Railway traffic began running across the territory of present-day Slovenia on 2 June 1846. A railway line was constructed between Graz and Celje, one of the stages in the construction of the railway link between Vienna and Trieste.
A large crowd of people had gathered at the Šentjur railway station. During the stop at this station, people from the Viennese court, who were passengers of the ceremonial train, planted an exotic Japanese pagoda tree or Sophora japonica, which till this day commemorates this festive event.
The pagoda tree or more commonly Sophora japonica is a deciduous tree, which usually has a short trunk and long branches. It is classified in the family of legumes due to its typical butterfly flowers, grouped into 25-30 cm long erect racemes that bloom in August. Pagodas are often planted in gardens and parks around the world as an ornamental tree, and in its homeland of East Asia, pagodas are often planted at pagoda temples, from which it takes its name.
Museum of Southern Railway is located in vicinty of Pagoda Tree.