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CULTURAL & HISTORICAL HERITAGE
TRI FARE
Tri Fare Pilgrimage in Rosalnice Tel. +386 (0)7 305 83 31.
A prominent pilgrimage site, Rosalnice’s three Gothic churches have been suggested to date from perhaps the 12th century (on account of Valvasor and others). Situated in the northeastern part of the village if Rosalnice (near Metlika), the site is ringed by a high wall. The northern of the three, The Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, is the largest and probably earliest although specific dates are debated. It also has one of the oldest pipe organs in Slovenia and some unique frescoes. Building of the central, Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) Church, suggest it dates from the late 15th or early 16th century, and elements were added including a prominent belfry in the 17th century. The southern church is that of Our Lady of Lourdes, Valvasor being the first to mention it in 1689, although graffiti recently found suggests the construction is much older. The historical timeline of the churches is long and complex, but as a pilgrim site its height of significance seems to be in the 19-19th centuries, when those of both Catholic and Orthodox faith congregated here. Guided tours of the churches can be arranged. Entrance is free to charge.
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METLIKA OLD TOWN CORE
Metlika's old town core, celebrating 640th anniversary of city rights in 2005, comprises of Mestni trg, Trg svobode, Partizanski trg, and a few narrow streets. Due to the town's strategic position bellow the winegrowing hill Veselica and due to water which once surrounded the town, the old town core had a good natural defence function throughout history. The city centre is made up of many renowned buildings, the Metlika Castle, the first reading society in Dolenjska, the City Hall, the former Wach pharmacy building, and the Church of St Nikolaj. The Bela krajina Museum and the Slovene Firefighting Museum of Branko Božič can also be found in the town's city centre, while the Kambič Gallery is also located in the vicinity of the city centre.
DC3 AIRPLANE, OTOK
If you’re driving from Metlika to Črnomelj and see something out of the corner of your eye to the left beyond golden wheat fields, rest assured that you’re not hallucinating, that is in fact an actual wwLL-era Douglas DC-3 – or to be more precise, it’s technically a modified DC-3 that vas referred to as a C-47 Skytrain or Dakota. What is the plane doing in this otherwise normal-looking field? Decommissioned by the Yugo-slav Nation Army in the years following the war, it was placed here to commemorate all of the American and British soldiers who used such planes to fly wounded partisan fighters from a makeshift airport in the liberated territory of Bela Krajina to Allied hospital in Italy.
Rumour has it that when the plane was first set here, it contained all of its original equipment, which then slowly disappeared over the years. Regardless of whether or not this is actually true, the exterior of the plane has recently been restored, and looks as if it could still take if the moment called for it. The real mystery for us is not the status or history of the mighty machine, but the fact that no one seems to know how or why the nearby village of Otok (meaning island in Slovene) got its name.
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VINEYARD COTTAGE "SOSESKA ZIDANICA", DRAŠIČI
tel. +386 (0)41 753 017/ +386 (0)31 306 180, www.soseskadrasici.net.
Outdating the founding of socialist Yugoslavia by nearly two centuries, the Soseska Zidanica in the village of Drašiči (of Neighborhood Wine Cellar as it translates to in English)  developed a community-wide system for sharing wine and raising funds for community projects at the same time. As with many great ideas this one was born out of necessity, as it was often the case that at times of big events (namely weddings) individual families did not have a large enough supply of their own wine to meet the demands of thirsty guests.
Thus is was agreed that a communal wine communal wine cellar should be established, from which every member was free to make ‘deposits’ when they hat extra  wine and take ‘withdrawals’ if the need arose – playing back the latter with a steep 50% ‘interest’ the following harvest. A novel system of keeping track of the accounts using long wooden sticks with lines carved into them was devised. Extra wine from the cellar was also sold, with all the proceeds going to things such as maintain pathways, renovating the town church and playing for funerals. Due to the accounting involved the cellar is often referred to the town’s Wine Bank. Visits to the cellar can be arranged in advance.
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The Greek Catholic Church of Sts. Cyril and Methodius
The Church of Sts. Cyril and Methodius is one of the two Greek Catholic churches in Slovenia. The second, the Church of St. Svetica, and the adjoining cemetery are located in Draga near Suhor. The church was built in 1903 and makes room for about 50 people. The local Greek Catholic priest is the only Slovenian iconographer. He has exhibited numerous works in Slovenia and abroad.
Belokranjski Museum & Metlika Castle
Trg Svobode 4, tel. +386 (0)7 306 33 70, belokranjski.muzej@guest.arnes.si, www.belokranjski-muzej.si. 
First opened in 1951, the Bela Krajina Museum does an excellent job of presenting a comprehensive picture of life in region from prehistoric times right up until the museum opened. Renovated and modernized in time for its 50th anniversary  in 2001, visits to the museum’s permanent collection no begin whit an informative  15min film called  ‘The images of Bela Krajina’. Arranged for the most part chronologically, the oldest items in the collection are some rudimentary tools used in the area during the Neolithic period, while the most recent section of the permanent exhibition covers the difficult interwar years and WWII. From the latter you can learn how Bela Krajina became a free partisan territory during the last years of the war, which was a completely unique phenomenon in Europe. In other rooms a significant amount  of  space si dedicated to the nearly two hundred years of constant threat of invasion by the Ottoman Turks during the 15th and 16th centuries, and here is also a very interesting viticulture exhibition, showing the traditional wine growing methods and equipment from the last 200 years.
The castle is also home to the Metlika tourist information centre, a temporary exhibition space and a wine cellar. It’s also a popular venue for weddings and other events. Elsewhere in the region the museum manages other cultural collections including the Kambič Gallery in Metlika, the Semič Local Museum, the Črnomelj Municipal Museum and the Memorial Collection of Oton Župančič in Vinica.
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Slovenian Fire Fighting Museum of Dr. Branko Božič
Trg Svobode 5, tel. +386 (0)7 305 86 97, muzej@gasilec.net, www.metlika.si. 
In August 1969, the doors were first opened on this museum dedicated to the historical heritage of firefighting in Slovenia. The date was chosen as it marked the 100th anniversary of the formation of Slovenia’s very first volunteer firefighters’ association right here in Metlika. Located in two separate buildings, both of which are just steps away from Metlika’s castle in the heart of old town, the vast collection is arranged chronologically.
The first gallery covers the founding and development of firefighting in Slovenia with lots of well-presented pre-WWI photos from associations all over the country, as well as memorabilia and light equipment such as helmets, uniforms and medals, in the next hall a similar collection presents the years from WWI to WWII and beyond, while some old fire engines and other heavy equipment is displayed in the basement.
The second building , which is to the right of the castle’s entrance, contains an even larger collection of fire engines and equipment, including one fire engine dating all the way back to 1836 (which at first may not even be recognizable as a fire engine), and another from 1908 that was steam-powered and built in Vienna. The museum is officially named in honor of Dr Branko Božič, who was the long-time president of the Firefighting of Slovenia and the driving force behind the museum’s establishment.
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Kambič Gallery
Cesta Bratstva in Enotnosti 51. tel. +386 (0)7 305 8332, belokranjski-muzej@guest.arnes.si.
The namesake if this gallery happens to be a collector , whose birth house it is now housed in. Vinko Kambič (1920-2001), a doctor, professor and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine in Ljubljana, and Vilma Bukovec, his wife and opera singer, were something of connoisseurs of Slovene impression-ists and aggregated names such as Kos, Kregar, Pavlovec, Perko and Pogačnik. To be found on the ground floor and in the attic, respectively, are the temporary exhibitions of works by lesser known artists and the memorial of the collectors and former proprietors. Being managed by the Bela Krajina Museum and owned by the Municipality of Metlika, Kambič is well-run and a pleasure to experience as a visitor.
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Metlika People’s Library
The Metlika People’s Library is a general library. Through its activities it participates in life-long education of local people, collects, processes, safeguards, and forwards material about local history and geography, ensures availability and use of public material, which are generally accessible on electronic media, organizes special forms of activities for children, young people, and adults, which are intended for encouraging the reading culture. It also organizes various cultural events for people with special needs. The Metlika Library also has movable collections in Gradac, Radovica, Suhor, in the home for the elderly Dom Počitka Metlika, and in the Bela krajina hotel.
Archaeological heritage of Podzemelj
Within the educational path Kučar-Kolpa it is possible to explore the archaeological heritage of Podzemelj and its close surroundings. On a circular path in natural environment you can find many information boards about locations and findings. The area has been inhabited already back in the early iron age (8th – 4th century B.C.), as evidenced by several sepulchral mounds from that period. Mounds are arranged along the northern and southern foothills of the Kučar hill, where a fortified settlement, an ancient fort, once stood. The settlement was the centre of the biggest and most important settlement complex in Bela krajina in that period. An Old Christian centre with two churches and a large residential building was erected on the northern peak of Kučar in the Late Roman Age (5th – 6th century). However, you can find more information on the boards, in the brochure, or online.