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Trip PlannerSlovenia  /  Upper Carniola Region  /  Polhov Gradec

Polhov Gradec

Specialty Museums
Polhov Gradec is a settlement in the Municipality of Dobrova–Polhov Gradec in the Upper Carniola region of Slovenia. It is the center of the Upper Gradaščica Valley.NamePolhov Gradec was first mentioned in written records under the German name Pilchgrez in 1261 (Pilchgraez in 1269, and simply Graetz in 1291; cf. modern-era German Billichgrätz). All of these are derived from the Slovene name for the settlement, with the last element ‑grätz derived from Slovene gradec 'little castle'. The first part of the name is derived from a personal name, Polh or Povh; the name therefore means 'Polh's (little) castle'. The name Polh is, in turn, probably derived from the zoonym polh 'dormouse'. An alternative theory, considered less likely, derives Polh from the name Pavel 'Paul'.A folk legend offers a more fanciful, but unfounded, explanation of the name of the settlement. According to the legend, which is reproduced in material for tourists, a traveler once spent the night at Polhov Gradec Castle. When he woke up in the morning he found that the dormice had eaten his horse's saddle and bridle, causing him to exclaim, "To ni Gradec, temveč Polhov Gradec!" ('This isn't a castle, it's a dormouse castle!').HistoryThe area has been inhabited since Roman times and a Roman villa has been excavated near the town, finds from which are kept in the National Museum of Slovenia. A court was established in Polhov Gradec in 1478, which was placed under the jurisdiction of the sovereign in 1474. In 1515 the area was engulfed in a peasant uprising. A part-time school was established in 1820 and a regular school in 1852. The first school building was built in 1859.
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