Kranj is a small town where the river Kokra flows into the river Sava. It seems that the Alpine Summits are nearby, but then you will notice small points, those are the churches. You will realize that the distance is quite different from that you could think before.
Kranj received the status of a town in the beginning of the 13 th century. The chronicles mention this place in 1256 under the name of Krajna. The province of the Austrian Empire receive eventually the same name. In the 15th century there were a lot of Turkish attacks, the inhabitants needed to surround the town with a fortification wall. The remains of this wall you can still find in Kranj. The Kranj castle was a residence for local feudals and got the name of Krainburg. The owner of the castle changed more than once.
In the beginning of the 15th century it was the estate of the Austrian Habsburgs, in the end of that very century the castle was taken by the Cele Earls, then the castle was returned back the Austrian Dynasty.
When the Slovenian industry began developing in the 16th century, especially metallurgy and mining that made the economy of Kranj increase. Kranj became one of the most important centers of the country. In 1870 the first railways went through the town.
The 19th century is a remarkable for the culture of Kranj. Here lived Franz Preschern, the outstanding poet, he served in the local lawyer’s department. Simon Jenko lived in Kranj too, he is one of the representatives of the Slovenian Romanticism.
The economical increase didn’t end when the republic entered the Yugoslavian Kingdom. In the 20-30s Kranj was a big center of the textile industry.
During the second World War the Germans turned Kranj into the administrative center of all the occupied regions. The town was liberated by the Slovenian guerillas only in May 1945.
The historical center is situated on the interfluve of the Sava and the Kokra, all the new districts are located over the river (e.g. Planina and Zlato pole) The most remarkable monument of the Gorenj region is the St Kancian Church, this one is in the center of the old town. Nearby you will see small medieval streets. The main town square is marked with Town Hall in the style of classicism with a gothic column hall inside. Nowadays there is Gorenj Museum in the building. There you can find the exposition of the famous Slovenian sculptor L. Dolinar.
Not that far away from the square you can find Franz Preschern’s house, the museum exposition is devoted to his poetic legacy. There is quite a big monument of Preschern next to St Kancian Church. The old cemetery bears his name too, the old Preschern cemetery , nowadays is cultivated as a park zone. Next to the monument you will see the town theatre, built by one of the most famous Slovenian architects. Jozhe Plechnik.