We frequently say to an eight-year old child: only a baby yesterday, and so grown up today. You could say the same of the small Municipality of Šentrupert in the Dolenjska region, which became an example to other local communities in Slovenia with its many innovative projects.
In particular, the Municipality of Šentrupert has made huge strides forward in energy self-sufficiency. In 2014, itreceived the label of a 100% RES (Renewable Energy Sources) community at the International Forum, "100% RES - Yes, we can! Regions in Germany, Europe and the world show100% RES is reality today" in Kassel in Germany.
In spring 2015, the municipality received the 2015 Golden Stone award in the Slovenian selection for the municipality making the greatest development breakthroughs. The citation said: "It deserves the award for the persistence and consistency with which it develops its energy self-sufficiency model…The energy of Šentrupert is the energy of the vision of municipal policy and its residents."
Development model intertwined with a story of wood
This young municipality is well aware of its advantages, and builds its development potential on the knowledge of its residents. Since its establishment in 2007, the municipality has been led by its mayor, Rupert Gole, who as a visionary sees Šentrupert as a community which can offer a well-maintained and pleasant living environment. The municipality is known for tourism and events based on customs and tradition, culture and the beautiful landscape.
It promotes handicrafts, small companies, organic farming and supplementary activities.
Development plans up to 2025 highlight the use of wood. It all began with the construction of a wooden, low-energy prefabricated kindergarten with a boiler room running on wood chips and a charging station for electric vehicles.
It was selected as the most energy-efficient project of 2011 and promoted the construction of similar kindergartens in Slovenia.
The boiler room was designed to heat an entire school complex, and thus ended the use of fossil fuels. While the kindergarten demonstrates the current and modern use of wood in the construction of facilities, the next project designed by the Municipality of Šentrupert is particularly a witness to the past and tradition.
The Land of Hayracks placed Šentrupert on the map of tourism
This is an open-air museum which features over 19 hay-drying devices, of which 17 are hayracks, including all types known in Slovenia.
The exhibition aims to present the development of the hayrack and its significance in Slovenia. The museum includes one of the oldest surviving double hayracks in the world, which was built in 1795.
The Land of Hayracks has contributed substantially to the recognisability of the municipality and serves as a driving force in tourism. One of the biggest broadcast networks in the world, CNN, presented the Land of Hayracks in Šentrupert as one of the reasons for visiting Slovenia. The numbers confirm that this unique open-air museum is an attractive location: more than 30,000 visitors from 42 countries visited it in the first year since its establishment.
The Land of Hayracks has contributed substantially to the recognisability of the municipality and serves as a driving force in tourism. One of the biggest broadcast networks in the world, CNN, presented the Land of Hayracks in Šentrupert as one of the reasons for visiting Slovenia.
The Land of Hayracks is also an innovative project, since it connects the all-round value of the heritage of hayracks with modern forms of tourism and business.
Circular wood route
Šentrupertis being developed as the first energy self-sufficient municipality in Slovenia. The Šentrupert wood-processing centre was constructed in former barracks, thus closing the circle of self-efficiency: wood from local forests is being processed there and the waste is used for energy production and heating. Thanks to energy savings, the municipality will be able to promote dynamic development in other fields.
The Municipality of Šentrupert has made a name for itself based on the advanced sustainable development model of the local community and numerous positive effects.
Money circulates in the local community environment due to local energy projects and the utilisation of local wood biomass and enables the realisation of new visionary projects.
Date: 19. March 2020
Time to read: 3 min