Medieval Town of Kranj

The old town of Kranj, historically also named Carnium, Creina, Chreina, or Krainburg, is a historical town situated on a conglomerate prominence between the rivers Sava and Kokra. The city area was inhabited as early as the Celtic period in the first millennium B.C. The town achieved one of its peaks in the 7th century, the era of people’s migration and arrival of Slovene settlers. During that time, an important strategic fort and, consequently, Kranj’s first settlement was founded. The biggest and oldest Slovene burial ground bears witness to this fact.

 Aerial photo of old town centre.

Aerial photo of old town centre.

Kranj lost its independence at the turn of the 9th/10th centuries, when it became the seat of the March of Carniola. Later on, the March of Carniola became the Carniola Dukedom, with its seat moving to Ljubljana. The development of trade in the 13th century provided Kranj with its city rights and a number of city privileges and benefits for further development of trade and transport of agricultural products as well as development of ironwork.
In the first half of the 19th century, Kranj was a market trading town. At the end of the 19th century, manufacturing was established and thrived to the extent that Kranj became more industrial in nature.

 Kranj with Alps in the background

Kranj with Alps in the background

The medieval layout of the Kranj town centre is in the typical pyramidal form with an emphasis on church steeples. Another feature is the north-south axis, indicated by the visual link between the Kranj Parish Church and the Storžič summit. Undoubtedly, the planned placement of a number of high dominating features in the city area ranks Kranj among the most carefully considered urban developments in not only Slovenia but also Central Europe.

  Kranj is situated between the rivers Sava and Kokra

Kranj is situated between the rivers Sava and Kokra

At the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Modern Times, the town was guarded by a city defence wall with towers, the castle and the Škrlovec armoury from the west side of the Sava. The floor plan composed a narrow space between both rivers with two access roads, one at the former Main Town gate located on the current Maistrov trg and the other one at the Lower Town gate in today’s Vodopivčeva uclica. The old town centre comprises the Main Square (Glavni trg) and Prešerenova ulica, which are linked with two parallel streets. The arcade passageways were built in Tomšičeva and Tavčarjeva ulica, which used to connect the backyards of the bourgeois houses with the town square. The town boasts bourgeois houses, wonderfully shaped streets, mansions, churches and houses with architectural ornately decorated façades and courtyards.

More on the topic: http://www.tourism-kranj.si/en