Activity Centre – Silver Palace

Activity Centre – Silver Palace

  • Datum objave 28.09.2021

The project stems from the Local Development Strategy for the Dolenjska and Bela krajina Local Action Group and points out the non-utilisation of common infrastructure for revitalising, renovating and enriching local facilities to include residents. Such an unused facility is Komenda which is culturally very important, as it has been also used to provide care for the weak and gravely ill elderly since 1764. The Elderly and Loneliness research (2013) shows that loneliness is a pressing problem in Bela krajina. Therefore, the project activity foresees the revival of Komenda with a programme that will include local residents, particularly isolated and physically handicapped residents.

‟Many elderly people feel empty and alone, and are physically handicapped due to age-related changes. So we provide them with an opportunity to socialise. Those users who want to talk but do not want or cannot be included in a group are offered individual treatment and conversations on the Silver Phone. Users like workshops where they can learn about various diseases and the alleviation of problems they encounter. At workshops, they like to share their experiences, exchange practical advice, and ask lecturers questions they are interested in.”
Antonija, who regularly attends healthcare workshops, said: “I like coming to workshops, where I always learn something new and chat with my friends. If it wasn’t for this programme, I’d be home alone all day. Loneliness hurts. It hurts like hell.” Her friend Katarina added: “I think this project is good, although I have problems leaving the house. But I’m glad when I come here. It’s always interesting. We do different things, we made dolls and clay products with nursery children; we picked chestnuts last week, and we have healthcare workshops.”

(Anica Puhek, head of the Activity Centre – Silver Palace) 


The said survey has shown that 20 per cent of surveyed elderly people in Bela krajina were lonely, making it a pressing problem. Komenda is unused and at the same time, very culturally important for the area. Therefore, we see the fixing up of this facility as great tourist potential.


The main goal of the project is to establish the Activity Centre – Silver Palace within Komenda with a programme that will actively include residents, particularly isolated and physically handicapped residents, of the municipalities of Črnomelj, Metlika and Semič. The establishment of rooms for content-related activities focused on the preparation and testing of the Silver Palace daily programme is foreseen. The goals of the project are being realised according to plan. 15 participants attend healthcare workshops every Thursday; other workshops and meetings are also very well attended, depending on the activity, season, weather and availability of participants.


Initially, a place for the implementation of the Silver Palace programme was provided in Komenda, and equipment was purchased by Metlika Retirement Home. This was followed by the establishment of logistics and transport of elderly residents of the three municipalities who were excluded, particularly isolated and physically handicapped residents, to the facility, which was provided by the Lintvern Institute. Isolated and physically handicapped residents from three municipalities in Bela krajina order transport to the Silver Palace to take part in healthcare workshops once a week. This means that they obtain healthcare-related information and advice suitable for the elderly and physically handicapped, and socialise, easing the feeling of loneliness at least a little. Healthcare and creative workshops, and various forms of socialising are the bases for the preparation and testing of a new social programme Silver Week with which we wish to empower the elderly in the three municipalities, particularly isolated and physically handicapped residents and which is carried out by Metlika Retirement Home and the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Novo mesto.

The Silver Phone activity is also being implemented to inform, and raise awareness of, the target group, providing them with an opportunity for conversation. Elderly and isolated people who cannot come to the Silver Palace can talk with an employee or other participants on the phone, easing the feeling of isolation and loneliness and at the same time, obtaining advice on everyday life issues to which they cannot find an answer. This is socialisation on the phone and reducing personal distress.

Also ongoing are the preparation of a new tourist programme related to the facility, and the preparation and testing of a new tourist programme: digital or multimedia and guided presentation The past of Komenda (ongoing; carried out by Jazon d.o.o. and Metlika Retirement Home).


– Economic:

One new job has been created. The person is responsible for the implementation and coordination of Silver Palace activities: socialisation, the Silver Phone, healthcare workshops and “The past of Komenda” tourist programme (guided presentation and a virtual tour of the past of Komenda). In addition, the Silver Palace and its new “The past of Komenda” tourist programme will attract tourists to visit Metlika and Bela krajina.

– Environmental / Climate action:

The project directly contributes to environmental sustainability by reviving an empty and old building, and adding content to it, as it boosts the sustainability and significance of the building. The energy put into the preservation of architectural heritage will not be worthless; instead, its consumption (heat, electricity, water, restoration) will have a higher and greater purpose.

– Social:

The inclusion of people and easing their loneliness by including them in activities foreseen in the project; research shows that the area of Bela krajina is one of the areas in Slovenia where the isolation of individuals, particularly of the elderly, is greatest. Due to the large rural area and poor infrastructure, numerous elderly and physically handicapped residents do not have the financial means and social opportunities for social inclusion. Therefore, the project is focused on improving the life of residents in this area by easing their loneliness and providing them with more healthcare-related information.

– Networking value:

The project connects various institutions in this area, which take part in the realisation of the project with synergy. Metlika Retirement Home is the crucial institution in the Municipality of Metlika, which is responsible for elderly residents and owns the Silver Palace. Therefore, it is the applicant or the coordinator of the project. The Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Novo mesto has the competences in the field of healthcare and therefore carries out healthcare workshops. The Lintvern Institute establishes the logistics and transport of non-included elderly residents of the three municipalities, particularly isolated and physically handicapped residents, to the Silver Palace. Jazon d.o.o. has been preparing the tourist programme: digital or multimedia and guided presentation “The past of Komenda”.

– Transferability:

The project may also be applied to other European areas (particularly to Central and Eastern Europe), where buildings that are part of architectural heritage or other abandoned buildings are being revived by socially empowering the weakest in society by establishing a tourist programme to ensure the project’s long-term sustainability.

– Synergies with other EU policies:

No other sources of funding have been used; however, the project complies with the policy of establishing a smart village, and socially and economically sustainable rural areas.



Metlika Retirement Home, Mestni trg 16, 8330 Metlika
Contact person: Jerneja Šterk
Phone: 00386 7 30 63 151, 00386 41 604 344
Other contact details:

Photo copyright: ČZD Kmečki glas d. o. o.