Zelše (pronounced [ˈzeːu̯ʃɛ]; in older sources also Želše,[2] German: Selsach[2]) is a village along the road linking Cerknica and Postojna, at the northwestern part of the karst Cerknica Polje in the Inner Carniola region of Slovenia.[3] Zelše Caves (Zelške jame)—the source of Rak Creek, a sinking stream—lies west of the village. Big Karlovica Cave (Slovene: Velika Karlovica), receiving the waters of Stržen Creek, lies southwest of the village. Industrial facilities are located east of the village.[3]

Location in Slovenia
Coordinates: 45°47′37.92″N 14°19′39.48″E
Country Slovenia
Traditional regionInner Carniola
Statistical regionLittoral–Inner Carniola
  Total4.19 km2 (1.62 sq mi)
558.9 m (1,833.7 ft)


The local church, built on a small hill south of the village, is dedicated to Saint Wolfgang (Slovene: sveti Volbenk) and belongs to the Parish of Cerknica.[4] This Renaissance church was built around 1680 with a triple rounded apse, unique in the region. The Baroque-style belfry was added in 1732. The church has excellent acoustics and is sometimes used as a venue for various concerts.[5]


  1. Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia Archived November 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  2. Leksikon občin kraljestev in dežel zastopanih v državnem zboru, vol. 6: Kranjsko. 1906. Vienna: C. Kr. Dvorna in Državna Tiskarna, p. 122.
  3. Javornik, Marjan; Voglar, Dušan; Dermastia, Alenka, eds. (1996). "Zelše". Enciklopedija Slovenije [Encyclopedia of Slovenia] (in Slovenian). Mladinska knjiga. p. 153. ISBN 9788611153667.
  4. Družina RC Church in Slovenia Journal website
  5. Inner Carniola Regional Park site

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