The Vintarjevec Valley

The Črni Stream Valley is located to the south-west of Šmartno. It is surrounded by Grilovec (399 m a.s.l.), Sveti večer (516 m a.s.l.), Čelo (518 m a.s.l.), Krnica (529 m a.s.l.), Osrenca (709 m a.s.l.) and Straža (633 m a.s.l.). Together with the Kostrevnica Valley, it represented an important connection between the southern and eastern parts of contemporary Slovenia, as well as Zasavje and Dolenjska in the past. The territory is covered by forest and sparse vineyards in a hilly landscape. A major settlement representing the centre of the valley is Vintarjevec with the church of St. Peter, where a protected species of bat lives – the lesser horseshoe bat.

Additional information

TIC Šmartno, Staretov trg 25, t: 01 898 78 67

Church of St. Peter

The Baroque Church of St. Peter was built in 1611; the nave was added to a chapel that was transformed into the presbytery. Once the main altar from the first half of the 17th century had been changed to a side altar in 1874, attributes were taken from the saints, Peter was changed to Mark and the side statues were changed to Matthew and Luke. The main altar holds the statues of St. Peter, Andrew and Paul, while the second side altar is taken from the former chapel in the Slatna castle.

The Church of Exaltation of the Holy Cross

in Brezje has the shape of a cross; its figure has significantly changed over time and its oldest section – the presbytery – dates from the beginning of the 17th century. The common lore says it was built by the Appfatreren barons from Črni potok castle with funds raised through socage and donations from the Crusaders, travellers and traders, who were sleeping over in the castle. The new church bells also contain some bronze alloy from the old bells made in 1842 and 1900, as the natives preserved parts of the bells after the Austrian army destroyed them and used them for ammunition in World War I.

Archaeological site in Gradišče

In the archaeological site in Gradišče, a burial mound from the Iron Age was probably discovered, containing two skeleton graves with grave goods – typical weapons of an Illiryan warrior in the grave of a man, and bronze fibulae of different shapes, bracelets and ornaments in the grave of a woman. Some ceramics were also discovered. Smaller burial mounds were probably found around the church in Vintarjevec and it is assumed that the natives from the discovered settlement in Gradišče buried their dead there. The well-fortified settlement could have existed for almost 700 years and flourished in the Iron Age. Archaeologist France Stare discovered eight destroyed houses with a wealth of finds, including a stone with an inscription of Venetian origin. The diggings are kept by the National Museum of Slovenia.

Črni potok manor

was built by the Strassern noblemen prior to 1578. Later, the castle was owned by the Wagen and Kheysell families. In 1672, it was bought by Valvasor and sold 17 years later. The building was reshaped several times, the entrance tower was destroyed and the building itself was lowered. Today, it has been renovated and is used by the social security office for the Dom Tisje retirement home.