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A Captivating Heart-Shaped Lake: Planšar Lake in Zgornje Jezersko

Nestled in the charming town of Zgornje Jezersko, Planšar Lake holds a special place in the hearts of both locals and visitors. Its distinctive shape, resembling a heart, pays homage to the glacial lake that once occupied this breathtaking location.

Planšarsko jezero
Planšarsko jezero

As you explore the area, you'll discover that Planšar Lake is not only a captivating natural wonder but also a symbol of the region's beauty and tranquility.

One of the most popular activities for both locals and tourists is taking leisurely walks to Planšar Lake from various directions. The scenic routes provide awe-inspiring views of the majestic peaks of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. As you stroll along the lakeshore, you'll be mesmerized by the mirrored reflection of the surrounding mountain contours dancing on the crystal-clear surface of Lake Planšar.

During the winter months, the lake transforms into a magical wonderland. An ice rink is set up by the lakeside, creating a delightful spot for ice skating. Children, in particular, find immense joy in gliding across the glistening ice. To warm up and rejuvenate, a cozy cabin awaits nearby, offering a welcome respite from the chilly weather.

For those seeking more adventure, continue your journey along the macadam road that leads to the Davo Karničar Mountaineering Center. Along this route, prepare to be captivated by even more breathtaking vistas of the mountains. They appear tantalizingly close, as if you could reach out and touch them. Jezersko serves as the starting point for hikers eager to conquer the challenging peaks of Grintovec, Skuta, Kočna, Veliko Baba, and Doli Hrbet.

Situated at an altitude of 896 meters, Planšar Lake is enveloped by an idyllic spruce forest and steep peaks that provide a stunning backdrop. The inviting waters of the lake beckon swimmers to immerse themselves in its refreshing embrace, showcasing captivating shades of green. Adjacent to the lake, a guest house awaits, offering delicious home-cooked meals. Notably, the Shepherd's Ball takes place here every August—an esteemed cultural event and the oldest ethnographic gathering in Slovenia.

With a maximum depth of 4 meters, Planšar Lake invites visitors to partake in various activities. Enjoy a leisurely picnic by the lakeside, pamper your furry friend with a refreshing dog bath, or take a refreshing swim on warm summer days. During winter, embrace the thrill of ice skating, creating joyful memories on the lake's frozen surface.

Planšar Lake is easily accessible by foot, bicycle, mountain bike, or car. While it is considered an artificial reservoir lake, its natural charm and beauty are unmistakable. As you explore its surroundings, you'll uncover a rich history woven into the fabric of Jezersko. Once deemed an uninhabited and remote place, Jezersko belonged to the Koroška region under the Iron Chapel until 1918.

Planšarsko jezero
Planšarsko jezero

Legend has it that a vast glacial lake once occupied the area of Jezerski. Bounded by the Kamnik-Savinja Alps on the eastern side and the magnificent Storžič and other mountains on the northwestern side, this grand lake left a lasting impression. In 1886, former mayor Franc Muri - Kazinar delved into the soil layers of Jezersko, discovering its geological marvels. Heavy downpours and earthquakes eventually closed the outflow of water, leading to the formation of Planšar Lake. Over time, the lake filled and drained away, leaving behind the enchanting landscape we see today.

Folklore and oral traditions tell stories of ancient paths leading to and around the lake. These routes were said to connect Jezersko with Carniola, traversing the Fevče ridges from Tržič. Among these historical routes was a Roman road, while another path passed St. Ožbolt pri Jezero, a significant route for European nobility and merchants since the 16th century. In the 20th century, a carriageway was constructed, further solidifying the region's importance as a vital trade route.

Planšar Lake and its surroundings blend natural beauty, outdoor activities, and a rich cultural heritage. Whether you're seeking serene walks, thrilling hikes, or moments of tranquility by the water's edge, this heart-shaped gem in Zgornje Jezersko promises an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

Former mayor Fran Muri – Kazinar and botanist Angela Piskernik also wrote about the routes across the great lake in the Chronicle or history of Jezerski. The route was supposed to lead from Kranjsko through Kokra to Povšna and Mlinarjev sedlo to Jezero to the town of Na koreneh. There was a boat station and the possibility of transportation along the lake to the church of St. Heartburn. The existence of a large glacial lake is evidenced by the names - St. Ožbolt pri Jezeru, the old name Jezero instead of the Czech translation of the German name Seeland - Jezersko. The old name for the inhabitants has been preserved until today. They are called Jezerians. The old Jezerska municipality had a duck in its stamp in previous centuries, even though the lake was long gone by then. The proof that there was a lake here is also the fact that there is no trace of human work in this area until the 15th century. From the 17th century onwards, several attempts were made to dry up the rest of the lake.

Today's Lake Planšar in the mountains is located between Carinthia and Carniola and has the shape of a heart. It was dammed so that people would remember the great glacial lake that once existed. After the glacial lake, which was made by the glacier, the place got its name - Jezersko. There is also a Gostišče ob jezero next to Lake Planšar, where you can enjoy buckwheat brandy, štruklje, homemade apple rolls, and many other excellent local delicacies. The guest house is open from Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. When you visit Planšarska jezero, it does not mean that you can just sit by the lake. In the summer, you can take a boat or a soup on the lake, but if you prefer to be by the water, you can get on a bike and go on a trip around the lake. Even in winter, Planšarsko jezero is worth a visit. For all cross-country skiing enthusiasts, in winter the locals organize a trail around the lake for cross-country skiing. However, since the Planšar Lake is non-flowing, it freezes in winter and serves as an ice rink.

Not far from the lake, there is also a spring of mineral water called Jezerska Slatina. Janez Vajkard Valvasor already knew its source and knew even then that this water was something special. In Slava vojvodina Kranjska, he writes about the fact that he himself also tasted it. Today, you drive to Jezerska Slatina over a wooden bridge, and you will see a tap from where this miraculous mineral water flows. Anyone can drink it, but it is not recommended to drink too much, due to the high magnesium content, because this can lead to digestive disorders. They advise that patients who have problems with the heart and blood vessels should drink it, as Jezerska Slatina is said to have a beneficial effect on them. In addition to magnesium, it also contains calcium and manganese and ammonium substances.

From the spring, you can also see our largest and highest glacier, the Ledenik pod Skuta. It lies on the northern side of the Kamnik–Savinj Alps in Krnica, and because of its location, it is in the shade most of the time. It used to be used for mass skiing, but soon this will no longer be possible, as the glacier is disappearing very quickly due to melting and is getting smaller every year. It lies at 2010 m above sea level. It is said to have formed from the larger Pleistocene Jezerski Glacier, which was below Skuta and formed the glacial valley called Ravenska Kočna. Between the 14th and 19th centuries in the so-called Little Ice Age, it is said to have created Ledenik pod Skuta and Triglav glacier. One of the more interesting things is that the Jezersko Hunting Family on Ledenik pod Skuta organizes the Crystal Chamois Competition every year in the middle of June.

Every year, on the second Sunday in August, Planšarsko jezero is the scene of one of the oldest events, the Shepherd's Ball. In the morning, there is a program that starts with the dance of folklore groups and continues with the driving of sheep from the mountains. Then the shepherds show how sheep are sheared and what can be done with wool. In the afternoon, socializing with folk music follows. The typical sheep for Jezersko is the Jezersko-Solčava sheep, which got its name from the places of Jezersko and Solčava, since in the past sheep farming was the largest there. However, since the sheep is so famous in Jezersko, the people of Jezera also have it in their coats of arms.

If you drive to Lake Planšar, you will most likely pass the church, which is located right next to the road. It is called the Old Church of St. Heartburn. At first, there was no church here, but a small wooden chapel, which was a refuge for travellers and monks in the 8th century. Today's church was built sometime in the beginning of the 13th century. Today, mass is celebrated there only a few times a year. People visit it mainly because it contains the oldest frescoes in Slovenia from the 14th century, as well as the statue of Mary, which was donated to the church by the Patriarch of Oglej, Frančišek. The church is located just a few minutes away from the lake and presents a beautiful Renaissance image of the church.

"Lake region, where nature is the most beautiful," is the slogan of this place. Jezersko is an excellent starting point for all mountain lovers, and on the way back, you can stop at Planšarské jezero and at Gostišče pri Jezero. When you sit by the lake, you can't hear anything because Jezersko is considered one of the quieter places. With its rich history, this part of Slovenia is truly something extraordinary.


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