THE HIGHEST-LYING SETTLEMENT IN SLOVENIA
The Church of the Holy Spirit stands in the centre of the settlement, and is the central identifying image. The church represents the central part of the Solčava panoramic road and is the starting point for hikes towards the famous Potočka zijavka cave and the top of Mt. Olševa.
Church of the Holy Spirit
The hamlet of Podolševa extends high below the walls of Mt. Olševa. The locals also call the settlement Sveti Duh (The Holy Spirit), after the baroque Church of the Holy Spirit, which gives the hamlet its image, and whose special fairytale-like appearance marks the Solčava panoramic road.
The present church was erected at the end of the 19th century, on the site of the previous 15th century church. Inside the church there is a preserved Gothic chalice and a relief of the Holy Trinity carved from yew wood, which is particularly interesting because of the Holy Spirit who is depicted as a young man with a globe and not as an image of a dove. The church features an oldest bell in the area with an inscription written in ancient Gothic capitals.
The Potočka zijavka cave
The Potočka zijavka cave beneath Mt. Olševa is the first archaeologically researched site from the Old Stone Age (Paleolithic) in Slovenia Researchers have discovered numerous skeletons of cave bears and other Ice Age animals in it. Traces of a prehistoric man called the Cro-Magnon were also left in the Potočka zijavka cave 35,000 years ago. The oldest bone needle in the world, was found here, as well as numerous tools, bone tips, bone flutes, dyes made of iron ore and a large number of fireboxes. New findings reveal that the Potočka zijalka cave was a sanctuary for Cro-Magnon hunters.
The Firšt Guesthouse and Museum, which is located beside the road before reaching the Logar Valley, features a permanent exhibition on the Potočka zijavka cave. You can hike up to the famous archaeological site by following the Bear Trail (Medvedova pot). In the rectory in the village of Solčava, you can see an exhibition of caves and fossils titled ‘Stories written in stone’.