Novo mesto with its surroundings
The Lower Carniola, with the regional centre of Novo mesto, is certainly one of the most lyrical Slovene regions with picturesque hills and great landscape diversity. Through the middle part the Krka river runs among them, which gave the name to the famous and internationally recognized pharmaceutical company with its headquarters in Novo mesto. By the river there are a lot of old castles, among which the magnificent Otocec Castle stands out: it is built on a small island and counts as one of the most beautiful castles in Slovenia. The Lower Carniola is also the Slovene wine-growing region, where a very special brand of wine is grown, called Cvicek. Other particularities of the region are the 'wooden ware' in Ribnica, which has a protected appellation of origin, and the largest preserved virgin forests in Europe, which surround the town of Kocevje.
When visiting the Lower Carniola we must not overlook the three famous medieval monasteries, namely the Carthusian monastery in Pleterje and the two Cistercian monasteries, one in Sticna and the other in Kostanjevica na Krki. The latter is set in the only Slovene settlement that is an island, and it is a place of exhibition of the works of sculptural symposium of Forma Viva.
The area of the Lower Carniola is still tectonically active, which is confirmed by the thermal springs which you can feel and enjoy in Dolenjske Toplice and Šmarješke Toplice spa.
A part of this same region is also the South-West area of Slovenia called Bela krajina, which is famous for its wooded mountains and the Kolpa river. This is a very clean and fresh Slovene river. In the centre of the region, in Crnomelj, Jurjevanje takes place every year, which is one of the biggest Slovene folklore events. It is based on various witnesses of the past customs connected to Jurjevo. In the past this was a distinctive shepherd's holiday.
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