Town and municipality
View of Slovenske Konjice from Škalce
Location of the Municipality of Slovenske Konjice in Slovenia
|• Mayor||Darko Ratajc (2018)|
|• Total||97.8 km2 (37.8 sq mi)|
|Elevation||322 m (1,056 ft)|
|• Density||140/km2 (360/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02 (CEST)|
|Website||Slovenske Konjice website|
|Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia|
Slovenske Konjice (pronounced [slɔˈʋéːnskɛ kɔˈnjìːtsɛ] (listen) or [- kɔˈnjíːtsɛ]; German: Gonobitz) is a town and a municipality in northeastern Slovenia. The area was part of the traditional region of Styria.
Municipality of Slovenske Konjice
The municipality is now included in the Savinja Statistical Region. It is the administrative and cultural centre of the Dravinja Valley. It borders on the municipalities of Šmarje pri Jelšah and Šentjur to the south, Vojnik to the west, Zreče to the northwest, Oplotnica to the north, Slovenska Bistrica to the east, and Rogaška Slatina to the southeast. It spreads over 97.8 square kilometres (37.8 sq mi) and has a population of 13,600. About 100 km (62 miles) from Ljubljana, Graz, or Zagreb, it is easily reachable by the A1 motorway and via the small airport near Loče.
History and town sights
The town of Slovenske Konjice lies under the northern slopes of Mount Konjice (Slovene: Konjiška Gora) and the winegrowing Škalce Hills. On a hill above the town to the southwest are the ruins of 12th-century Gonobitz Castle (Slovene: Grad Konjice), which has later additions and was abandoned in the 18th century. Its ruins have been partially restored.
Immediately above Old Square (Slovene: Stari trg) stands the medieval Trebnik Mansion. The 850-year-old dense town line is a sloping square, from Trebnik Mansion past St. George's parish church, along a small stream in an open channel, down to the Dravinja River. The new Town Square (Mestni trg) is on the other bank of the river, connected with Old Square by a bridge with four horse heads on the corners.
The dominant structure in the upper part of the town's medieval core is the archparish church dedicated to Saint George and belonging to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Maribor, dating back to the late 13th century with 18th-century additions (a Baroque side chapel). The veneration of the saint at this place goes even further back in history. The town was mentioned in written sources dating to 1165 as a seminal parish. The castle was first mentioned in 1148 and the market town in 1236. The town itself was not surrounded by walls. At the time of the Ottoman raids, the church with its vicarage served as a fortified refuge. A second church in the settlement is dedicated to Saint Anne. It dates to the mid-16th century with a 17th-century belfry and Baroque additions.
The main street and the transversal connections above the Dravinja are lined with longitudinal or transversally positioned one-storey houses with well-preserved Gothic cores and Renaissance additions. The façades were restyled in the 19th century (Biedermeier, Historicism). A rarity is the Art Nouveau building of the former savings bank. A Marian column dating to the mid-18th century and a column shrine dedicated to Saint Florian above the stream (both designed by the local artist Franc Zamlik in 1750) dominate the open square. The town core is well preserved.
Konjice played a role during the Slovenian peasant revolt of 1515, with rebels here composing a letter with their demands to send to the emperor in Vienna. Economic development was boosted after construction of main Vienna to Trieste road in the 18th century. During the 19th century the town got a local court. The Austrian Southern Railway was built in 1846, but it ran 15 km (9 mi) east of Konjice. On 20 June 1892 works started on a narrow gauge (760 mm) steam railroad line called Konjičanka from Poljčane to Slovenske Konjice, which was opened on 20 December 1892. On 29 June 1921 it was extended to Zreče. It was closed in 1963, and the tracks were removed in 1970. A Museum locomotive K.3 (Gonobitz), build by Krauss factory at Linz, used on this line, is on display at the Slovenian Railway Museum in Ljubljana.
Over the centuries, the name Konjice appears in written documents in various forms: Gonviz (1251), Gombicz (1370), Gannabitz (1570), Gonaviz (1594), Gonavitz (1630), Gonwitz (1636), Gonowitz (1662), Ganowiz (1680), Gonnawitz (1680), and modern German Gonobitz. The adjective Slovenske was added to the Slovene name Konjice in 1934, under the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, in order to distinguish it from the town of Konjic in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Owners of the castle
- house of Gonobitz 1148–1329
- house of Wilthausen 1329–1385
- house of Duino 1385–1406
- counts Walsee 1406–1469
- regional princes 1496–1576
- Johann von Khißl 1576–1592
- Archduke Ferdinand 1594–1597
- counts Tattenbach 1597–1670
- Holy Roman Emperor 1670–1685
- Johann and Otto Tattenbach 1685–1692
- Seiz Charterhouse 1692–1783
- religious foundation 1783–1828
- princes of Windisch-Grätz 1828–1945
- Slovenske Konjice, formerly known as "The Town of Wine and Flowers", won the Pan-European Entente Florale Gold Medal Award in 1998 and 2004.
- The traditional St. George festival (Jurjevanje) ranks Slovenske Konjice among Europe's Carnival Cities.
Wine growing hills Škalce and Konjiška gora areas have many trails where local people like to walk.
The town has been rewarded for its efforts with the national "Most Beautiful Excursion Destination" award by the Tourist Association of Slovenia for many years in a row.
The town of Slovenske Konjice hosts an international festival of underwater film and photography named "Sprehodi pod morjem" (Walking beneath the Sea), which is held every year at the end of January (on the last Thursday of the month).
Prominent persons from the municipality of Slovenske Konjice include:
- Konrad von Hebenstreit (died 1412), archbishop of Freising
- Ivan Minatti (1924–2012), Slovene poet
- Branko Rudolf (1904–1987), Slovene writer
- Adelma Vay (1840–1925), writer, medium, and pioneer of Spiritualism
- Jure Zdovc (born 1966), Slovene basketball player and coach
- Tamara Zidanšek (born 1997), Slovene tennis player
Twin towns – sister cities
Slovenske Konjice is twinned with:
International projects and other forms of cooperations
- Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, census of 2002
- Leksikon občin kraljestev in dežel zastopanih v državnem zboru, vol. 4: Štajersko. Vienna: C. Kr. Dvorna in Državna Tiskarna. 1904. p. 48.
- Slovenske Konjice municipal site
- Slovenian Ministry of Culture register of national heritage reference number ešd 665
- Barron, Yuri. 2016. The Slovenia book: top 100 destinations. Slovenske Konjice, p. 173.
- Slovenian Ministry of Culture register of national heritage reference number ešd 7864
- Slovenian Ministry of Culture register of national heritage reference number ešd 2927
- Slovenian Ministry of Culture register of national heritage reference number ešd 3380
- Baraga Jože, Motaln Valerija, Konjiško 860 let (1146–2006) Zbornik ob 860-letnici Slovenskih Konjic, Kronologija Konjic
- Kraljevska banska uprava Dravske banovine, 13.6.1934, Službeni list Kraljevske banske uprave Dravske banovine No 47
- Majdič, Viktor. 2002. Imena vasi in mest v Sloveniji. Jezikoslovni zapiski 8(2): 81–92, p. 86.
- Tourist Association of Slovenia
- Walking beneath the Sea – annual international festival of underwater film and video
- http://www.slovenskekonjice.si/obcinskevsebine/241 Občina Slovenske Konjice: Prijateljska mesta. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
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