The booklet before you, supplements and – in
its abbreviated version – summarizes the second edition of the guide through
the Geometric Centre of the
We arranged the descriptions in line with the Geometric Centre of Slovenia Act into two chapters: in the first chapter, we are presenting the narrower Geoss area, in which the monuments with historic and patriotic significance are arranged, and the second, wider area, extends beyond Vače to the prehistoric settlement on Krona.
The Geoss project, entitled »Vače 81 Project« (Projekt Vače 81) at first, was produced by Peter Svetik at the initiative of the then Mayor of Litija, Jože Dernovšek. He commenced with the work in January and completed the project with intensive work already by June of 1981. The Initiative Committee adopted the project in its entirety at its session on 16 June 1981, which is also the birthday of Geoss. Svetik appointed two important associates to work on the project.
The land surveyor Marjan Jenko, based on calculations, has established that the Geometric Centre of Slovenia lies in the immediate vicinity of Vače. An exact calculation showed that it lay in a beautiful location near Slivna where the Geoss memorial marker stands today. The precise determination of the Centre required the exacting graphical, analytical and calculation work, which was performed by Marjan Jenko with the available technology of the Ljubljana Geodesic Institute. The plans for the Geoss memorial marker and the arrangement of the surroundings were produced by the architect Marjan Božič, for which he also obtained a large-enough slab of granite. He personally monitored the stonecutters’ manufacture of the memorial marker and operatively led the arrangement of the immediate surroundings.
The Geoss memorial marker was,
simultaneously with the erection of the previous crest of
A group of amateur enthusiasts have performed all the necessary operative works envisaged by the project. In addition to the geodesist and the architect, the group comprised experts of various professional profiles. All of them have performed their tasks as volunteers.
Once the documentation has been prepared, the local inhabitants carried out the necessary physical labour. They were encouraged and led by a local, namely the President of the Committee Jože Kimovec. The works progressed in accordance with the schedule for the first phase of the project.
Later on, especially after 1991 or after
As time passed by, the horticultural arrangement was being improved with summer flowers and perennials. The placement of graves, plates and flower beds was rearranged.
The wider and narrower areas of Geoss are located
slightly less than 40km from
The easiest approach by motor vehicles from
If we take the motorway from
In Trojane from the direction of
Geoss is actually the centre of the plane of our country as it is impossible to determine the centre of an irregular formation such as the outline of state borders. For the purpose of easier understanding, we have simplified the term and designated it as the Geometric Centre of Slovenia or in short – Geoss.
Geoss symbolized the Slovenes being deeply rooted in this territory, their vigour, resilience and defiance as despite the centuries of pressures they did not let themselves be deprived of their nationality; it represents the centuries-long endeavours of Slovenes for their existence and development. The symbol of Sloveneness and Vače, the linden tree – a holy tree for our ancestors – has grown in well until today.
It finally also represents our gaining of independence, our resolute demand that we alone are masters of our land and the only ones to make decisions. To all four corners of the Earth we are spreading the noble idea of ardent culture and the desire for co-operation on equal terms. It symbolises the heart of our country which is common to all Slovenes irrespective of the ideological, religious and other differences.
Geoss offers possibilities for various cultural, sporting and other collective open-air events and state-level visits. In the European Union, Geoss is the only such area protected by law, which also legally substantiates its significance.
Of the constituent parts of Geoss the most
important is the memorial marker, a
beautifully shaped sturdy rectangular column comprising: engraved corners of
the sky with inscribed international symbols, a verse from the current national
anthem, a list of the sponsors who made the erection of the memorial marker possible
and the data on the location (geographic and latitude and longitude coordinates)
and the elevation above sea level. The four-part pedestal contains the markings
of the points of the sky with a carved cross denoting the Geometric Centre of
to the Patriot was erected by
the Union of Veterans of the War for
The area of Geoss was subsequently over the
years supplemented and rearranged by the Society. Thus, in the immediate
vicinity of the memorial marker on the south side, the following are arranged
in a straight line: two crests – the
historic (since 1991) and the present crest of the Republic of Slovenia – and (installed
on a special pedestal) two plates; the
top one bearing the inscription »We live on and are masters on our own land«, erected
on 14 September
tree (lime), the symbol of Vače and Sloveneness, was planted on the north
side of the memorial marker, which has grown into a mighty tree. There are nine
flagpoles arranged in the area of Geoss where the flags of Geoss, the
Alongside the road from Slivna and just
before Geoss, an information board has been erected and provides a brief
presentation of the significance of the Geoss memorial marker and the Monument
to the Patriot of the War of Independence for
To date, several commemorative-cultural events have established themselves that take place before the Geoss memorial marker and became traditional. All are always held outdoors, regardless of the weather conditions.
The oldest event, began already in 1986, is
intended for the Slovenian cultural holiday, 8 February. The Flag Day (Dan
zastave) is an event held for the first time in 1998 that commemorates the
first raising of the Slovenian flag in
Among the now already traditional cultural events, the ones that need mentioning are An Afternoon with the Composer, the Local – Anton Lajovic (Popoldan s skladateljem, domačinom, Antonom Lajovcem), which took place for the first time in 2001, The Young at the Heart of Slovenia (Mladi v srcu Slovenije) (2003) and the performances of selected schools from all over Slovenia. Of the sporting-recreational events the oldest is The March from Litija to Geoss (Pohod iz Litije na Geoss), which was first organized in 1990. The bicycle climb to Geoss is also traditional. These are just the most important cultural and sporting-recreational events as new ones appear year in and year out.
The development of Geoss up till now was
based primarily on volunteer work of a few enthusiasts, members of the Geoss
Society, the diligent locals from Slivna and some of the friends of Geoss. Without
the money contributed by the sponsors and the enduring support of the home
There are numerous prospectuses, guides and books about the area of the Geometric Centre of Slovenia; however, these were only available in the Slovenian language until now. The Geoss Guide (Vodnik Geoss) and the In the Heart of Slovenia (V srcu Slovenije) book rank among the most important. The Guide presents succinctly the component parts of the narrower and wider areas until 1997 while the book is a somewhat richer chronology of the realization of the project until 2000.
In recent years, the Project Committee prepared a few postcards and souvenirs. The most interesting among the souvenirs are the miniaturised replica of the famed situla, a 6th century Celtic bronze vessel, from Vače and the Geoss wooden sculpture.
You can place enquiries as to the purchase
of the souvenirs by telephone of the Geoss Society (01 / 897 60 95) or with Anka
Kolenc (01 / 897 66 80 or 041 896 632). Information is also provided by Jože
Dernovšek (040 457 373) and Peter Svetik (041 571 897, e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also write us via electronic mail at email@example.com or via regular post
at the address: Dom Geoss, Vače 10, 1252
After more than 20 years of endeavours by the Geoss Society, the significance of Geoss was also realized by the state. Thus it was that in 2003 the Geometric Centre of Slovenia Act was adopted, the only such act in the European Union to date which regulates legally the geometric centre of the country.
Already the following year (2004), the Decree on the Concession for the
Management of the Area Belonging to the Geometrical Centre of the
The concession, at least for the time being, pertains only to the narrower Geoss area. For all the components of the project of the wider area, the Committee must secure financial means from other sources. The mentioned legal acts represent a new developmental period for the Geoss project.
Vače are located 35km from
Vače has been a rich market town and a privileged settlement with market town rights since the 15th century. Since then, the Romans had judges stationed there and organized weekly fairs, took baths nearby and excavated and founded iron and copper ore.
The central part of Vače is the square with
Because of the beautiful location, wonderful vistas and the historic significance, Vače is an extremely attractive excursion point.
In the house with the house number 10, two important Slovenes were born: Matevž Ravnikar and Anton Lajovic. Commemorative plates for both have been built into the façade of the house. The house was purchased for the »Project Vače 81« Committee (today the Geoss Society) by the Geodesic Institute Ljubljana already in 1984. The Society renovated it later and converted it into a museum with four collections: the geological collection (by the author Stanko Buser), the archaeological collection (by the authors Avgust Stušek and Davorin Vuga), the presentation of important Slovenes born in Vače and its surroundings (by the authors Sandi Sitar and Peter Svetik) and the project documentation (by the author Peter Svetik).
Today, the house is called the Geoss Home. One of the rooms of the house has been allocated for the needs of the Geoss Society. A telephone, a computer and some furniture for the sessions of the Committee have been fitted in it. Numerous paintings donated to the Society by the participants of painting colonies have been hung on the walls of the rooms.
The beginnings of worship reach back to the
12th century when monks from Stična were coming to Vače. The first
church was wooden while the following were built of stone. The majority of
these were devastated by fires. The fifth church was also destroyed by the
great fire in 1834, which turned the major part of Vače to ashes. The present
Above the cemetery at Vače – above the meadow
– a 3-metre vertical limestone cliff rises, which is a great Miocene attraction
(its age is around 13 million years). It stretches
Traces of clams have been preserved in the limestone. The majority of the remains are of date mussels from the genus Lithophaga. The area also has numerous fossilised oyster shells preserved.
The remnants of the fossilised sea shore at
Vače are the most beautiful place in
The »Avenue of Creativity on Prehistoric Ground« (Aleja ustvarjalnosti na prazgodovinskih tleh) is the name given by the Geoss Society to the road leading from Vače to Klenik. Alongside it, several sculptures have been placed made of oak wood. They were sculpted by self-taught sculptors at the sculpting colony at the end of the 1980’s. The sculptures were placed on the Avenue in 1990.
The sculptures represent events from everyday life, predominantly in Vače: Onward (Naprej), The Spinner (Predica), The Hourglass (Peščena ura), The Wheel of Life (Kolo življenja), The Woman with Flax (Ženska z lanom), The Rift (Razkol) and Tears (Solze). Before entering the Klenik settlement, visitors can take a look at the flax kiln (a lot of flax was produced in Vače in the past).
The Avenue invites people for a pleasant light walk with the simultaneous viewing of all the sculptures, the flax kiln, the birth house of the finder of the situla bronze vessel from Vače – Janez Grilc, the commemorative plates and the enlarged replica of the situla from Vače with a commemorative plate to France Stare.
The most renowned excavation find at Vače
The scenes in the »epic« on the life of the military nobility – perhaps even of the Grand Duke himself – are as follows: the first scene depicts the procession, the second depicts the gift offering, the feast and the dual and the third depicting animals.
The situla from Vače is 23.8cm tall and is
made of bronze tin. It has three separate parts bound with bronze rivets. The
handle is made of thick ruled wire, which ends in a stylised duck’s head on
both ends. The figurative representations are made using the embossing and chasing
technique (toreutics). The Haltstadt find is kept by the National Museum of
At Klenik, the Geoss Society has positioned an approximately five times larger replica of this drinking vessel, which is thus made available for the visitors to view. Next to it is a plate for the most prolific researcher of the area of this prehistoric settlement, Dr. France Stare.
Along the Geoss circular path there is a
large settlement and burial ground complex, one of the largest in
The surroundings of Vače were populated already during the Neolithic period while the more condensed and planned settlement by the population came about in the beginning of the Palaeolithic period, called the Haltstadt period, in the 8th century B.C. There were a great many finds of older Haltstadt graves with burials by burning (from the period between the 8th and the 7th centuries B.C.). From the graves it is possible to conclude that these were the distinctly wealthy members of the military aristocracy with offerings of weapons and precious objects.
With the onset of the Roman period, the settlement moved to lower locations. The iron hoe is the only find known to exist from this period.
There have been 16 Haltstadt houses excavated in Krona up to now, which have a rectangular shape with foundations made of stones stacked without the use of mortar. These were mud plastered log cabins.
The found iron slag pieces undoubtedly prove that metallurgy and forging flourished in this settlement.
The majority of the excavated valuables are abroad. Excavations were namely led predominantly by foreign researchers …
As the whole of
The area’s inhabitants immediately took up
the rebellion initiative of the Liberation Front. This was the area of
operations of the Kamniško-zasavski detachment, which organized numerous diversion
raids and maintained the connection over the
A German stronghold was maintained at Vače until July 1944 when the Partisan units planted an explosive in a mail package, which destroyed the stronghold.
The four-year liberation struggle wrote the area of today’s Geometric Centre of Slovenia into our history with red letters.
The Geoss commemorative trail runs across
the wider Geoss area and leads the visitor through interesting parts of central
In addition to this trail, there is the trail along the Avenue of Creativity on Prehistoric Ground, which is suitable for shorter walks. Among the study trails, I should at least mention the geological, forest and the historic trails. Their lengths vary from 3 to 5km.
In this summary, only the most interesting characteristics of the Geoss project – the Geometric Centre of Slovenia – are presented.
The descriptions should be sufficient for a moderately demanding visitor. Those wishing to get to know this interesting area in greater detail can refer to the given addresses and ensure expert guidance around the area.
We wish all the visitors to have a pleasant
stay and get new knowledge on the otherwise small, but interesting
Compiled using the available literature by Anka Kolenc and Peter Svetik in June 2006.