In the garden of the former castle vineyard cottage in Gorenjci, there is a bushy Kočka linden below the railway station. According to folk tradition, it took root about 600 years ago. Today, its trunk covers a magnificent 800cm, which makes it one of the thickest linden trees in Slovenia, while having no equal in this respect in Bela krajina.


A careful observer will notice a small hole in the trunk of the tree. Do you know what it was for? Under the thickest linden tree, where the garden of the castle vineyard cottage was arranged in the past, a village party was held every summer. A barrel of wine was lifted into the canopy of the linden tree, from which a pipe was then routed through the hollow trunk of the tree to a tap attached in the hole. According to the locals, the linden tree proved to be a good host, as it “watered” everyone whose throat was dry due to the song and dance.


As part of the nature protection campaign of the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation, Regional unit Novo mesto, the linden tree was professionally pruned in 2011. Despite its venerable age and enviable dimensions, the thickest linden tree, to everyone’s surprise, showed its exceptional vitality, so the experts made only minor “cosmetic” corrections.


There is a former castle vineyard cottage next to the linden tree, which was renovated with sensitivity into a pleasant village inn. Locals and tourists like to sit under the canopy of the mighty linden tree, which has hosted many generations of Semič people under its shelter.


The second largest linden tree in the Semič municipality grows in the village of Brezova Reber. Its trunk measures 580cm. The mighty linden trees were taken by the people of Semič as their symbol, as the linden leaf is also found in the coat of arms of the Municipality of Semič.


Foto: Boris Krstinić