Pišece castle garden
The garden was planned in the spirit of English landscape. There are some remains of a formally arranged terrace garden on the southern side. The garden is rich with exotic trees: Catalpa bignonioides, plane tree, tulip tree, Cryptomeria japonica, Gleditsia sp., ginkgo, red beech and three magnificent sequoias. The original forest has almost overgrown the initial park plan.
Monastery gardens in Olimje
The mansion, first built by Hans Tattenbach in 1550, was occupied by the Pauline eremite order in 1663. The famous apothecary in the circular tower has an exceptional monumental value. Paulines cultivated the fields, grew wine, caught fish, and they were also practicing healing and pharmacology. The apothecary was functionally bound to both gardens next to the monastery. While the monastery was being rebuilt, a lot of attention was paid to both gardens, too. The vegetable and herbal garden can also be admired on Visher's copper engraving from 1681.
The archaeological excavations enlightened the past size of the herbal garden and they proved the existence of a garden wall that used to surround it. These days, the vegetable garden allotment is supported by a massive rock scarp. During the reconstruction, the conservators used plant illustrations from the apothecary and the motifs from the presbytery. They studied the list of herbs and vegetables from St. Gallen monastery whose gardening tradition was passed to subsequent monasteries.
Source: Kozjanski park
Fun fact: Ajdovska žena (Ajdovska woman, Pilštanj) -
is a picturesque rock created by erosion of grained dolomite on the steep forested slope above the left bank of Bistrica (Pilštanj). The antropomorph rock formation is 12 metres tall (7 metres on the gradual side) and up to 2 metres wide. It is in a shape of a woman carrying a child in her arms. According to the legend this woman turned to stone after she had cursed the sun.
Source: Kozjanski park
The area of Kozjanski Park is built of rocks from Carboniferous, Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, Tertiary and Quaternary period. The stacks of Triassic and Tertiary rocks mark the area, and among them there are also Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks or Carboniferous-Permian layers. Earth’s history is essential for understanding the rock structure of Kozjanski Park, which has been transformed by tectonic forces over the time. Its present image is also a result of various external factors.
Fun fact: The oldest rocks are approximately 300 million years old and from the time when the area was coved by the sea. These are the layers of slate clay, silicate sandstone and conglomerate. No fossils were found in them.
Source: Kozjanski park
The so called »species on the Red list« deserve special attention among the plants. According to this list of endangered fern and seed plant species (Wraber & Skoberne, 1989), there are 7 such plant species in Kozjanski Park. According to the Regulation on placing the endangered plant and animal species on the Red List (The Official Gazette No. 82/02), there are more than 70 such species in Kozjanski Park. Some plants species.
The fauna of Kozjanski Park, with the exception of birds, amphibians and some insect species, has not been researched properly yet or the existing data is out-of-date. The variety of relatively well-preserved habitats also influences the biodiversity of fauna (dry grasslands, waterways, beech forests). Traditional use of grasslands is essential for exceptionally rich fauna of insects and spiders. Some of them are rare and endangered in Slovenia and even in Europe. Unfortunately, these habitats are gradually disappearing.
Special attention should be paid to waters or water habitats in general. Biologically, physically and chemically clean waters are quite rare. However, some streams inside the Park have not been over-polluted yet (the Bistrica in Bistri Graben, the Dramlja, the Gabrnica) and they provide a habitat for some endangered species that depend on clean water (Emys orbiclaris, otter, crabs). Some animal species.
Kozjanski Park is an extremely valuable area when it comes to the heritage of exceptional trees. At least 12 respectable trees are older than 250 years. Some of them have never been documented. An oak called Nujčev hrast in Gregovce, the largest of its kind in Slovenia, deserves special attention and so does a linden called Bizeljska lipa. 15 Ilex aquifolium trees are over 10 metres tall, and this species spreads by itself in the area of Mrčna sela, which is rather unusual for this Part of Slovenia.