Karra is from Tomaj, so you might find the above statement a little biased. But once you get to know Tomaj (including by playing our Karst Escape games), you will surely nod in agreement.
The position of the village itself is imposing – namely, Tomaj is a nucleated, compact village spreading up the slope of Tabor Hill. It offers a magnificent view of the vineyards, fields, forests and Karst grassland, called gmajna. In the village, narrow alleys (gase) will take you to some typical Karst stone houses with small windows, wooden balconies (ganki), Karst courtyards (borjači), stone portals (kalune) and stone wells (štirne), along with some Karst ponds (kali). You cannot get a true image of Tomaj if you merely drive through it. So hit the road and unveil Tomaj in a quest for Victoria’s Secret.
If you feel like it, explore the gmajna grassland around Tomaj. There are many ways to reach it. One way will take you to the outdoor escape room (Escape from Gmajna), where you will learn all about gmajna, through puzzles and riddles, from a completely different perspective.
And, of course, Tomaj is the home village of the poet Srečko Kosovel. Do you dare face the legend? Then visit Karra’s escape room called Kosovel’s Enigma.
Tomaj is one of the most beautiful, typical Karst villages, nested in the heart of the classical Karst. It also enraptured Johann Weikhard Valvasor who, in his work The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola (1689, Volume II, p. 261), wrote that Tomaj was “an extraordinary beautiful and large village, situated in the Karst on a lovely and pleasing location with an abundance of fields, good wine and fruit”. Evidence shows that, due to its special climate and geostrategic position, it has been densely inhabited for over 3,000 years. Like in other parts of the Karst, our village has also seen different authorities, countries and social systems come and go. But this did not prevent it from developing into an important and attractive centre of the wider area.
A native of Tomaj, Ms. Mira Cencič, with a PhD in pedagogy, wrote extensively in her works that Tomaj was once a pearl of the Karst and also an important centre.
In the 16th century it was an independent domain of the Duino seigniory. At the times of the Illyrian Provinces it functioned as a commune (merija) – the Tomaj municipality also encompassed Sežana, Dutovlje, Voglje, Vrhovlje and all other villages in the Tomaj Parish, except Repen. It remained an independent municipality under the Hapsburgs and under the Italian rule. When the German army occupied Tomaj in 1944, it set up its local headquarters (Ortskommandatur) in the village. At the same time, Tomaj was also the headquarters of the District People’s Liberation War, the District Committee of the Communist Party of Slovenia and the Karst headquarters of TIGR, the antifascist revolutionary organisation in the Julian Venetia. After World War II, for nearly a year Tomaj accommodated a great number of fully-armed British soldiers. In 1947, it became part of Yugoslavia and today it belongs to Slovenia.
Up until the 1950s the presbytery in Tomaj kept a very extensive and valuable library of works written in 37 languages. It also featured handwritten books from the end of the 16th century.
The beginnings of schooling in Tomaj date back to 1700. Until the 18th century, Tomaj hosted a school for the clerical profession.
The village was particularly famous after 1898 when the parish priest Urban Golmajer, who was also the Dean, built a convent on top of Tabor Hill to educate schoolchildren. Several educational units were established within the School Sisters Institute, where school sisters taught children from far and wide, imparting not only knowledge but also national conscience and a progressive world-view.
The history of the Tomaj Parish, which was founded over 700 years ago (in 1316), reveals that Tomaj was the administrative and intellectual centre of the Karst. In the ecclesiastical hierarchy, the Tomaj Parish and the priests who worked in it were highly esteemed. Tomaj was also the seat of the deanery and the seat of the apostolic administration.
The importance of our village in the past is also reflected in cultural monuments that are preserved. As many as ten are entered in the Immovable Cultural Heritage Register, whereby the entire village was also classed as a cultural monument. The oldest buildings date back to the 15th century. When you take part in our Victoria’s Secret treasure hunt, you will have the chance to explore them while walking across the village.
Not only is it a hot spot for many historical events, the centre of the broader region and the much-desired target of many conquerors, Tomaj has also been the home or workplace of many extraordinary individuals. Anton Černe, Urban Golmajer, Matija Sila, Albin Kjuder, Anton Beniger, Anton Kosovel and Srečko Kosovel to name just a few. As Karra does not want these remarkable people to sink into oblivion, you will have the opportunity to ‘meet’ some of them in Karra’s Karst escapes (Escape from gmajna, Kosovel’s Enigma).
Given this mix of Tomaj’s natural riches, historical events and exceptional individuals, it is little wonder that our village boasts a number of true historical stories and legends. They originate in different periods of the past and refer to different regimes, customs, habits and ‘states of mind’. We have revived some of them in Karra’s Karst escapes (Victoria’s Secret, Kosovel’s Enigma, Escape from Gmajna). If you have a detective streak, you and your party are welcome to discover them!
YOU ARE WELCOME TO VISIT US!
We will gladly prepare a unique Karst experience, custom made exactly for you and your friends. Contact us, we are happy to be at your disposal.Ask us
Easily accessible Tomaj
Tomaj can be reached by many roads; even airports, seaports and railway stations are not far away. Once you set foot in Tomaj, it is best to continue exploring the village and its surroundings – on foot. Welcome! Distance from the village of Tomaj:
- LJUBLJANA (85 km)
international railway station
- TRIESTE (21 km)
seaport, international railway station
- SEŽANA (6 km)
inland railway transport
- KOPER (48 km)
seaport, international railway station
- BRNIK (99 km)
- RONCHI (50 km)
- MARCO POLO, VENICE (157 km)
- PORTOROŽ (65 km)
international sports and business airport
- DIVAČA (20 km)
Tomaj has an air of serenity, but that is only at first glance. But if you think about this – the village has been inhabited for a good 3,000 years and it once was the centre of political, religious, economic, administrative, educational and cultural life – it all becomes clear to you, true treasure hunters, doesn’t it!?
In the centre of our village, in the thrilling escape room, an amazing discovery is awaiting you about this poet, publicist, critic and one-of-a-kind conceptualist and avant-garde mind from the early 20th century. It will surprise those who believe they know everything about Kosovel and those who do not know him yet.
(so far only in Slovenian)
Štanjel, the most atypical, but the most stunning Karst village. Full of contradictions which coexist and form an exciting whole. The black cat will »fatally« drag you into its story. In a 90-minute treasure hunt which will unfold as fast as a blink of an eye, you’ll be left speechless. Yeah, it’s (also) a love story. But don’t take it lightly because there is so much more in it.