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Planica Nordic Centre

The Nordic Centre is a state-of-the-art national sports complex for Nordic sports that enhances the profile of Slovenia in the international environment of sport and sports infrastructure. Seven ski jumping hills and a ski flying hill are the featured elements of its 100,000 square metres of sports terrain. In 2023, Planica will host the Nordic World Ski Championship, which will be one of the major sporting events held in Slovenia.

The basic activity of the Planica Nordic Centre is to ensure top conditions for ski jumping, cross-country skiing and Nordic Combined.

In addition, the Centre provides basic preparation for athletes and competitions at the highest level. in addition to the ski jumps, it also boasts a cross-country skiing complex, including a stadium, sports area and various cross-country tracks. There is also an artificial snow-making system together with cableways, an athletics and football stadium, a wind tunnel, a zipline, cycling and walking paths, a cultural heritage park and an information area with catering facilities.

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The Centre is also intended for recreational sports lovers since it offers a range of challenges for testing endurance and actively spending one’s leisure time. Adrenaline junkies will have the opportunity to test their nerves on a 566-metre long zipline with a 202-metre drop in altitude.

With a 38.8 per cent gradient, it is the steepest zipline in the world, with speeds of up to 90 km/h.

However, in order to ensure safety, strict rules must be followed.

The Planica NC is characterised by an innovative approach to changing passive leisure time whereby each visitor becomes an active participant. As an effective way to spend one’s leisure time, it offers the latest activity in nature – disc golf, an innovative form of aerobic exercise and sports relaxation.

Exceptional architectural and technological solutions

The Planica NC is also an architectural masterpiece and an example of sustainable construction, located in the protected area of ​​the Triglav National Park.

»Planica is special, unmatched, unrepeatable, and unique. We don’t know of any other Nordic centre that combines jumping and cross-country skiing in one place, fully embedded in the natural environment,«

states the architect Aleš Vodopivec.

The architects arranged the ski jumps at the threshold of Triglav National Park in a fan shape, so that from one common point at the top of the hill they extend in the form of a scree. In this way, they introduced into the area – an alpine valley – the appearance of orderly infrastructure.

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Interestingly, upon arrival in Planica, visitors see only 15 percent of the total 8,500 net square meters of area. The remaining 85 percent is hidden deep underground. Namely, with the integration of sports facilities into the natural environment, the centre is extremely sustainable. At the same time, it enables year-round utilisation of sports activities with multifunctional facilities intended for both athletes and visitors.

In summer, for example, the basement parking spaces turn into a cross-country ski trail, and at the same time the spaces allow storage of a large amount of snow for the next winter. The innovative system for heating, cooling, irrigation and snowmaking is the most efficient in the autumn, when the cross-country skiing track is cooled at the same time and the by-product of cooling is the heat that is used to heat the central building.

In the field of green management and environmental technologies, Planica NC received the Interreg Alpine Space Gold Award for the most innovative and information device for the exploitation of shallow geothermal waters in the entire Alps.


Author: Polona Prešeren

Date: 9. January 2023

Time to read: 3 min