Semič is the second-largest municipality and third largest town in Bela krajina. Its name comes from the castle Semenič which stood below Semenič hill. It is geographically closed to the north by the Gorjanci range and by Kočevski rog to the west. Semič was first mentioned at the beginning of the 13th century.
There is no evidence that Semič was inhabited in ancient history, but its surrounding areas, like the Karst cave Jewish house, were. Semič’s church saint Stefan was first mentioned in 1228. In the 14th century, the Ortenburgs settled many Gottschee (german peasants) on the outskirts of Semič. In the 15th century, the Ottoman Empire attacked Semič many times. The first school in Semič was built at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1899 savings and loans opened. In 1903 a parish library was built. In 1914 the railroad was built. After Italy capitulated in WW2, Partisans settled in Semič. The Slovenian national theatre worked from Semič, as well as a collection center for wounded and American pilots, evacuation bases, and hospitals. In 1995 Semič became its own municipality again.
Where to discover
Bela krajina lies in southeastern Slovenia. It is centrally located between Ljubljana – Slovenia’s capital, Zagreb – Croatia’s capitol, and Rijeka, Croatia’s port city in the Adriatic. From each of these locations, Bela krajina is about 100 km away. No highway leads directly to Črnomelj. When traveling in Slovenia, you can take the exit to Črnomelj in Ivanča Gorica you can drive to Novo mesto and there take the road to either Črnomelj, Metlika or Semič. If you are traveling from Croatia, choose the Bosiljevo I exit and drive towards Slovenia, through the Vinica border crossing. You can also drive to Karlovec and there turn towards Slovenia, where you will enter the country in Metlika.