Path to Puštal

When walking along the Path to Puštal theme path, you will be accompanied by stories which will reveal how the Puštal locals used to live. You will find out how Puštal is connected with the devil, combs, frogs, and many other things of interest.

Although Puštal is just a stone's throw from Škofja Loka, conflicts between Puštal and Škofja Loka date back to the Middle Ages. In the 13th century the Freising Bishops were deprived of the Puštal territory and it thus belonged to another dominion as a town. In addition the social status of the Puštal locals was significantly different to that of the bourgeois, as those in Puštal lived in granaries and shacks, where they made a living mainly through non-agricultural activities. One of the most widespread was combmaking, the most unusual was the hunting and sale of frogs, of which there was an abundance in Puštal. It was due to these activities that the Škofja Loka locals liked to make fun of those from Puštal and they returned the teasing with 'Loska smojka' – a local dish.

1. Martin's House

The path begins in the Town Square (Mestni trg) opposite Martin's House (1) and leads over the main road to Karlovec. The name of the suburb of Karlovec most likely originates from the name of the Croatian town of Karlovec in the Military Frontier. The suburb is divided into Upper (Zgornji) Karlovec, which due to its passage into the Poljane valley was always named 'The Poljane Suburb', and Lower (Spodnji) Karlovec, which is land registered appearing under the name 'Essel Gasse' (Donkey Street).

2. Firbar's House

Firbar's House (2) is located at number 8 Kopališka ulica in Karlovec. The house was named after its activity – dyeing. Jurij Pokorn began the activity of dyeing, he was a respectable man, and during the period from 1861-1866 he was even the Loka mayor. Dyeing continued in the house until 1907, and still today on its exterior proof of the trade can be seen – take a look at the upper part of the house where you will notice a 'grablje' ("a rake"), which was sometimes used for drying dyed linen.

3. The Birth House of Fran Jesenko

Just a few steps further along on the left side of the road is the birth house of Fran Jesenko (3) (1875-1932), a famous botanist and geneticist, one of the founders of today's Triglav National Park, and the first professor of botany at the University of Ljubljana establised in 1921.

4. The Beautiful Shrine

At the crossroads of the streets 'Kopališka ulica' and 'Fužinska ulica', on the border between the suburbs of Karlovec and Studenec, there is a beautiful shrine (4). The original shrine was wooden, and from 1826 onwards a brick shrine has stood here. In addition to the shrine there is a well, where locals used to come for water. The 'House behind the Beautiful Shrine' got its name from its close proximity to the shrine – it was also sometimes called 'Pri Znamčkarju'.

5. The Devil's Footbridge

Markings on the ground direct you from the Beautiful Shrine among the houses in Karlovec, then turn left towards the Devil's Footbridge (5). The locals from Puštal and Škofja Loka say that the wooden footbridge over the Sora river was named after a former appearance here by the Devil. When the locals on both sides of the bridge built the shrine, for a short time they banished him, then he once again started to appear in the middle of the bridge. The Devil was finally banished under Šturm's rock (Šturmova skala), when a shrine was built in the middle of the bridge, dedicated to St. John Nepomuk, the patron saint of bridges.

6. Bernik's House and 7. Poličar's House

On the other side of the bridge beside the path there are two well-preserved houses dating from the 18th century. The first is Bernik's House (Bernikova hiša) (6), and the other Poličar's House (Policarjeva hiša) (7). On the facade of Poličar's House look for the mark with the date 27.9.1926 – this is the level that the water reached during heavy flooding in 1926. Due to torrential storms and raging torrents the Poljana Sora and Gradaščica rivers flooded; the severe flooding also caused a number of deaths. 

8. Nace's House

The path continues right past the former swimming pool toward Nace's House (Nacetova domacija) (8). The house was built in the 18th century; its Baroque appearance dates from 1755. The house was named after its owner, Ignacij Homan, who bought the house in 1818, and since then it has passed from generation to generation. Nace's House remains alive thanks to the owners, the Polenec family.

9. Puštal Castle

From Nace's House return on the same path to the Devil's Footbridge and then continue towards Puštal Castle (9). The castle was first mentioned in the 13th century; the current appearance of the church has evolved since the 16th century. The Church of the Holy Cross in Puštal Castle is adorned by a fresco of Guilio Quaglio the Younger's 'Descent from the Cross' from 1706, which is among the most precious works of art in Škofja Loka. Today the castle houses a music school. As the castle is privately owned, it is not possible to see the castle courtyard.

10. Hribec

From Puštal Castle the path leads down towards Hribec (10), approximately 100m along the main road, where care should be taken. A short climb to Hribec leads past the shrines of the Stations of the Cross to the Church of the Holy Cross, which, at the start of the 18th century, was built by the Pustal Wolkensperg Lords.

The theme path ends here, and just a short return takes you back to the Town Square (Mestni trg) in Škofja Loka.

Parking areas

Restaurants in the vicinity:

  • Homan Coffee Shop and Patisserie
  • Vahtnca Coffee Shop
  • 'Na Štengah' Coffee Shop
  • Pizza restaurant Jesharna
  • Restaurant, tavern and wine bar Kašča