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The City of Celje

The appearance of Celje discreetly combines Antique and Medieval heritage with a modern urban environment. Well-preserved paved Roman streets, magnificent castles and the remnants of Medieval walls in the city centre bear witness to its rich history that dates back to the Celts and Romans.

Due to its favourable geographic location and living conditions, the area was settled about 300 B. C. by the Celts, who established a powerful Celtic settlement of Keleia. The Celts were followed by the Romans. During the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius (41 – 54), Keleia became a municipium: Municipium Claudium Celeia. The city, also called Troia Secunda (the Second Troy), has become a significant traffic and trade hub with traffic connections leading to other parts of Europe. Following a major natural disaster that took place at the end of the 3rd century and subsequent Gothic and Hunnic invasions the city experienced a decline until at least 452, when the densely populated Celeia was destroyed by the Huns. The reign of the Counts of Celje, who actively shaped political developments in Europe and were involved in the top-level European political scene, constitutes an important milestone in the history of the city in the Middle Ages. The Counts of Celje reached their peak of power during the reign of Herman II. Only one year after his death (in 1436), his two successors, his son Frederick II and grandson Ulrich II, were elevated to the ranks of Princes of the Holy Roman Empire in Prague. During the same period of time, in 1451, Celje was also granted city rights which also favourably contributed to its development. After the male line of the Counts of Celje died out with Ulrich II, the city was handed over to the Habsburgs on the basis of an inheritance agreement.

Subsequent historical events and socio-political developments resulted in a large number of changes in terms of development of the city. The construction of the railway that connected Celje to Northern and Western Europe in 1845 undoubtedly marked an important milestone. More recently, the city has been experiencing exceptionally rapid development with regard to urbanisation, transport infrastructure and modern industry and even more recently also with regard to education, health care, business and culture. Nowadays, Celje constitutes the business, economic, cultural, educational, health care and tourism centre of the region with a regional administrative function.

The restored city centre gave Celje a new and attractive image. Restored squares and streets, urban facilities and the fountain are popular meeting points and promenades for both locals and all visitors to the city. Celje is also the regional hub of the LAND OF CELJE regional destination that encompasses 21 surrounding municipalities and covers an area of 1,598 km2. The destination, intriguing in all seasons, is predominantly marked by its geographically diverse landscape filled with valleys surrounded by mountains and high hills. The area includes six state-of-the-art thermal spas (Terme Dobrna, Rogaška Slatina Group, Rimske terme, Thermana Laško, Terme Olimia and Terme Zreče) that provide its visitors with all the comfort that wellness and professional medical care can offer. The area is full of cultural and historical sights and numerous natural features. Many a castle, manor, convent, preserved city- and market-town centre as well as open-air museum bears witness to its rich history. Well-marked pathways as well as hiking and cycling trails take you through the intact nature of our regional parks and to our ski resorts in the winter and breath-taking golf courses in the summer.

More about the city: www.celje.si
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