University of Maribor Faculty of Arts Department of Geography SLOVENIA Assistant Professor Lučka Lorber, Ph.D
Slovenia in Brief The Republic of Slovenia lies at the heart of Europe, where the Alps face the Pannonian plains and the Mediterranean meets the mysterious Karst. To the north is Austria; Hungary is to the east; Croatia to the south and Italy to the west. • Area: 20,273 km2Population: 2,053.740 (30.9.2010)Capital city: LjubljanaLanguage: Slovene; also Italian and Hungarian in nationally mixed areas Currency: euro (since 1 January 2007) • Important dates:-Independence - 25 June 1991-Member of EU - 1 May 2004-Introduction of the euro - 1 January 2007
Slovenia – the Landscape Triglav, the highest mountain of Slovenia's Julian Alps. For its exceptional beauty, the Slovenes have chosen their highest mountain peak, Triglav (2,864m), as their national symbol. Most of the Slovene land is mountainous. Alpine mountains cover 4/10 of the entire national territory.
Slovenia – the Landscape Logarska dolina - The valley of Logarska in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps is one of the most beautiful and peaceful glacial valleys in Europe. Protected since 1987.
Slovenia – the Landscape Rakov Škocjan. The massive natural bridge in the regional park of Rakov Škocjan is considered to be a true karstic gem.
Slovenia – the Landscape Planinsko polje (Planina polje). Slovenia has become known to the world for its Kras (Karst), which has given the name to many karstic features around the world (polje for a karstic field, doline for sinkhole and so forth). The most interesting karstic lakes are both intermittent and seasonal, and there are 25 such "polje" lakes in the Notranjska region alone.
Slovenia – the Landscape Sečovlje salt-pans. The Sečovlje salt-pans still produce salt using traditional methods. Part of the area has been designated as a nature reserve and ornithologists have recorded over 150 different species of bird here.
Slovenia – the Landscape Koper. The largest coastal town and Slovenia's only commercial port. The Port of Koper provides the shortest route from Central Europe to the Mediterranean and is Slovenia's maritime gateway to the world. Despite industrial growth it has preserved its old centre untouched.
Slovenia – the Landscape Pohorje, the Black Lake. The 50 kilometre-long Pohorje massif, with its extensive forests, is the green lungs of Štajerska.
Slovenia – the Landscape Bela Krajina (Plešivica). The southernmost Slovene region and foremost region of traditions still observed in everyday life. It is a plain with occasional karstic features, with forests dominating in the lower ground and slopes studded with vineyards.
Slovenia – the Landscape The River Mura in the Pomurje region. In its 98 km-long Slovene section the River Mura (rises in the Alps of Austria's High Tauern) becomes a typical Pannonian lowland river, meandering back and forth across the plains of Pomurje.
Slovenia – Ljubljana Ljubljana. The centre of trade, culture and education, the capital and largest city (population 330,000) nestles between the castle hill and the Ljubljanica river.
Slovenia – Ljubljana The main building of the University. The Slovenes only founded their own university in 1919, but at least as many Slovene scholars as were needed to make up such an institution of higher education had been dispersed throughout Europe ever since the 12th century.
Slovenia – Ljubljana Tromostovje (Triple Bridge). One of the symbols of the city, designed in 1929 by Jože Plečnik (1872-1957).
Slovenia – Ljubljana Ljubljanica riverbanks. Medieval buildings mirrored in the river.
Slovenia – Ljubljana The reading room in the National and University Library in Ljubljana. The building constructed in 1941, represents one of architect Jože Plečnik's most monumental works.
Slovenia – Natural and Cultural Heritage The noble Lipizzaner horse originated in Lipica, Slovenia, where the stud farm was established in 1580.
Slovenia – Natural and Cultural Heritage The variety of wildlife in the Slovene forests - with a little luck you might encounter a bear, especially in the forests of Kočevje area.
Slovenia – Natural and Cultural Heritage Proteus anguinus. The proteus or olm, known locally as "human fish" , was discovered in the Karst. This endemic animal is considered to be the trademark of Slovene speleology.
Slovenia – Natural and Cultural Heritage Zois' Bellflower (Campanula zoysii). Around 3000 highland plants (ferns and seed-bearing plants) grow in Slovenia, and approximately 70 of them are endemic. Zois' bellflower was found more than 200 years ago in the Bohinj Alps and on Storžič; it grows in the Julian and Kamnik Alps and in the Karavanke.
Slovenia – Natural and Cultural Heritage Maribor - 400 year-Old Vine. The heart of Maribor's old town, Lent, provides refuge for the Old Vine. It is thought to be the oldest in the world, but still offers up its juice.
Slovenia – Natural and Cultural Heritage Cerkniško jezero (Lake Cerknica). The intermittent Lake Cerknica (26 sq. km), a world-ranking attraction. It is a lake for half the year in which one can fish and, in winter, skate on the frozen surface. It starts to disappear in spring and leaves behind a polje (field), where farmers cut hay through the summer.
Slovenia – Natural and Cultural Heritage The Ljubljana Barje (Marshland). Ljubljansko Barje lies to the south-west of Ljubljana. This unique landscape is a highly diverse and rich ecosystem for aquatic and marsh birds.
Slovenia – Natural and Cultural Heritage Štanjel. A typical old karst settlement clinging on below the top of a hill. Štanjel has an attractive garden created by Slovene architect, Max Fabiani, between 1920 and 1930.
Slovenia – Natural and Cultural Heritage Ptuj, one of the oldest Slovene towns. With its two-thousand-year history, Ptuj is a museum in itself. The town lies on Roman foundations beside the old crossing over the Drava river.
Slovenia – Natural and Cultural Heritage Maribor, Main square. Maribor is the second largest city in Slovenia. The city developed along the river Drava and acquired town rights in 1254. Main square with plague monument. Mary's Column with the six statuettes was erected in 1743.
Slovenia – Natural and Cultural Heritage The Gothic and Baroque styles prevail in numerous (Roman Catholic) churches, which are often located on hilltops.
Slovenia – Tourism Lake Bled. The combination of natural wonders and unique culture and history attracts visitors. Among the most frequently visited locations, the Alpine Lake Bled area ranks first. The castle, dating back to 1111, and the "pletna" rowing-boats are two of the many attractions.
Slovenia – Tourism Piran, one of the oldest, most picturesque and distinct towns along the Slovene coast, often referred to as a living museum.
Slovenia – Tourism Portorož. The main tourist centre of the Slovene coast is the summer and spa resort of Portorož, which also features a marina.
Slovenia – Tourism From one of the many wine cellars in Slovenia. The Slovene lands include three completely different wine-growing regions: Podravska (north-east), Posavska (south) and Primorska (south-west).
Slovenia – Tourism Delicious "kraški pršut" - air-dried ham. Karst ham - one of the specialities of the coastal region cuisine, served with olives, home-made cheese, various seafood salads and Karst Teran wine.
Slovenia – Tourism Rural tourism is well-developed throughout Slovenia. It offers a range of holiday programmes, including hiking, climbing, riding, cycling, boating and fishing, shooting the rapids in kayaks, bathing in rivers and lakes, playing tennis or golf, hang-gliding and skiing.
Slovenia – Tourism Zdravilišče Rogaška Slatina (Rogaška Health Spa). Slovenia's health spas have a tradition stretching back for centuries. The famous spa of Rogaška Slatina is over 400 years old. Napoleon and Austrian Emperors experienced their healing waters. The tradition of glass making has turned the nearby factory Rogaška glassworks into a world leader in crystal production.
Slovenia – Tourism A magnificent world under the Earth's surface. The stalagmite and stalactite rich karstic underground world is already very popular, thanks to the Postojna Caves. The best-known show caves are the Postojna Caves, Pivka and Erna Caves, Planinska Cave, Škocjan Caves, Vilenica and Križna Cave.
Slovenia – History The Freising Manuscripts (9th cent.). The first known written records in the Slovene language go back to the end of the first millennium. Known as the Freising manuscripts, they are preserved in the State Archives in Munich.
Slovenia – History Map of the Slovene Lands, first published in 1853 by Peter Kozler. Slovenia is proud of this Map of the Slovene Lands that was first published in 1853 by Peter Kozler. The first descriptions and cartographic works on the area date to the times of the Austrian Empire. In 1689 a book on "The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola" provided some of the earliest detail on the areas settled by the Slovenes. ))
Slovenia – History The democratic ritual of the enthronement of Carinthian princes on a stone throne was unique in feudal Europe. Until the coming of the Franks, the Slovenes had their own administration and elected their own rulers. (Detail from a fresco by Gojmir Anton Kos (1896-1979))
Slovenia – History Franciscan monastery of Kostanjevica near Nova Gorica. The monastery of Kostanjevica, built in the 17th century, boasts a rich library collection and also the crypt of the last of the royal line of the Bourbons.
Slovenia – History Javorca nad Tolminom - Church of the Holy Spirit. Built in 1916 by Austro-Hungarian soldiers in memory of the thousands of victims of the First World War in this area.
Slovenia – Ethnology Beehive at Muljava. Painted beehive panels - unique in the world. Honey production has a long tradition in Slovenia. At the end of the 18th century the Vienna court apiarist, Slovene Anton Janša, bred a native species of Carniolian bee.
Slovenia – Ethnology Home-made wooden goods. Some Slovene regions became and remain famous for certain products. The people of the Ribnica area are known for their home-made wooden items, called locally suha roba. Their merchandise can still be found at markets.
Slovenia – Ethnology Idrija lace. Traditional handicrafts can still be found in many rural areas of Slovenia: lace, woodcarving, pottery, crystal, as well as other products are living proof of Slovenia's ethnic pride and heritage.
Slovenia – Ethnology The "toplar" hayrack. A special feature of the land is the hayrack, a simple wooden construction for drying hay. Some thirty different types can be distinguished by their construction, most of them found only in Slovenia.
Slovenia – Ethnology Klopotec - bird-scaring rattle. Klopotec - a wooden device for scaring birds away from vineyards. The klopotec that can still be found in the north-east of Slovenia is an original Slovene product.
Slovenia – Ethnology Pannonian house. Colourful houses and unique constructions made of wood, straw, mud and thatched roof can still be found in the region of Prekmurje.
Slovenia – Ethnology Kurent - Carnival spirit. Kurent, a fearsome "Pust" (carnival) figure bringing luck and abundant crops, comes from Ptujsko polje.
Slovenia – Ethnology Traditional ornament - painted eggs from Bela Krajina.
Slovenia – Ethnology Potica - a pastry for festive occasions. This excellent, original, almost sculptured cake is a Slovene speciality. The recipes are a kind of family secret, passing from generation to generation like folk songs.