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Gradišče above Bašelj

The hilltop settlement of Gradišče in the foothills of the mountain Storžič had an exclusive value in the Early Medieval Carniola. Uncovered layers with numerous iron objects and ceramic fragments from the period between the end of the 8th century and the beginning of the 10th century were found at the place.

  • AD 1050 – Modern Era

AD 1050 – Modern Era

Development of the site

While the Early Medieval layer at Gradišče above Bašelj contains surprisingly numerous and surprisingly richly decorated artefacts, reasons for the ruin of the settlement are not known. Some rare finds could indicate it was inhabited as late as the 11th century, but this youngest phase has not been proven yet.17 Gradišče above Bašelj is mentioned again in medieval documents. One of them states that between 1154 and 1156, Countess Hedvika, mother of Count Bertold of Bogen, donated nine farms with all the fixtures to the monastery of Viktring. These farms extended between the stream of Kamnik, St Lawrence above Bašelj, the river under Bašelj and Storžič with the neighbouring mountains. She also donated a hill in the village of Bašelj, where there had already been a castle.18

At the beginning of the 19th century, the owner built a hunting lodge on the top of Gradišče, and with that began the discovering of the rich past of the site. The unusual relief and the very name Gradišče had long been raising various assumptions, as evident from what a guest in the hunting lodge wrote in 1923: “It all points to the fact that up here, where nowadays Mr Dolenc’s lodge stands, there was a prehistoric dwelling – where sacrifices to heathen gods took place. The name ‘Gradišče’ itself proves it. The Slavs gave the name ‘Gradišče’ to places where ‘Japodes’ or prehistoric people in general once lived; where there were buildings made by human hand: gradim –iti [to build], but it does not come from the word castle [grad]. Medieval knights certainly liked to build their castles at such prominent sites. This part of Storžič from top to bottom would be ideal for a ‘Naturschutzpark’.”19


17 Knific, Timotej, ‘Železni zvonci iz Kamniško-Savinjskih Alp. Arheološki pogled (Iron Bells from the Kamnik-Savinja Alps)’, in Cevc, Tone (ed.), Človek v Alpah. Desetjetje raziskav (1996 – 2006). O navzočnosti človeka v slovenskih Alpah, Ljubljana, 2006, p. 142
Veršnik, Nika, Gradišče nad Bašljem v luči drobnih vsakdanjih predmetov in nakita (Gradišče above Bašelj in the Light of Everyday Objects and Jewellery), Master’s Thesis, The Faculty of Humanities Koper, Koper, 2009, p. 66

18 Kos, Franc, Gradivo za zgodovino Slovencev v srednjem veku. Četrta knjiga (1101-1200), Materials for the History of Slovenes in the Middle Ages. Book 4 (1101-1200), Ljubljana, 1915, p. 177, Nr. 338

19 Knific, Timotej, ‘Arheološko najdišče Gradišče nad Bašljem (The Gradišče above Bašelj Archaeological Site)’, in Roblek, Tone (ed.), Preddvor v času in prostoru, Zbornik Občine Preddvor, Preddvor, 1999, p. 55

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