Vitanje lies under the southern outskirts of Pohorje. The municipal centre prides itself on an old market-town centre with condensed buildings, the most noticeable of which, those with interesting architecture, are under monument protection and speak of a venerable history. Historic sources first mention the market town in 1306; therefore, in 2006 Vitanje celebrated the honourable 700 years of market-town rights.

The entire area of today's Vitanje covers mainly the hilly countryside at the footsteps of western Pohorje and the extension of the Karavanke. These two ridges of mountains are separated by a narrow valley that is part of a fault that starts in the Labotska Valley, goes across the Slovenjegraška basin and then towards the Pannonian Plain. At the Pohorje end, the highest peak is Rogla (1517m) followed by the Kraguljšča (1491m) and the Glažuta hills (1458m) on the ridge west of Rogla. Paški Kozjak is part of the Karavanke extension along with the popular mountain spot Basališče (1272m) and Stenica (1091m), which is a popular sightseeing point. Unlike the Karavanke extension, where there is almost no water, the peaks and plateaus of Pohorje contain streams with springs at high altitudes, which provide a very important supply of water for the region. The natural characteristics of this narrow valley meant that it already had a great traffic connection role in ancient times. Blocks of marble, which were used in some houses as doorsteps, and discovered tombstones suggest that there was an important centre, the Upellae settlement, here even in those days. It was a Roman mansio – outpost at an important traffic route between Celeia and Virinum in Carinthia. It is believed that the name Vitanje is simply a Slovenian translation of the word mansio.

The connection to “WEITENSTEIN”, meaning Vid’s stone, also stirs the imagination. Near St. Vida at Hudinja, archaeological research revealed evidence of a marble site from the Roman period and probably even from before that. The names of the settlements Zgornji Brezen and Spodnji Brezen (“Upper Chasm and Lower Chasm”) are particularly interesting, because they reflect the volcanic origin of the Pariški Kozjak.

Slovenians populated this area in the 6th century. After losing independence, it came under the Frankish authority of the Holy Roman-German Empire. At the end of the 10th century, the area became property of the local margrave William Breže-Selški and at the end of the 11th century of the Bishop of Krško. At that time, Vitanje became an administrative centre for the wider area, because the Bishops of Krško had their ministerials here from which later the noble family from Vitanje originated. They had two castles built.

The old market-town centre is first mentioned in 1306. It is funnel-shaped and used to have a wall with upper gates at the bridge across Hudinja and lower gates. The outer rim of the settlement is dominated by ground-floor houses, while on the main street there are condensed one- and two-storey buildings. Roof ridges mostly flow parallel to the street. Classicistic facades originate from the 19th century, when the local economy flourished.

A person is proud if a renowned individual has lived in his town. The people of Vitanje are proud, because recently the name Hermana Potočnika Noordunga has been gaining more and more attention. He made significant contributions to the development of rocket technology and is a pioneer of space flights and technologies.

In Vitanje, you may visit Beškovnikovo kaščo, Stari grad and Novi grad, Župnijska cerkev sv. Petra in Pavla, Cerkev Matere Božje na Hriberci and vasico Rakovec.


Elektronski časopis
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