Kranj

Kranj, the fourth largest city in Slovenia, lies at the confluence of the Sava and Kokra rivers. The northern side of the city is surrounded by the peaks of the Karawanken Mountains while the Sorško polje plain extends to the south of the city.

The Kranj area was first settled in the Stone Age, in the fourth millennium BC. Lying on a conglomerate outcrop between the rivers Sava and Kokra, the city was well naturally protected against attacks, but due to its strategic position it had to be additionally protected by defensive walls and towers in some periods of history.

The medieval part of Kranj is one of Central Europe's most interestingly designed old city centres. It is built in a typical pyramidal shape outlined by church spires on top and a city wall with defensive towers, a fort, and an arsenal at the base. Kranj was naturally vulnerable to attack on the northern side, where archaeologists found remains of a prehistoric moat originating from the 7th century BC and where the city walls built later, in the Middle Ages, were as much as ten metres thick. Kranj's medieval city walls, measuring a total of 870 metres in length, were additionally fortified with nine defensive towers.

Kranj is distinguished by its rich cultural, historical, technical and natural heritage. It is associated with the life and work of a number of important Slovenians, including, among others, the greatest Slovenian poet France Prešeren (1800-1849), the poet and writer Simon Jenko (1835-1869), the Baroque painter Leopold Layer (1752-1828), the inventor of photography on glass Janez Puhar (1814-1864), and the politician and newspaper editor Janez Bleiweis (1808-1881).

The city of Kranj, designated a protected cultural heritage area in 1983, is now a modern city whose heritage and tradition fuse together with modern life in a most interesting way.