Pristava Homestead with Zois' Park

Author: Aleš Košir

The Pristava Homestead was built in 1641 and is protected due to its historical importance. It is located at the eastern foot of the ridge of Španov vrh, above the village of Javorniški Rovt. Pristava was originally intended for supervisors of mining production and transportation of iron ore mined on nearby slopes. Karel Zois, a famous botanist, has created a botanical garden here called Zois' Park. More than two hundred years ago, he found a yellow-flowered pansy, known as Zois's violet, which can only be found on the slopes of the Karavanke mountains. The park contains beautiful exotic and native trees, as well as three lakes teeming with small interesting living creatures. Pristava with Zois' Park is a nice place to relax in nature and an excellent starting point for mountain trips, including the Karavanke Mountains' highest peak, Stol. A famous fossil site nearby with 300-million-year-old carbon rocks attracts amateur collectors and scientists.

Zois' Park

The unique botanical planting of Karel Zois

Zois' Park, located above Jesenice in Javorniški Rovt, is home to a variety of unique plant and tree species that, together with three lakes, form a beautiful natural idyll. Throughout the seasons, the ponds change their appearance and offer unique opportunities for lovers of photography.

The botanist Karel Zois (1756-1799), Žiga Zois's brother, lived and worked in the second half of the 18th century. He lived in the castle at Brdo pri Kranju and in the manor house in Slovenski Javornik. He collected colourful plants in the Julian and Kamnik Alps, as well as the Karavanke Mountains. On Brdo, he planted them alongside native and foreign trees. This is how we got the first botanical garden on Slovenian soil.

Karel discovered Zois' bellflower (Zoisova zvončnica - Campanula zoysii) in Karavanke, and Wulfen also named Zois's violet (Zoisova vijolica - Viola zoysii) after him, which Karl found around 1785. This yellow-flowered pansy grows in central Karavanke from Golica through to Belščica, Stol, Zelenica to Košuta. He built a cottage in Karavanke under Medji dol to be as close to the natural habitats as possible, and he frequently stayed in his residence, which is now known as the Pristava Homestead. The botanical garden next to his house is named after him in his honour. Various trees are marked in the park, including spruce, wild cherry, Sycamore maple, rowan, silver spruce, black poplar, fir, and many others. The park is rich in traces of ancient life in these locations.