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The picturesque Škofja Loka, proudly standing at the confluence of Poljanska and Selška Sora rivers at the crossing of Sorško polje field into the diverse world of the hills of Škofja Loka and Polhov Gradec, is the best preserved medieval town in Slovenia and the economic, cultural, educational and administrative center of the Škofja Loka municipality.
Archaeological findings indicate that the territory of Škofja Loka has been inhabited since the Copper Age (4th and 3rd millennium BC) onwards. At the time of the great migration of peoples, the Slavic inhabitants settled here, since the settlements carried Slavic names even before the granting of the territory to the bishops of Freising.
The history of the city begins with the year 973, when Emperor Otto II. donated the local territory to Bishop Abraham of Freising in Bavaria. However, Loka, named in the gift certificate, is not today's Škofja Loka, but so-called Stara Loka. At the confluence of the Selška and Poljanska Sora rivers, the settlement Loka began to develop in the Middle Ages (the name stands for the grassy area by the water). Freising's bishops later renamed the administrative and economic center of the Loka’s lordship into Škofja Loka (Bischoflack). In the 1274 document, the settlement was named as a city. For the sake of greater security, the city was protected with a town wall at the beginning of the 14th century. Five gates led through that wall and they were protected by guard towers and are preserved to a great extent to this day. In its history, the city experienced attacks, plagues, fires and earthquakes. The worst, in 1511, severely damaged the city, which was soon restored by Bishop Philip. Since then, the image of Škofja Loka has not changed significantly, therefore it is considered the best-preserved medieval town in Slovenia. The old town center is formed by the Upper Town Square or “Plac” and the Lower Town Market or “Lontrg”, above which the Škofja Loka castle arises. The population of the city and its surroundings was engaged in numerous crafts, from which strong craft associations - guilds - developed towards the end of the Middle Age.
In the natural and artistic rich environment of Škofja Loka, a number of renowned artists, writers and scientists have been active, and they managed to create a rich cultural heritage of Škofja Loka.
Today's Škofja Loka municipality comprises 146 km2, of which 8202 ha of forests, 2654 ha of agricultural land and 320 ha of building land (according to 2007 data). The average altitude is 443 m. The length of the municipal border is 98.2 km. Including both of Sora rivers, the length of the watercourses is 190 km. In the municipality, we have 373.8 km of categorized roads (2007), of which 8.8 km of cycling routes.
The municipality comprises 62 settlements in 11 local communities and borders with the municipalities of Kranj, Železniki, Medvode, Gorenja vas - Poljane, Dobrova - Polhov Gradec. The municipality has 22,966 permanent residents.
In the Škofja Loka municipality, employment in secondary activities is predominant (46%), followed by the quaternary sector (31%), the tertiary sector (21%) and, lastly, the primary sector (2%). The Škofja Loka municipality is an area with a high proportion of daily migrants (63% of the total working population). Škofja Loka is characterized by dual migration: a considerable number of people drive to work in Škofja Loka from other municipalities, while a large part of residents of Škofja Loka drives to work outside the municipality.
The central settlement and the main employment center is the town of Škofja Loka, which counts 11,832 permanent residents, which represents more than half of the entire population of the municipality.
The dominant economic branch of the municipality is still the industry that is concentrated near the railway station, where the industrial and trade zones are. Service activities are also well represented in the municipality. Agriculture is increasingly less and less important, but its former importance can still be observed in the form of settlements, the shape and structure of settlements and houses, the distribution of land and in other characteristics of settlements.
The city of Škofja Loka has a well-developed public infrastructure of educational institutions, numerous sports facilities, cultural institutions and societies, a network of social and health services.
One Loka, two valleys, three mountain ranges, endless stories
Škofja Loka area is a place where for centuries inspiration from nature has been encouraging the creativity of artists and craftsmen.
Škofja Loka area is an area that invites you to come and discover and exceed your limits and expectations, with inspiration from creativity, outdoor activities and tasting typical local specialties.