Prilozje Ponds and Rožanec Mithaeum 5562

Prilozje Ponds and Rožanec Mithaeum

Region Southeast Slovenia Statistical Region
Starting point Marked parking lot in Rožanec Village
Route length 1,3 km (0.80 miles)
route duration 1 h
Best time to visit spring, summer, autumn
Appropriate for Baby Carriers , 1-3 years of age , 3-6 years of age , 6+ years of age
Level of difficulty Easy route

Route Description

White Carniola statistical region (Bela Krajina) does not disappoint and even if you spend several days there, it is an inexhaustible source of truly exceptional excursions. The diversity of the landscape, historical monuments and the preservation of tradition will leave a lasting impression.

The Rožanec Mithraeum, most likely created in the second century A.D., is a shrine that was once used by believers of the ancient and mysterious Mithraic faith. At the heart of Mithraeum, which lies in a pit surrounded by dense forest, visitors can observe a relief of the god Mithras carved into a rock. He is portrayed slaying an angry bull. The scene, known as “tauroctony,” is a common motif of Mithraic art. Mithraism was a Roman mystery religion centered on the god Mithras, inspired by the Iranian worship of the Zoroastrian divinity.

According to legend, a raven brought to Mitras (who was born out of a rock) the creator's advice to catch and sacrifice a white bull to save the earth. When the hero did so, the spilled bull's blood gave rise to vegetation, and from his seed for animals. A companion dog, a snake, and a scorpion climb up to the dying bull. The snake and scorpion want to destroy the emerging life on earth as personifications of the forces of evil. The scene of the sacrifice is accompanied by the personifications of the sun and moon, a symbol of light and darkness, and the priests Cautopates and Cautes.

In the centuries after the fall of Roman civilization, various folk tales about the unusual shrine emerged among the local population. Archaeological excavations have shown that the original ancient level of the space next to the relief was 75 cm (2 feet) lower, and there used to be a hearth, which means that believers used fire in some rituals.

In recent years, scientists discovered that pollution was causing the rock to erode at an alarming rate. This led them to create a cast of the relief, which is now on display at the Bela Krajina Museum in Metlika.

The 400-meter (437-yard) long walking trail to the Mithraeum starts in the village of Rožanec at the marked parking lot. Before entering the Mithraeum area, there is an information board. You can continue walking to St. George’s Church.

Behind the village of Prilozje, three ponds are connected to each other. Today the central and eastern ponds are used for breeding fish, mostly carp, tench, crucian carp, common bream, etc. The west pond is left to its own natural processes and represents an important natural habitat for many endangered and rare species.

The ponds used to belong to lordship in Gradac castle and were mentioned as early as 1824. The wetlands are a quiet area where observations of birds, pond turtles, dragonflies, and other animals can be held. The pond turtle is of particular interest because it is on the endangered species list and is the only autochthonous turtle in Slovenia.


Interesting Facts

Vinomer bracken consists of a birch tree forest, pines and undergrowth of bracken, spring heath, and common heather. Bracken (»stelja«) meadows are the most typical and recognizable natural landscape attractions in Bela krajina. Typically, bracken is cut once a year. It is then dried and used as litter for cattle, horses, and other farm animals.

This is a terrific spot for a photoshoot with the white birches. Drive from the town of Metlika towards the city of Novo mesto, choose the first exit at the roundabout and head towards Metlika's center. Continue for about 1 km (0.10 miles). Follow the road sign directing you towards Radovica. Drive straight for about 2.8 km (1.13 miles). Vinomer bracken meadows should be on your right, with the parking, benches, table, and information table clearly visible.


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Mitrej in ribniki Prilozje
Start point coordinates 45,606162

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Nearby Restaurants

Müller Inn and Accommodation

The most famous inn does not disappoint with its homeliness, friendliness and good service. On weekends, book in advance if you want to avoid unnecessary waiting.

Ločka cesta 6,
8340 Črnomelj
040 809 295



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We recommend that you try the Bela krajina Flatbread. Wow! It is similar to bread, but better.


  • 500 g white wheat flour
  • 300 ml lukewarm water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 20 g yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten egg to coat the flat bread)
  • a pinch of whole caraway seeds
  • a pinch of coarse-grain salt


Make a bread mixture from flour, water and yeast.  Let rise and then put it on an oiled surface to stretch into a circle with a diameter of 30cm, press until it is 1 or 2cm thick, reducing thickness towards the edge. Make 7 straight cuttings on the dough, coat it with the beaten egg, sprinkle with caraway and a pinch of coarse-grain sea salt. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 200°C–220°C/392°F-428°F.