KRANJMestna obcina Kranj
Slovenski trg 1
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|The City Municipality of Kranj is located
in the central part of Gorenjska, Slovenia’s northwestern region at the foot of the
Alps. It has a population of 51,000 and covers an area of 148 km2.
The City of
Kranj is situated 385 meters above sea level and has a favourable geographical position at
the intersection of major highways running from northern Europe to the Adriatic and from
Western to Eastern Europe. Roads from the border crossings at Jezersko, Ljubelj, the
Karavanke Tunnel, Ratece, and Podkoren lead here. Kranj is seven kilometers from the
international airport at Brnik, and the transcontinental railroad from London to Istanbul
runs through it.
The grey rock promontory on which the ancient city of Kranj stands was inhabited as early as the first century B.C. It is believed that Kranj was the seat of the powerful Slovene prince Vojnomir during the transition from the Roman period to the Middle Ages. Later it was a seat of the Carniola march and its margrave. In the Middle Ages, Kranj developed into an important trade center and therefore acquired city status in the 13th century. The development of ironworks in Gorenjska and Carinthia in the 16th century influenced the city’s economic growth, and trade and transport flourished. The first manufacturers appeared in the first half of the 19th century, and the end of the century witnessed the rise of industry. Kranj thus developed into the economic, trade, cultural, administrative, educational, and religious center of the Gorenjska region, which it remains today.Kranj is a “University City” as it is home to the University of Maribor’s School of Organizational Sciences. There are eight secondary schools and nine elementary schools in the municipality. Kranj is also called the “City of Preseren” because Slovenia’s greatest poet, Dr. France Preseren (1800-1849), lived, worked, and died here. The city boasts a theatre, a museum, a public library, and Gorenjska’s regional television and radio station. Kranj prides itself on having one of the most beautiful Olympic swimming pools in Central Europe. Its highly developed sports program and outstanding sports facilities have enabled many an athlete to achieve excellent results at national and international competitions, for example, Primoz Peterka, winner of the 1996/97 and 1997/98 World Cup in ski jumping.
With the ever increasing quality of their goods and services, Kranj firms have competed successfully in world markets for many years. Kranj has maintained its more than 500-year-old fair tradition and hosts numerous trade exhibitions of international importance every year. Especially well developed are the large tire, footwear, textile, and electronics industries, while middle-sized and smaller companies and manufacturers are increasingly making their mark. The hard-working people of Kranj take great pride in the worldwide success of their companies.
The old town draws tourists because of its numerous archeological and other attractions, among which the most important are architect Joze Plecnik’s arcades and fountain, the 16th-17th century City Hall, the Pavslar House, the ancient tollhouse, and Kislkamen Castle. On the old city cemetery at the edge of the old town core is a well-arranged park called Presernov gaj (“Preseren Grove”) with monuments to the poets France Preseren and Simon Jenko and the first anti-Fascist monument in the world, erected in 1930. St. Kancijan, one of Slovenia’s first parish churches, is a monument of Gothic design completed in 1491. The Rozenvenska (Rosary) church and the St. Sebastian and Rok church in the Pungert district of the old town add to the beauty of the city center, and the city wall and the Skrlovec fortress are attractive places for strolls. On the main square there is a Carniolan communal well whose top is adorned with a gilded ball and an eagle that symbolizes the City of Kranj. Since the Middle Ages, Kranj has had the shape of a pyramid with the city wall and its defence towers at its base and topped by its church towers. Despite some later incomprehensible demolition, Kranj is one of the few cities in Slovenia that has preserved its original silhouette.Kranj’s suburbs and the surrounding countryside are also interesting for tourists, offering many possibilities for excursions and walks. The hills of Jost (847 m) and Smarjetna gora (646 m) with its Bellevue Hotel and renovated St. Marjeta church are two well-known excursion points very close to the city. From the top of Smarjetna gora, visitors have a magnificent view of Kranj and its surroundings as well as the entire Ljubljana Basin.
Whether here to conclude a business deal, to visit one of our numerous cultural or natural sites, or merely to visit the hospitable residents of Kranj, every visitor can find something to enjoy in the capitol of Gorenjska and its surroundings.
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