“Far yonder to the north of Ljubljana, where the skyscraper-sized peaks of the Kamnik Alps separate the sunlit Carniola from the mountainous Carinthia, there lies a small area of land, entirely independent and embedded in a ring of high mountains – Jezersko. “
(R.Andrejka, I. Muri, booklet Jezersko, Ljubljana 1921)
Jezersko has a very diverse geological history. 400 million years old rocks that once formed a coral reef can be found around the Vrinikov Grintovec, Pristovški Storžič and Stegovnik mountains. The Kamnik-Savinja Alps were created by accumulation of sediments in the shallow sea 200 million years ago and were pushed out of the sea around 60 million years ago by strong forces created in the Earth’s core. Today’s form of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps was shaped mostly by glaciers from the last Ice Age that melted after the warming up of climate more than 10 000 years ago. Ground rocks of Jezersko area are mostly impermeable and the water from melting glaciers accummulated in the bottom of the valley, thus creating a big glacial lake. After a huge earthquake in 1348, the lake water started to drain.
(SOURCE: Bavec et al. 2009. Geologija Slovenije = The Geology of Slovenia.Ljubljana, Geološki zavod Slovenije: 612 pg.)
…and the people
The earliest written documents about people inhabiting the valleys at the foot of Mt Kočna were found in 811, in a wooden chapel that served as a shelter for merchants and monks who travelled further on to Carantania (Kranjska) or in the opposite direction through Carinthia (Koroška) towards the sea.
In 1348, a huge earthquake with the epicentre near today’s Villach (Austria), had a major impact on this area, too. The quake and the series of aftershocks lasted for 40 days and caused the natural water barrier in the east of Makekova Kočna mountain to crack, and the lake water from the big glacial lake slowly disappeared.
The disappearing lake gave space and land for agriculture and the valley was soon full of grain fields and other crops that people needed to survive. In addition to agriculture, sheep breeding was one of the main activities. In the 17th and the 18th century, through crossbreeding the stockbreeders from Jezersko and the neighbouring Solčava region managed to create a breed that was adapted to survive in the mountainous environment, so called Jezersko-Solčavska sheep breed.
In the late 19th century Jezersko started to engage in a newly developing industry – tourism. However, due to well established merchant routes, letting guests’ beds and selling food and drinks to travellers existed in the valley much earlier (from the 16th century on), but with the development of tourism, the valley at the foot of Mt Kočna became frequented also by visitors who came here purely to enjoy the natural beauty of the valley itself and of the mountains surrounding it.
Czech business owners, who owned a number of factories in Carniola at the time, had the Češka koča mountain lodge built under the Grintovec rock walls in 1900, and both, tourism as well as local crafts and businesses started flourishing. Almost every house offered guest rooms to let, and along with tourism other trades started to develop, too. Thanks to good climate and fresh mountain air, Jezersko was the only place in the region to enjoy the spa status. It also had a clinic for eye diseases related to tuberculosis. At 900 m above sea level, the ozone levels and the quality of air in general are comparable to that in Davos, Switzerland.
In addition, Jezersko is known its spring of excellent mineral water. Visitors can enjoy it free of charge at the trough, from a faucet, which is built into a beautiful natural sculpture.
Untouched nature, majestic peaks of the proud Grintovci and the preserved cultural landscape, all this is offered by us, friendly locals, along with excellent traditional cuisine of our grandmothers and a shot of our grandfathers’ brandy to those who chose to visit Jezersko – one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia!