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Following the old Roman Route to the Beer Fountain

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Welcome to the land of good water, already praised by the ancient Romans. But, did you know that they knew and drank their first beers here as well? Much later, the Lower Savinja Valley was overgrown with hops. And the rest is history. In Laško, the legendary Laško Brewery is still operating at full capacity, while in Žalec, beer flows from the world’s first beer fountain in the middle of the town’s park.

Programme highlights:

  • Walk around Celje with a guide
  • Tour Celeia exhibition – City Beneath the City
  • Beer tasting at the Beer Fountain of Žalec

Let’s walk through the city streets and listen to the stories of Celje. On the Krek  square (Krekov trg), we are greeted by Alma M. Karlin with her suitcase in hand, a statue of this fearless journalist and writer, considered one of the world’s greatest woman travellers. Inspired by Alma’s curiosity, let’s start our journey. The Archaeology Pavilion hosting the Celje Tourist Information Centre is where medieval and ancient history starts telling you their stories. In the Old Counts’ Mansion, we’ll see the Lapidarium of ancient Roman statues and in the Princely Palace we’ll see the largest in situ preserved representation of the remains of Roman Celeia – the City Beneath the City. Here we get to know how the ancient Romans travelled from Aquileia to Poetovio (which is today’s Ptuj) or followed the course of the Savinja River to the Sava River further south. More than 100 family tombs are preserved in the Roman Necropolis of Šempeter in the Savinja Valley. An eloquent witness to the lives of the Romans who were trading here and enjoying the nearby thermal springs. More than 1,500 years later, it was Simon Kukec who brewed the first thermal water-based beer. In the spirit of ancient Roman hedonism, innovation and entrepreneurship, he stole the hop-brewing show. He bought the hop plantations with the money gained by gambling, opened a brewery in Žalec, bought the famous Laško Brewery at an auction and placed the Savinja Valley among the stars of the brewing industry. In today’s Žalec, another global attraction has been erected at the initiative of the Savinja Region entrepreneurs – the first beer fountain in the world. While the thermal water-based beer Kukec comes out of the first tap, beers by today’s Slovenian microbreweries come out of the other five.

Included in this programme:

Guided tour of the old town of Celje with a local guide, a tour of the Celeia – the City Beneath the City exhibition, including the entrance fee, a tour of the Roman Necropolis of Šempeter, beer tasting at the beer fountain. At an extra charge: lunch option in Celje or Žalec.

Programme duration: up to 7 hours