About Dolenjske Toplice
The starting point of the Podgorjanska Wine Road
The name Dolenjske Toplice derives from the Slovenian term for thermal springs, toplice. The main activity in this area with a population of 3,200 is centred on tourism, which is driven by the local spa and picturesque scenery. Dolenjske Toplice is the starting point of the Podgorjanska Wine Road, and there are other theme routes as well: the Dormouse Hunting Trail, the Rožek Forest Nature Trail, the Archaeology Trail, and others.
The Sušica stream flows into the River Krka which offers many possibilities for boating and rafting and is a popular spot for fishing.
Relics of prehistoric times
The earliest written reference to Dolenjske Toplice dates back to 1228, and archaeological evidence suggests that the Cvinger Hill, west of where the inhabited area is today, was home to a well-fortified settlement as early as the 5th century BC. The earthworks of this former outpost on the route between the River Krka valley and the region of Bela Krajina are still clearly visible today.
Dolenjske Toplice borders on lush forests with an astounding wealth of biodiversity. Not far is Kočevski Rog, the largest continuous wooded area in the country. Parts of it are ancient forest reserves of European importance.
One of the most elite spas in Austro-Hungarian Monarchy
In the 1650s Prince John Weikhard von Auersperg ordered the first bathing building to be built and he enclosed one of the three thermal water springs by a wall and roofed it. The present Vital Hotel was built between 1767 and 1776. It was definitely the most prominent spa building in Carniola at that time. After the thermal water analysis results were unveiled in Vienna, Dolenjske Toplice emerged as one of the most elite health spas in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.
Tuscan style spa
The building was built in Tuscan style and had four floors – basement with three covered swimming pools, ground floor and two floors with 28 guest rooms. Counts von Auersperg renovated the spa multiple times from head to toes. The last time was in 1899 when the present Kristal Hotel was finished. Having undergone a change of ownership at the beginning of the 20th century, the health spa was taken over by Krka Pharmaceuticals, based in Novo Mesto, in 1973.
Spa park with a botanical trail
A special feature of Dolenjske Toplice is its magnificent spa park with a botanical trail. The park was laid out in 1898, when a chestnut-lined avenue was built there as well. The park is home to more than 100 different tree and shrub species. Perfect for a leisurely stroll.
Dolenjske Toplice is surrounded by picturesque winegrowing hills and the region of Dolenjska is famous for Cviček, a wine with a protected designation of origin and low alcohol content. The wine is widely believed to have therapeutic qualities.