and the innovative secular period of the Leonardo da Vinci of Gornji Grad, the inventor Anton Jamnik. The Savinja Spiritual Retreat opens a path to a sensual experience of the turbulent history of Gornji Grad, and at the same time it mesmerises with a visit to the Poor Clares, who have been living for decades in a closed community behind the walls of the Nazarje monastery, where, above all, they feel free.
Indulge in Benedictine aromatherapy and pamper your taste buds. Surrender yourself to the powerful musical harmonies of the bishops of Ljubljana and calm your thoughts while viewing the stunning white interior of the largest cathedral in Slovenia. Enjoy the authentic culinary delicacies of Savinja.
The highlight of the experience is a very personal chat with the Poor Clares behind the walls of the closed community, which sheds light on the life of the strictest female contemplative order in our country, marked by fasting, work and prayer. At the end of the visit, you will wonder who is more free - the Poor Clares behind the walls, or us outside them?
What to expect from the experience:
Reception in front of Gornji Grad Cathedral and a welcome with a herbal drink by the fountain.
A journey into the thousand-year history of Savinja with a brief presentation of the periods of the Benedictines and of the Ljubljana bishops, and the creative secular period.
This is followed by aromatherapy in the former defensive tower with incense modelled after that used by the Benedictine monks. Pampering with buckwheat crackers and wild beer, as in the time of the Benedictines.
A tour of the mighty Cathedral of Saint Hermagoras and Fortunatus. A tour and sound bath accompanied by music based on the sheet music and psalms of the former bishops of Ljubljana.
An innovative Savinja banquet in a herbal store, based on old Savinja recipes in a fresh guise. This was once an exceptionally valued dish of the bishops of Ljubljana - trout marinated in honey and smoked with pear wood. A glass of local wine from the highest Alpine vineyard in Šmartno ob Paki, a glass of water from the Žegnani Studenec spring or the boldest Slovenian drink - a mixture of vinegar, honey and a house secret - will go well with it. Ajdnek, an old but delicious dessert from Savinja made from buckwheat, ground walnuts and honey, will be presented as a special treat.
Transportation to Nazarje, brainstorming and contemplation.
Visit to the Poor Clares on the Monastery Hill in Nazarje. Guests listen to their singing, followed by a relaxed and spontaneous talk about their way of life and modes of thought and a look behind the scenes. It is prohibited to record and take pictures in the meeting room.
A view of the "Sleeping Monk", who fell asleep in the shadow of Veliki Rogatec and Lepenatka.
Conclusion and drive to the starting point.
Schedule: 13.30 to 17.00
Location: Savinja (Gornji Grad, Nazarje)
Price: EUR 350 + VAT for two persons; EUR 355 + VAT for three persons; EUR 210 + VAT for four persons, EUR 180 + VAT for five persons, EUR 165 + VAT for seven persons, EUR 140 + VAT for eight persons
The price includes:
welcome - a journey into the thousand-year history of Savinja (screening of digitised content)
Savinja Benedictine aromatherapy with pampering of taste buds (workshop with incenses and bites of Benedictine food);
Savinja sound bath in the largest Slovenian cathedral (sound bath and a short tour of the cathedral);
an innovative Savinja banquet (lunch with dessert, drink);
transportation by minibus to Nazarje and back;
guidance and, if necessary, interpreting at the meeting with the Poor Clares.
It is customary for anyone who would like to make a contribution to the prayers and daily life of the Poor Clares to do so during or after the visit.
The Poor Clares are considered the strictest female contemplative order in Slovenia. To be accepted into the order, candidates must have satisfactory physical health, a suitable age (18 – 30 years) and also display personal maturity.
Did you know that the largest monk in the world fell asleep in Savinja? At least that's what the oral tradition says about the "Sleeping Monk" who fell asleep in the shadow of the peaks of Veliki Rogatec and Lepenatka. Look for him after visiting the Poor Clares in Nazarje.
The sound bath takes place in the Gornji Grad cathedral, which is considered to be the largest church in Slovenia by volume, and the one with the largest dome. It boasts an artistically elaborate interior with many paintings, frescoes, vaults and stone statues.
Ajdnek was one of the first desserts prepared in the Upper Savinja Valley. What makes it special is that the dough is not rolled but poured. In addition to honey and walnuts, its main ingredient is buckwheat, which was first mentioned in written sources in an urbarium of the Benedictine monks in Gornji Grad.
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