Kočevski gozd – Secret forest of Kočevsko

foto: Jošt Gantar

Did you know that forests cover almost two-thirds of Slovenia? It is the region of Kočevje that boasts the most naturally preserved parts of the country. In its deepest corners, there are many remains of the primaeval forest, where the human hand has not yet encroached. In the past, the mysterious forest offered the necessary hiding places to many people, and today it is home to indigenous species of beasts and birds. Kočevsko is registered on the map of important tourist destinations by registering the forest of Krokar on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The Kočevski Rog (or also only Rog, German Hornwald) is a karst plateau, which is part of the Kočevski Highlands above the Črmošnjiška Valley, part of Dolenjska. The hill is part of the Dinaric mountain, the highest part is the 1099 m high Veliki Horn, while the nearby Pogorelc peak reaches 821 m. Above all, it is a large forest area, with the remains of the Rajhenava rainforest, with many wild animals, mainly beasts, from bears to wolves and lynx.



  • HISTORY

In around 1350, the Ortenburgers additionally settled German farmers, Kočevarje. They developed their own dialect. In 1941 they moved to the homes of violent expatriate Slovenes around Brežice and Krško. Since then, Rog is predominantly uninhabited. In 1942, the KPS, IO OF and the main command of the Slovenian Partisan troops and the printing and technique were in Kočevski Rog for some time. A number of secret hospitals and the Baza 20 base were built, which today, together with two hospitals, is a monument and a tourist attraction. Nearby is the only Dolenjsko ski resort Rog-Črmošnjica oz. Gace. Kočevski Rog is also one of the towns where victims of post-war killings are lying in at least five abysses and caves, Croat domobranci and Ustaši, Serbian Chetniks and Slovenian domobranci who fled after defeat to Austria and returned the British land forces to their homeland.

  • Bunker Škrilj
foto: Bojan Puhek

Until recently, the public did not know about the existence of a secret bunker, but now you can visit it. The forest above the village of Škrilj remains a closed military area. The bunker was built during the Cold War, 80 meters below the surface. 500 m of corridors and six underground rooms with their own water catchment and two generators for the production of electricity would make it possible to stay in the bunker for 100 days in case of an atomic shock.

  • Virgin forest of Kočevsko

You can discover this magical forest by taking different hiking paths, you can stay in the forest even for few days! For the ones that are more into cycling, the tours for you are specialy designed. Maybe you are on the hunt for some magnificent wildlife photography? Simply book a tour for photohraphers.  

foto: BoBo

As you could read in this article, Slovenia offers not only a beautiful city center, but also a part of the nature that we managed to protect and tried to preserve in its original form. These areas provide protection to many species of animals and plants and preserve the various ecosystems that are important to all of us. With this article, we wanted to bring you closer to Slovenia in a different way and show you why it is such a wonderful part of the world. If you visit these places and enjoy the activities offered by the places themselves, you will understand why in Slovenia we are trying to preserve them and why Slovenian people cultivate such love for nature.

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