Mount Saint Mary
What to say about probably the most famous lone hill in the city of Ljubljana? Raise your hand if you have never heard of Mount Saint Mary (Šmarna gora). We will take you up there to taste the Sweet Yogurt Fritters (“miške” aka little mice in Slovene), which are more famous in Slovenia than the Rolling Stones!
This hill is 669 meters (2,194 feet) above the sea level and has the 7-metre (22 feet) taller Grmada (which means bonfire wood) hill as its neighbor.
It was originally called the “Holm”, which means “the lonely hill”. Later on, Mount Saint Mary became a pilgrimage road and it was named after the church standing on its top. It has a very diverse rock base and ecosystem.
The Matjaž Cave is a small but valuable landmark. This is a real stalactite cave with a natural window in its ceiling. It is located on the slope of the Gradišče Hill (also called the Matjaž Hill) only ten meters (32 feet) above the lowland in the village of Zavrh.
People have been climbing the hill since the beginning of the last millennium, and today it is interspersed with countless paths and trails. The most crowded is probably the path across the village of Tacen, whereas our family set off across Peske. In our opinion, this is the easiest and most accessible to both tiny human legs and dogs.
You can park at a marked parking lot (you have to pay) or leave your car next to the road in the village of Vikrče. The trail climbs slowly and is the least muddy of all.
The oldest landmark on Mount Saint Mary is a plague sign erected by survivors in the battles against the Turks and the plague. Almost at the end of the path is the famous bell, which is supposed to fulfill hidden wishes of those who ring it. Do not forget about it! :)
There is a restaurant at the top, a church and of course the Sweet Yogurt Fritters. They are made from fried dough and sprinkled with powdered sugar and can only be ordered on weekends.
There are quite a few fairy tales and tales about the origin of Mount Saint Mary. One of them goes like this:
Once upon a time there lived a giant called Crunch (Hrust), who was the fear and trembling of all those around him. He was aided in plundering and intimidation by a dog that had a head like a dragon. A brave farmer named Janez decided to put an end to this. At night, he tied a rabbit in a sack, took an iron rod and went on his way. When he arrived at the cave where the giant slept, he released the rabbit from the sack. The dog guarding the giant chased after the rabbit. However, the giant also woke up. At first, he sneezed so hard that Janez was blown over the Sava River. Then the giant started throwing rocks. He kept throwing them for the whole day, then crossed the riverbank and stacked the rocks in a pile. After he was done, he stepped on the top, looked around a bit and plunged himself into the middle of the mountain. This is how the saddle between Mount Saint Mary and the Grmada Hill was formed.
Gostinski lokal v bližini
It is a family inn with a rich backstory. The Ledinek family has been taking care of hungry hikers for more than 35 years. They are not only the caretakers and owners of the inn, but they also take care of the church complex, the weather station, animals, and trails in addition to organizing various sports and cultural events.
The inn has always been famous for its rice, but of course, other dishes have been added to the menu.
Šmarna gora 4
01/511 65 55
Mila and Staš Recommend
We both agree that it would be a real shame to forget to ring the wish bell. If Juna reached for the string, we can imagine what her wish would be: endless treats every day! :)