Bezuljak (pronounced [bəzuˈljaːk], German: Wesulak[2]) is a village north of Begunje pri Cerknici in the Municipality of Cerknica in the Inner Carniola region of Slovenia.[3]

Location in Slovenia
Coordinates: 45°50′4.86″N 14°22′8.33″E
Country Slovenia
Traditional regionInner Carniola
Statistical regionLittoral–Inner Carniola
  Total8.3 km2 (3.2 sq mi)
640.7 m (2,102.0 ft)


The name Bezuljak is derived from the Slavic common noun *bъzъ 'elder', thus originally referring to the vegetation. Similar names based on the same root are common in Slovenian ethnic territory (e.g., Basovizza in Italy and Bezgovica) as well as in other Slavic areas (e.g., Bazje in Croatia, Bzová in the Czech Republic, etc.).[4] Other explanations of the name are connected with pasturing, Ottoman attacks, or geographical features.[5]


Bezuljak was mentioned as early as the second half of the 13th century as a property of the Carthusian monastery at Bistra. During the Second World War, the Partisans attacked an Italian post in the village on the night of 19 October 1941.[5]

Mass grave

Bezuljak is the site of a mass grave associated with the Second World War. The Matevž Shaft Mass Grave (Slovene: Grobišče Matevževo brezno) lies northwest of the village, in the Ravnik Valley, in an overgrown area with many sinkholes. It contains the remains of an unknown number of victims at a depth of two meters.[6]


The local church in the settlement is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary and belongs to the Parish of Begunje pri Cerknici.[7]

Notable people

Notable people that were born or lived in Bezuljak include:


  1. Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia
  2. Leksikon občin kraljestev in dežel zastopanih v državnem zboru, vol. 6: Kranjsko. 1906. Vienna: C. Kr. Dvorna in Državna Tiskarna, p. 120.
  3. Cerknica municipal site
  4. Snoj, Marko (2009). Etimološki slovar slovenskih zemljepisnih imen. Ljubljana: Modrijan. pp. 58–59.
  5. Savnik, Roman, ed. 1968. Krajevni leksikon Slovenije, vol. 1. Ljubljana: Državna založba Slovenije, p. 40.
  6. Matevž Shaft Mass Grave on Geopedia (in Slovene)
  7. Družina RC Church in Slovenia Journal website
  8. "1962 Bezuljak – Odkritje plošče heroju Vandku" (in Slovene)
  9. "Slovo od narodnega heroja Vandka." 1969. Brestov obzornik 3(20) (31 May): 7. (in Slovene)
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