Archeological findings show that people have been coming to and living on Velika Planina since prehistoric times. Herders settled the plateau in the middle ages, as shown by investigations into the floor plan of the oldest herder’s hut from the 16th century. Its shape and specifications were almost identical to today’s museum hut, or “Preskar’s Hut”.
Preskar’s Hut, located on the edge of the Herders’ Settlement, is clearly recognizable from the other, more modern huts by its typical ovular roof, its hand-cut shingles plating roof and walls, typical lack of doors, windows, and chimney, and stone beams. The hut as it is today was built at the end of WWII, as the German occupying forces with local collaborators burned all of Velika Planina’s mountain huts to the ground in the winter of 1944/1945, including the Chapel of St. Mary of the Snows, built just 6 years earlier. The chapel was rebuilt in 1988 at the impetus of Vlasto Kopač, an architect and passionate Velika Planina enthusiast.
Velika Planina’s ethnographic heritage includes, in addition to the herder’s huts, several wooden wares for everyday us (spoons, knives, various ladles, mashers, rain protectors, etc.), as well as the local dry, hard cheese trnič.
The winter of 1930/1931 saw the invention of a new type of tourism, namely the rental of herders’ huts during the winter, when the livestock was down in the valley and not at pasture. The first person to rent a hut and start this new trend was Rajko Gregorc.
In 1963 Ljubljana Transport bought up shares of an investment to build a gondola up to Velika Planina, which took its first trip to the top on 13 September 1964. In 1966 the company also acquired Hotel Šimnovec and the restaurant Zeleni Rob, completing the purchase two years later. Soon after this, skiing also started becoming more popular on Velika Planina with the construction of a chair lift.
And today, half a century later, Velika Planina is a year-round destination for hikers, adrenaline junkies, and simple lovers of Alpine nature, all served by a gondola, chairlift, restaurants, mountain lodges, and private tourist huts, built in the shape of the herders’ houses.