Home  |   Log in, 加盟我们   |   Create account, 在此注册  

Country Reports


Slovenia

Some Facts Slovenia | Meet the country Slovenia | Business & Culture in Slovenia | Official Holidays in Slovenia | Useful links

Meet the country Slovenia

Slovenia lies in the heart of Europe; bordered to the west by Italy's Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, in the south west it is adjacent to the Italian port city of Trieste and occupies a portion of the Istrian Peninsula, where it has a short coastline along the Gulf of Venice. In the south, south east, and east, Slovenia shares a long border with Croatia, and in the far north east it borders Hungary. The northern boundary separates it from the Austrian regions of Burgenland, Styria (Steiermark), and Carinthia (Kaernten). It is a country with spectacular mountains as it includes a part of the Alps, thick forests, and some 46 km of coastline on the Adriatic. A joke goes that if all 2 million citizens of Slovenia went to the seaside at once, they could only stand there on one foot.

Slovenia, one of the youngest and smallest countries in Europe, enjoys also substantial economic and political stability. This small country is in deed a model of economic success and stability for its neighbours from the former Yugoslavia. Slovenia has a GDP per capita, US$ 23,400 (est. 2006), which is substantially greater than the other transitioning economies of Central Europe. Slovenia joined the EU on 1 May 2004, and the euro zone on 1 January 2007. It has an excellent infrastructure, a well-educated working force, and the perfect central location in Central Europe.

Krn, Julian Alps, photo by J. Skok. 

Photos are used with permission of Slovenia Tourist Board.

BRIEF HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Under Roman Empire (27 BC-AD 476) Slovenia was part of the provinces of Pannonia and Noricum. In 6th century AD, Mongolian Avars invaded the region, and later by Slavs throwing off the Avar domination. Thereafter, a period with Bavarian rule; during this period most of the population converted to the Roman Catholicism.  

In AD 632, the first independent Slovene state was created (by Franko Samo), which stretched from the Mediterranean to the Lake Balaton (today located within Hungary) the first Slovene state lasted until late of 8th century, until it became a part of the French Empire. In 10th century, reorganized as »The Duchy of Carantania« by Holy Roman Emperor Otto I. From 1335 to 1918, the Slovenes were governed by Habsburg of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the Austrian crowns lands of Kärnten (Carinthia), Carniola, and Steiermark (Styria) – except for a minority in the Republic of Venice. 

Under the Napoleonic Wars, Austria took the region from France, and reorganized it as a part of the Illyrian Provinces (1809-1814). The brief period of liberal rule fostered Slovene and South Slav nationalism.  

In 1918 Slovenia became a part of the Kingdom of Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia (in 1929 renamed The Kingdom of Yugoslavia). During World War II, Germany, Italy and Hungary divided the whole territory for themselves.  

After the World War II, Slovenia became a republic of the renewed Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which though communists, distanced itself from Moscow's rule.  

April 1990, the first parliamentary multi-party democratic election was held in Slovenia.  

December 1990, at a referendum, 88.5 % of Slovene voters back Slovenia's independence, dissatisfied with the exercise of power of the majority Serbs. 

June 1991, Declaration of Independence from Yugoslavia

When the Serbs refused to transfer the country's rotating presidency to the Croatia, both Slovenia and Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav National Army (Serb-dominated) was sent to both republics in an attempt to secure Yugoslavia’s borders. 

  • 27 June 1991 started a 10 day war with the Yugoslav National Army. The Slovenes defeated the JVA's, which allowed them quickly to ensure their true independence as a separate republic, and the independence was recognized internationally.
  • January 1992, EU recognizes the independence of Slovenia.
  • April 1992, USA followed up with acknowledge of their independence.
  • 22 May 1992, Slovenia became a UN member.
  • In 1992, Slovenia began instituting reforms, and joined several international organizations.
  • In 1996, Slovenia signed an association agreement with EU. It was the only one of the former Yugoslav republics to be in the first wave of candidates for membership of the European Union
  • December 1997 Slovenia was invited to start the process of becoming a full member of the EU.
  • 29 March 2004, Slovenia became a member of NATO.
  • 1 May 2004, Slovenia became a member of EU.
  • 1 January 2007, Slovenia adopted the euro as its official currency 

ECONOMY

Prior to independence, Slovenia was the most prosperous of the six Yugoslav republics. As a result of the war in this region in the 1990s, the tourism and traditional trade relations with the rest of Balkan were limited, which affected Slovenia's economy some years. A large population of war refugees from the other countries was a further drain on the economy

Structural reforms to improve the business environment have allowed for greater foreign participation in Slovenia's economy and have helped to lower unemployment. Economic leaders made huge efforts in turning the economy around, by implementing market and bank reforms and promoted privatization. Through the history has Slovenia always been a part of larger countries or even great empires, and has experienced many changes in its economic system; from the mainly agricultural and artisan period of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the slightly more industrialised Kingdom of Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia, the socialist state-centred industrialisation of the former SFR Yugoslavia, to today’s independent Slovenia, which is directed towards development and market economy.  

Privatization of the economy proceeded at an accelerated pace in 2002-05. Despite lacklustre economic performance in Europe in 2001-05, Slovenia maintained moderate growth. In March 2004, Slovenia became the first transition country to graduate from borrower status to donor partner at the World Bank.  

Slovenia's accession to the EU has contributed to an outstanding positive development in foreign trade, which surpassed all expectations. After the accession to the EU, exports to the EU-countries increased with 10%, while export to countries in the South East areas dropped. In 2004, export of good increased with 9%, while imports of goods increased with 11%. 

Despite its economic success, Slovenia faces growing challenges. Much of the economy remains in state hands and foreign direct investment (FDI) in Slovenia is one of the lowest in the EU on a per capita basis. Although tax reforms were implemented in December 2006, taxes are still relatively high.  

The government has pledged to accelerate privatization of a number of large state holdings and is interested in increasing FDI in Slovenia. Late 2005, the government's new Committee for Economic Reforms was elevated to cabinet-level status; a program which includes plans for lowering the tax burden, privatizing state-controlled firms, improving the flexibility of the labour market, and increasing the government's efficiency.  

STATE

Under the Constitution, Slovenia is a democratic republic and a social state governed by law. The state's authority is based on the principle of the separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers, with a parliamentary system of government.

Head of State: President Janez Drnovsek (elected 22 December 2002). The President is elected by popular vote every five years.

Head of Government: Prime Minister Janez Jansa (elected 9 November 2004). The executive ranch is headed by the Prime Minister and the Councils of Ministers or Cabinet, which are elected by the Parliament.

The Bicameral Parliament of Slovenia consists of the National Assembly (Državni zbor), and the National Council (Državni svet). The National Assembly has 90 seats, which are partially filled with directly elected representatives, and partially with proportionally elected representatives (2 seats are reserved for autochthonous Hungarian and Italian minorities). The National Council has 40 seats, for representatives of social, economic, professional and local interest groups. Parliamentary elections are held every four years.

CONSTITUTION

The Constitution of Slovenia was adopted by the National Assembly on 23 December 1991. The document is divided into 10 chapters:

  1. General Provisions
  2. Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
  3. Economic and Social Relations
  4. Organisation of the State
  5. Self-Government
  6. Public Finance
  7. Constitutionality and Legality
  8. The Constitutional Court
  9. Procedure for Amending the Constitution
  10. Transitional and Final Provisions

The Constitution (of 1991) has been changed on four occasions; in 1997, 2000, 2003, and 2004.

POLITICAL PARTIES

Liberal Democratic Party (LDS), New Slovenia (Nsi), Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia (DeSUS), Slovene National Party (SNS), Slovene People's Party (SLS), Slovene Youth Party (SMS), Social Democrats (SD).

The SDS (centre-right) leads the current government (aug.2007) and is the largest party in parliament, with 29 seats out of 90. The party is led by the Prime Minister, Mr Jansa. 

SLOVENE REGIONS 

Julian Alps. A view of the Soča and the upper Sava river valleys spreads below Mount Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain. Lying between the two rivers is Triglav National Park, which protects numerous endemic animal and plant species in a region of high rocky mountains, deeply cut river gorges, high-mountain karst shafts, and attractive low mountains as well as the traditions of the once difficult life of mountain farmers and alpine dairymen.

Coast and Karst. Where the sun strokes the picturesque Mediterranean towns on the Adriatic coast. Its rays are infatuated with the beauty of the Karst region planted with olive groves and vineyards, with peach orchards and cherry trees. Some of the most beautiful underground worlds of our planet lie below their roots. There are more than six thousand karst caves and sinkholes in Slovenia, and ten of these treasuries of limestone masterpieces created by disappearing karst rivers have been adapted and opened for tourists...

Maribor and Pokorje, and surroundings. Wherever travellers come from, the Pohorje region, the green specialty of Slovenia’s mountain world, greets them with remarkable peat moors with lakes, extensive grassy plains and slopes that in winter become attractive ski areas, mighty forests and gigantic trees, well-marked mountaineering and hiking trails, hospitable inns, and inviting sporting and tourist centres.

Carnolia - Kranj and Kamniške-Savinjske Alps Region. Where the Sava River reveals its true face and its power is invigorated by tributaries from the left and right, the land widens. Here, cities and towns with venerable traditions together with towns and villages scattered across the high alpine mountains and softly rounded hills create a land of new experiences not far- from the nation’s capital.
 
Savinjska. From one of the most beautiful alpine valleys past the medieval castle inspirations of the Celje Counts to mysterious Kozjansko, the Savinjska region offers secret corners of unspoiled nature, thermal and climatic health resorts, towns and cities with interesting pasts and lively presents, hospitable farms, places with sporting challenges.
 
Dolenjska and Bela Krajina. Winegrowing hills and small churches, castle and monasteries, mighty forests and gentle birch groves give the extensive region of south-eastern Slovenia a very picturesque appearance. Dolenjska, which shakes hands with Bela Krajina across the scenic Gorjanci mountain range, is a region with countless possibilities for relaxation, exploration, and pleasure and numerous fascinating stops on its heritage trails and wine roads.
 
Pomurje. The dreamy countryside along the Mura River in eastern Slovenia is a land of wide fields and rounded hills, storks and wind-rattles, floating mills, healing waters and energy points, picturesque winegrowing hills, original traditions and dialects, and most of all, a land of hospitable people, who live in Slovenia’s largest agricultural region.
 
Zasavje. In central Slovenia, the undulating Posavsko hribovje hills spread on the both sides of the Sava River. Wagon roads once led across their picturesque peaks, but today the hills and the mountains above Litija, Zagorje, Trbovlje, and Hrastnik are mostly popular excursion destinations. These towns beside the Sava and close to the most important Slovene railway lines are full of mining traditions. 

Natural Attractions http://www.slovenia.info/?naravne_znamenitosti_jame=0

CLIMATE

Due to the various climates within the country; Mediterranean climate at the coast, Alpine climate in the Alps and Karavanke mountains, and Pannonian climate to the northeast of the country – the appropriate clothes for each season is recommended. While the coast »where the sun always shines« enjoy mild winters, sometimes up to +15oC in early spring which can start already in February, the inland with Alps, the plateaus and valleys have cold, snow rich winters.

Average temperatures in July are above +21oC and in January 0oC. In the summer it can be very hot by the coast and quite cold in the mountains. We advise you to check the weather forecast before travelling to Slovenia. 

GEOGRAPHY

Four major European geographic regions meet in Slovenia; the Alps, the Dinarides, the Pannonian plain, and the Mediterranean. The highest mountain is Triglav (2864 m). Slovenia is the third most forested country in Europe with its 58%, after Finland and Sweden. Grassland (5.593 sq km), fields and gardens (2,471 sq km), orchards (363 sq km), and vineyards (216 sq km). 

ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION

Biodiversity. Slovenia is home to more than 15,000 animal species and 3,200 plant species or, in other words, at least to every hundredth known living species and at least to every fiftieth continental species. This great number of species in such a small area means that Slovenia's flora and fauna are among the richest in Europe and even in the world. Thus it can be rightly depicted as a European biotic park!

Apart from the bear, the largest animal in the forest, it is possible to encounter the wolf, wildcat, deer and roe deer, and since 1973 the lynx has been reintroduced in the Kočevje area. Among the smaller animals are the beech marten and the pine marten, squirrel, badger and fox.

Number and Extent of Protected Areas; Approximately 8% of the Slovenia's territory is specially protected; the largest area with such a regime is the Triglav National Park with a surface area of 848 km2. Slovenia has established 47 National, Regional and Landscape Parks as well as Nature Reserves and Natural Monuments, which together account for 11.41% of its total land area. Slovenia also has 3 marine protected areas, 1 World Heritage Site (Škocjanske Caves), 2 MAB areas (Karst, the Julian Alps) and 3 Ramsar sites (Sečoveljske soline, Škocjanske Caves, Cerkniško jezero z okolico).

Lake Bohinj Valley, photo by A. Fevžer

Nature Conservation Efforts;  http://enrin.grida.no/biodiv/biodiv/national/slovenia/index.htm

POPULATION

The main ethnic group of Slovenia is the Slovenians, 84%. Nationalities from the former Yugoslavia (Serbs, Croats and Bosnians) form 6.3%. The Hungarian, Italian and Roma minorities form 0.6% of the population. Ethic affiliation of 8.9% is undeclared or unknown.

Life expectancy in 2003 was 73 years for men and 80 years for women. (UN). With 99 inhabitants per square kilometre (256/sq mi), Slovenia ranks low among the European countries in population density. Approximately 51% of the population lives in urban areas and 49% in rural areas.

RELIGION

The majority of Slovenes (almost 60%) are Roman Catholics, although there are around 38 other religious communities, spiritual groups, societies and associations registered in Slovenia.

LANGUAGE

The Slovene language belongs to the Indo-European family of languages and is spoken by the 2 million citizens living in the country, and by Slovene minority groups mainly in Austria, Italy and Hungary, and by emigrants scattered around the world; America, Australia, and New Zealand. Grammatically, Slovene is rather complicated, as it is an inflectional language, meaning that it has cases and endings added to the words.

As Slovenia is divided into 8 regions, each of these regions naturally has their own dialects. However, at school, Slovenes are encouraged to speak standard Slovene in public.

By the coast where most of the Italian minority lives, the official languages are both Slovene and Italian. Hungarian also enjoys the status of official language in the ethnically mixed regions along the Hungarian border. Traffic signs and street names are also written in both languages in these areas.

CULTURE AND PEOPLE

Slovenia has two national minority communities; Italians (2,258) and Hungarians (6,243), in addition to around 324,000 people from other ethnic groups (according to 2002 census). The latter include the Roma (gypsy) ethnic group and a large number of immigrants from the territories of the former Yugoslavia who came to Slovenia primarily for economic reasons, including Croats, Serbs, Bosnians, Macedonians, Montenegrins and Albanians. The Italians and Hungarians are considered indigenous minorities and their rights are protected under the Constitution.

The new Constitution of Slovenia from 1991 established traditional rights with regard to culture, including freedom of artistic creation, cultural development and heritage protection, as well as providing copyright, cultural and linguistic rights for Italian and Hungarian minorities, rights for the Roma community and assistance for Slovenes living in neighbouring countries or elsewhere around the world. Ethnic minority groups have rights to dedicated professional cultural institutions and access rights for libraries and educational services in their local communities.

There are also special programmes for the Roma people, who receive similar treatment to the above mentioned minority groups. The cultural activities of all immigrants are valued as a contribution to Slovenia's cultural diversity.

The Italian and Hungarian minorities each have one democratically-elected representative in the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia. Ethnically-mixed areas are bilingual; there are nurseries and schools for the minorities, and minority languages are represented in the local media. The Slovene Government finances regional programmes of Radio-Television Slovenia (RTV Slovenia) intended for Hungarian and Italian national minorities.

Slovene culture has long been known for its rich internal diversity. The openness of cultural policy to other cultures, international exchange, the cultural rights of national communities, minority communities and vulnerable groups, and the cultural activity of Slovenes outside the Republic of Slovenia, make an important contribution to the development of cultural identity. The creation of programmes including the European dimension and which will apply for funds from international sources, are also be important for the realisation of this aim.

EDUCATION

The Slovenian Constitution guarantees free education to Slovenian nationals. Basic education is mandatory and funded from budgetary resources. The State is required to enable its citizens to obtain appropriate education. State universities and professional colleges are autonomous. Members of ethnic minorities have the right to receive and further instruction in their mother tongue. Roma are likewise granted special educational rights.

Slovenia has signed over 30 bilateral agreements on co-operation in education, culture and science, more than 20 programmes and some protocols. Since 1992, Slovenia has actively participated in all educational projects of the Council of Europe and has been involved in the work of the UNESCO. Since 1999, it has taken part in the European Union programmes of Socrates, Leonardo and Youth. Since 2002, the Ministry of Education and Sport has co-operated also with the OECD.

 

In recent years, approximately 6% of GDP have been spent on education. In 2002, 67% of population had at least upper secondary education.

HEALTH CARE

Slovenia's health care system, in comparison with other EU members, is close to the European average. Slovenia has received the highest ranking (by the European health care think-tank the Health Consumer Powerhouse) for the quality of services with regard to means invested, and the lowest for waiting time for treatment. Slovenia scored best for the fact that dental care is part of the public health care system, for treatment of heart attacks, the prevention of infant mortality, patients' access to their own medical records, and patients' right to second opinions.

Food and Drink. Water is considered safe to drink. Bottle water is available. Several types of Slovene, high quality mineral water. Milk is pasteurised, and dairy products are safe for consumption. Meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables and fruit are considered safe to eat. 

Risks. Do not walk barefoot in the grass, as tick-born encephalitis is present in forests and in grass. Take precautions against tick bites; use sandals, spray the feet with »anti-tick« prevention, if you do not use stockings. Vaccination is also advisable. Rabies is present. For those at high risk, consider vaccination.

Insurance. European Insurance Card (EHIC) gives European residents access to state provided medical treatment. In addition comprehensive travel insurance is advised. For information, contact: ZZZS, Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia; www.zzzs.si 

Anti-Smoking Law
Smoking is prohibited in all public places and places of employment from August 2007. Smoking is only allowed in special areas as determined by accommodation providers, in homes for senior citizens, jails, psychiatric clinics and in areas intended exclusively for smokers. The age limit for access to tobacco products has also been increased from 15 to 18 years of age for both sales attendants and customers. As with sales of alcoholic beverages, sales attendants can demand proof of age from the customer.

SLOVENE CUISINE

Slovenia is also known for its great wines and delicious traditional food. It is a hospitable country which surprises its visitors with the abundance of traditional Slovenian food as well as culinary masterpieces which originated outside the country, but have received a Slovenian touch, is a feast for the gourmet.

Many restaurants offer a wide range of traditional national dishes, as well as international dishes like pizza, pasta and oriental dishes. The coast affords excellent seafood, including shellfish and the Adriatic bluefish. Gostilna is the heart of the Slovenian culinary offer. Beside drinks the offer of gostilna has to include at least three dishes, which are typical of the environment or region. Gostilnas are often owned by families and mainly preserve the tradition in their offer and fittings, and in preparing homemade dishes they preserve the principles of healthy nutrition.

Slovene specialities, photo by B. Kladnik

One recent eating trend in Slovenia is the "slow food movement". A typical "slow food" meal takes place in a restaurant or at a private home among a group of family members or close friends. There are usually eight or more courses, the emphasis being on local produce, old-style recipes and a relaxed pace, with a different wine to accompany each course.

Wines. Slovenia lies on the southern slopes of the Alps and touches the Mediterranean, so it enjoys the best of both worlds, as well as climatic uncertainties from both North and South. The tradition of wine production is very long, going back at least to the time of the Roman Empire. Slovenia offers wine – from quality to top quality specialty wine, predicate wine and sparkling wine. On the coast you should try Teran, Rumeni Muškat, Malvazija and Rebula. The speciality of the Posavje Region is Cviček, a Slovene wine with a light taste and low alcohol. Wine growing hills of the Podravje Region in the east boast excellent speciality wine such as Renski Rizling, Traminec, Sauvignon, Chardonnay,  Ranina and many other top quality wine. Numerous wine cellars in Slovenia offer wine tasting and the inns and restaurants you can consult experienced sommeliers. Nowadays, 38 vine varieties are grown in 14 wine districts.

This, together with the natural conditions mentioned above, provides a very rich diversity of taste, smell and colour in the different wines. With the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables, wild mushrooms, dairy products and fresh pasta available here, vegetarians are sure to enjoy their time in Slovenia, too...

TOURISM

Slovenia's popularity as a tourist destination is increasing steadily, not only from the traditional countries like Italy, Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Croatia, but in a number of new markets as well.

Slovenia offers tourists a wide variety of landscapes in a small space: Alpine in the northwest, Mediterranean in the southwest, Pannonian in the northeast and Dinaric in the southeast.

The forests are an important natural resource, and valuable for the preservation of natural diversity. An ecological asset like all forests, they enrich the soil and cleanse the water and air. The forests also lend their natural beauty to the Slovene landscape. Slovenes enjoy the social benefits of tourism and recreation.

Lake Bled, jewel of the Julian Alps, photo: J. Skok

LJUBLJANA

LJUBLJANA, the capital, proudly shows its Baroque and Art Nouveau influence, and the work of native born architect Jože Plečnik (http://www.ijs.si/slo/ljubljana/plecnik.html). The Ljubljanica River flows through the centre of town, past Baroque buildings and under the ramparts of the ancient castle on the hil

The new city and modern-day commercial core lies to the west of the river, while the east side has Ljubljana's old city and the castle. Bridges are connecting the two sides of the city, and the most famous bridge is the Tromostovje Bridge (The Triple Bridge, by architect Jože Plečnik) .Old Ljubljana has monuments, bridges, historic buildings and churches. 

Ljubljana Castle, photo by D. Mladenovič

  • The Ljubljana Castle is dated back one thousand years, and was built on a prehistoric site on top of a hill. In the Middle Ages the castle was used as a fortress and later it served various purposes, but the present quintagonal irregular layout of the castle is of later origin. The Castle has been under reconstruction for quite a few years. In addition to its renovated chapel of St. George, with its coats-of-arms, the pentagonal tower and wedding Hall, we recommend a visit to its high tower. There is a fantastic view from the tower; over the city, the Old Ljubljana and its surroundings, the Kamnik Alps in the north and the Julian Alps with Triglav, and the Karavanke Alps to the north-west.
  • Churches, especially the old city centre of Ljubljana has numerous beautiful churches (Baroque period). They mostly reflect Italian, especially Venetian influences. The most famous churches; the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, the Ursuline Church and St. James's Church, were decorated by some of the many distinguished artists of the time. A number of magnificent artistic elements were added later, during renovations. Particularly fine are the interventions by architect Jože Plečnik.
  • Dragon Bridge (Zmajski Most) guarded by four dragons, which have become a symbol of the city.
  • Stari trg – a street with local designer shops, trendy cafes etc.
  • Roman Ruins – to the west of the town centre are the remains of the Roman City Walls
  • Krakovo – is like a village in the city connecting the centre to the Trnovo suburb.
  • Republic Square – the crowds gathered here as Slovenia announced its secession from the Yugoslav Federation. On the square is the International Business Centre; across the road is the Slovene Parliament (with decorative statues of Slovenes at work and leisure).
  • The National Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art are both situated in Ljubljana, showing the greatest Slovenian artists.

Other Slovene attractions

The Julian Alps, with the stunning beauty of Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj and Soča Valley, as well as the highest mountain, Mount Triglav (triglav means three heads). The hills around the nation's second-largest city, Maribor, are renowned for their wine-making. Even though Slovenes tend to consume most of the wine they produce, some brands like Lutomer have made their appearance abroad. Geology has made the north-eastern part of the country rich with spas, with Rogaška Slatina being perhaps its most prominent site.

Perhaps even more famous attraction is Slovenia's karst which is named after the Karst plateau in south west Slovenia. More than 28 million people have visited the famous Postojna Cave. Only 15 minutes away is the Skočjan Cave, which is listed on UNESCO World Heritage Site.

MARIBOR

MARIBOR, the second largest city in Slovenia. Located by the river Driva, it is the major point of contact between five different regional units; Drava Valley (important for traffic and energy), Pohorje (livestock-rearing and tourism), Kozjak (farms and forrests), Slovenske Gorice (vineyards and orchards), and Drava plain (arable land). Maribor is a city with a international airport, university, diocesan seat, museums, concert hall, congress centres, shops, sports and recreational facilities etc.

Maribor is the centre of viti- and viniculture in the south Štajerska. The grape for the oldest wine in the world, "Stara trta", has been growing more than 400 years near the banks of Drava river.

Internationally is Maribor known for it numerous cultural, entertainment and sports events. The annual international festivals attract an increasing number of tourists; The Lent Festival, and The Boštnik Meeting (musical and theatrical events), The Zlata Lisica (skiing; the Golden Fox), The Naša Pesem (song festival), among others. Maribor was chosen as European Capital of Culture 2002 alongside with Guimarães, Portugal

One of Europe's largest ski centres, Pohorje Range, is located in the mountains above the city. Pohorje is proud to offer; World Cup Alpine Skiing for ladies, The Zlata Lisica', ski slopes, bicycle and walking paths, extreme-sports, Snežni stadium, and refreshing forests and meadows.

The Maribor Castle is the city's chief architectural monument. It was built in 1478 by Emperor Friedrich III, in the northeastern part of town, in order to fortify the corner of the town wall. However, according to history, a castle known as the Marchenburch (The March Castle) was first mentioned already in year 1164. The city Maribor was in 1204 first mentioned as a market near the castle, and it received town-priviledge in 1254.

 http://www.burger.si/Maribor/SF_MariborskiGrad_Dvorana.html

LIPIZA

Lipiza, a cultural monument of European and worldwide reputation, is located in Slovenia's karst region, an unusual stony land covered with low bushes, small pine forests, and vineyards. Close to the Slovene-Italian border in a lush green oasis with avenues lined with trees, between one hundred and one hundred and sixty years old.

The Lipica stud, cradle of the Lipizzaner, has been developing for more than four hundred years. In 1580, the Austrian Archduke Karl II established the stud, and it was the property of the Austrian court until 1918. Its history abounds with stories of emperors and rulers admiring the white stallions and, on the other hand, stories of difficult and dangerous times when the stud had to flee from the maelstroms of war. During wars, it was necessary to seek sanctuary for the herd in other countries, but always, more or less reduced, it returned to Lipica, tenaciously resisted decline, and revived.

Photo: Lipizza horses with chariot

When driving further on in the same direction, the Adriatic coast of the Slovenia will appear. Slovenia has only a 46.6 km long coastline, but is recognized as a pearl by the Adriatic Sea. The coast attracts thousands of foreign tourists every year, and in addition domestic tourist, as the coast is their favourite summer paradise. Here are historical attractions placed side by side.

PIRAN

The city Piran, a jewel of Venetian Gothic. Piran is proudly adorned with its many beautiful churches. In certain periods there were more than twenty. Not all are preserved, yet still their number is surprisingly high for such a small town. The town has preserved the medieval layout with narrow streets and compact houses, which rise in steps from the coastal lowland into the hills and give the whole area a typical Mediterranean look.

Today the town is an administrative and trade centre, and together with Portorož, is also an important tourist location with many cultural institutions, vacation homes, hotels, restaurants and various events. It is also certain that the town itself with its interesting layout and cultural heritage attracts many visitors.

The St. George Cathedral reigns above the town centre of Piran, and contributes to give the city its special character. It was probably built in the 12th Century, but no exact data in regard exists. In the 14th Century it was built to its present size. In 1344, on the Day of St. George, the cathedral was consecrated by nine bishops from near and far. It acquired its present appearance after Baroque renovation in 1637. The Bell Tower was completed in 1608, and the Baptistery in 1650. The supporting walls were built in 1641, and on the sea side the hill was fortified with stone arches. The construction of the stone arches began in 1663 and lasted until 1804. They were seriously dilapidated due to the effects of erosion, and thus had to be reconstructed and restored in 1998.

In 1737 the St George Cathedral acquired seven marble altars. Of the preserved works of art, the two sculptures of St. George are particularly worth seeing. The larger one is from the 17th Century and is the work of an unknown sculptor. The smaller one is silver plated and was made by a Piran based goldsmith workshop. The wall paintings are the work of the Venetian painting school. The two big paintings (Mass in Bolsena and St. George Miracle) date from the beginning of the 17th Century, and were painted by Angelo de Coster.

Tartini Square with St. George Cathedral in background, photo by Ubald Trnkoczny

Tartini Square became the central square of Piran at the end of the 13th Century, but acquired its present appearance only in the second half of the 19th Century. By filling the inner harbour, a spacious square area was obtained, around which all the important municipal buildings were constructed (Town Hall and Court Palace), as well as burgher houses of which only the gothic Venetian House is preserved in the original. The square was named after the well-known Piran local violinist and composer Guiseppe Tartini (1692 - 1770), who made the name of his birthplace known throughout Europe. The town, a collection of sculptures, portals and other artefacts, of secular and church art, holds a peculiarity: a collection of modern sculptures under the open sky on the Seča peninsula, just in front of Portorož. The international Sculptor Symposium Forma Viva was founded in the year 1961 upon a solicitation of the Slovene artists Jacob Savinšek and Janez Lenassi. The Coastal Galleries still traditionally organise it until the present time.

PORTOROZ

PORTOROZ, (Bay of Roses) is the turist town which boasts the longest tourist tradition in Slovenia and offers comfortable hotels and modern swimming pools, restaurants and events. It is a popular international conference centre – various conference and meeting facilities can accommodate up to 1500 visitors. Portorož has casino, sport airport, marina, and international tennis arena. It is a town visited by tourists from all over Europe. Portoroz is an internationally known holiday centre and climatic health seaside resort.

The old Palace Hotel is still the very symbol of Portoroz. It was built between 1908 and 1912, during the Habsburg Dynasty by a famous Austrian architect for the emperor Franz Joseph.. This huge, beautiful Art Nouveau hotel was until 20 years back in time a popular and renowned holiday resort and spa. During 2006 and 2007 the hotel and its sorrounding park are under total renovation. The hotel is expected to reopen in spring 2008, hopefully in due time for a special occasion in Slovenia's history; when Slovenia takes over the EU- Presidentship for 2008. The reopening of old Palace Hotel will definitely mark the golden era of Portorož and its glamorous past!
In the Šavrinska Hills in the hinterland of Portorož lies a number of old Istrian settlements (Padna, Krkavče, Koštabona, Pomjan, Gažon), and not far from the coast there is the picturesque village Hrastovlje with its Church of the Holy Trinity which is adorned by late gothic narrative frescoes. Due to these Hrastovlje is considered as a real treasure of medieval fresco arts in Slovenia.
 

SEČOVLJE

Close to Portoroz are the Sečovlje salt works, first mentioned in the 13th century. Due to their extremely abundant natural and historical heritage they were named a regional park and are a rich sanctuary of plant and animal worlds. They play a very important role in the world of ornithology, because they offer ideal conditions for birds due to the warm climate and abundance of food in the salt work pools. About 200 bird species have been seen at the salt works and they provide a natural habitat for about 80 bird species which nest there.

IZOLA

IZOLA, a lively coastal tourist town with rich fishing tradition and culinary specifics. Most of the tourism is concentrated on the eastern side, at the bay Simonov zaliv, where there is a seaside resort with swimming facilities, hotels and restaurants. On the western edge of the town is the marina of Izola. Special architecture of the ancient town core demonstrates a rich history of a town which was once an island. 

KOPER

KOPER, the main port of Slovenia, with its historical core represents one of the most picturesque parts of the northern part of the Istrian Peninsula. Water sports are very important; there are many regattas in the Bay of Koper and the town has built a small marina. It also organises the Summer Festival of Primorska. The town’s surroundings and the countryside are exceptionally attractive: the steep rock walls by Črni Kal and Osp provide an ideal place for lovers of free climbing and the countryside “boasts” specific culinary and wine offers.

SPORTS AND RECREATION

Slovenia is an excellent place for sport and recreation; active holidays are possible in all parts of the country during all seasons. In the winter time visitors are attracted by wonderful ski slopes, in summer by the waters and the sky above Slovenia, in spring and autumn by the colourful hiking and cycling trails.

Slovenian ski centres and winter resorts attract Alpine and tour skiers, cross-country skiers, borders, sledgers. Many schools of skiing will introduce you to winter joys which can also be experienced by air and at some places – by paragliding.

Numerous clubs for parachuting, hang-gliding, ballooning and flying centres offer the experiences of enjoyable winds. Slovenia, the land of forests, promises many joys to hunters and clean rivers and lakes attract fishermen. 

Krvavec Ski Slope, photo by A. Fevčer

The Slovenian coast  is a nice starting point for lovers of sailing, surfing, diving, and yachting. The Soča and other rivers present a challenge to kayakers, canoeists and rafters.

Everywhere across Slovenia there are riding clubs, and there are well-marked mountain and other hiking trails. Bicycling is also possible almost everywhere – from the temporary tourist to the lovers of more challenging rides, who will enjoy specially prepared and marked cycling trails.

As a part of Slovenian tourist centres, especially health resorts, many sport halls, tennis courts, squash courts etc. are available.

Golf has become an increasingly popular sport among the lovers of active holidays; it is played not only by Slovenians but also by foreign visitors. It has been popular in Slovenia since 1938, at that time the golf course at picturesque Bled was opened.

NATURAL HEALTH RESORTS

Leisure time activities, recreation, and tourism are increasingly intertwined with nature. The growing awareness of the importance of a healthy environment and the ever-greater need and demand for preserving nature and attractive landscapes is increasing the number of nature lovers in Europe. The secret of well being was discovered long ago at Slovenia's thermal and mineral springs. Archaeological excavations from the Roman period bear witness to the rich history of thermal baths in Slovenia, written documents about the Slovene thermal waters date back to 1147, and the healing qualities of the Slovene mineral water have been appreciated throughout Europe for more than four centuries.

First discovered by local people, the beneficial effects of the healing springs gave rise to new methods of treatment, and in recent decades new health resorts have developed at Slovenia's springs.

Fifteen Slovenian health spa and tourist centres take pride in their certified status as natural health resorts. The growing reputation of these health resorts over the last few years has encouraged others to study Slovenia's natural assets more intensively and thus contribute to establishing new tourist bathing centres.

CULTURAL HERITAGE

Slovenia's rich and diverse architectural heritage ranges from medieval monasteries and churches to Renaissance and Baroque houses, Classicist parks and palaces and art nouveau hotels and banks. This physical heritage is complemented by an extensive network of over 250 major museums and museum collections.

The earliest evidence of a built heritage in the territory of present-day Slovenia dates from the 14th and late 13th centuries BCE, when the tumulus culture gave way to the Urnfield culture in Central Europe, leading to a sharp increase in the number of settled communities. The built heritage of this period typically focused on the fortified settlement, often situated on a hilltop or at a river-bend, with dry-stone or wooden ramparts.

One of the most important early Urnfield sites is the Bronze Age settlement of Oloris near Dolnji Lakoš (Ljubljana), one of the only systematically excavated settlements of that period anywhere in the region, which incorporated large aisled houses built on stilts with walls of wattle and daub.

Slovenia is a rich treasury of the past, to which many valuable archaeological finds testify. Many among them are of world importance, for example, the discovery of the world's oldest flute in Divje Babe near Idrija. Numerous finds are preserved in museums and in many places they are exhibited in situ in archaeology parks and at excavation sites arranged for visitors. Libraries and archives also maintain rich historical and cultural heritage collections, and monuments and protected buildings- many of them linked by arranged heritage, memorial, and cultural trails-also draw the attention of visitors.

While always in the mainstream of European architecture, many points of interest and special features of Slovenia's architectural heritage are marked by folk creativity, which shows a different face from place to place. Along the coast and in the Vipava region, the architecture boasts fascinating stonecutting details, while the Soča River region boasts roofs covered with the wooden shingles that replaced the thatched roofs of the past.
 
Thatched houses are still today a feature of Prekmurje. Particularly worth attention are the ancient granaries and the remarkable Slovene kozolec or hayrack, and in many places the village well is a picturesque sight. Slovenia's towns and cities, villages and isolated farms all boast special features that are worth seeing.

In most of the larger cities, there are regional museums and museums of modern history, and the various specialized museums such as the Technical Museum in Bistra near Vrhnika are especially interesting. A great number of smaller museums and collections throughout Slovenia reveal the history and methods of various typical handicraft and professional skills and trades, from glassmaking to fire fighting, from beekeeping to blacksmithing, from bobbin lace to winegrowing, from alpine dairy farming to hop growing. Particularly interesting are the mining museums like those in Idrija, Velenje, and Mežica that offer underground tours and the open-air ethnological museums like the one in Rogatec.

SACRED HERITAGE

Wherever you look in Slovenia, your eyes will catch sight of a bell tower, whether on top of a hill or in the centre of a city. Slovenia is a country of  churches that testify to the artistic and architectural features of the land and the past life of its people. There are in fact thousands of churches in this little country, and as much as 1/3 of the Slovene cultural heritage monuments are sacral. There are antique Early Christian basilicas; pre-Romanesque chapels; Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Neo-Romanesque churches; and outstanding architectural works of the modern age linked with the name of the famous Slovene architect Jože Plečnik or other prominent architects.  

Solitary churches on hilltops are a characteristic feature, which experts link to Early Christian religious groups and the high shelters of the earliest inhabitants. The most illustrious example is the Church of the Assumption on the island in the lake of Bled in Gorenjska sub alpine region.

The Church of Holy Trinity, in Hrastovlje, a small Mediterranean village. Interior walls of the church are completely covered with the frescoes from the 1490. Frescoes show scenes from the Old and New Testament. The most famous frescoes are "deathlike ball". Churches with surrounding fortified walls used to be a stronghold and protection for villagers. 

The Church of Holy Trinity, photo by D. Mladenovič   

The Church of Holy Trinity >

SLOVENE CASTLES

There are about 500 castles, manors, and ruins in the beautiful country of Slovenia. Many castles have been restored to house museums, galleries, restaurants or even a five star hotel. Maybe the most famous castle is Predjama, a castle built into the cave.

Other picturesque castles include Otocec situated in middle of the river and Mokrice castle.

The oldest castle; Bled Castle, stands on a top of a rock cliff some hundred meters above the Bled lake. The castle attracts tourists with its view of the lake and surrounding mountains. There is a restaurant and a bar at the castle, as well as the wine cellar and museum. The mountain settings of the Bled region make it one of the most popular destinations in Slovenia.

 Photo: Predjama Castle, Postojna

SLOVENE FOLK MUSIC

Music has always been an important part of the Slovene culture. Vocal and instrumental music has ritual and entertainment functions. The Slovene folk songs are simple in form, lyrics, and music, and deal with love, patriotism, war, work traditions, changes of season, and religious and family holidays. In the past, folk singing was part of everyday life.

Slovene Choral Singing. Slovenia is a country with rich tradition in choral singing. The great number of choirs cultivating the repetoires of Slovene composers, are participating in the annual international choir festivals in Slovenia as well as in choir festivals abroad.

Slovene Folk Dance. Slovenias history and the geophysical character of Slovenia are two of the distinctive factors to the creation of different regional types of folk dance; those of the lowlands, the hill-people and the higlanders. The differences are expressed in their dance, as well as in their dialects, song and music. 

Tambura Players from Bela, photo by Bobo

SLOVENE FOLKLORE

Slovene folk traditions are often associated with seasonal celebrations. Especially the children enjoy the spring Carnival season, called Pust (Mardi Gras). The celebrations include parades, carnivals, and masquerade balls.

Kurentovanje in the city of Ptuj (Stajerska area, in northeastern Slovenia) is the most famous tourist attraction. The central figure in the event is the Kurent, who has fur clothing and unusual masks with horns. The kurents represent human and animals traitsm and are meant to evoke images of another planet. Always happy, the kurent is considered to forecast spring, fertility, and new life. Accompanied by a ceremonial plowman, he visits farms and wishes their owners a prosperous year.

Also for Carnival season, the traditional pastries krofi and flancati (similar to doughnuts) are prepared. Costumed children, wearing masks, go from house to house, asking: "Do you have anything for Pusta, Hrusta?" People give them sweets and fruits. The adults attend masquerade balls.

Slovene heroes are usually optimistic, wise and cheerful. The story about King Mathias (Kralj Matjaž) dates to difficult times in the Slovene history; people imagined "a good king who could protect them from danger and never die". Instead, King Mathias and his soldiers are said to be sleeping under the Mount Peca. When needed, the king and his soldiers will awake and protect their people.

Traditional Carneval Masque, photo by B. Kladnik

SLOVENE COMPOSERS

Numerous Slovene musicians and composers are renowned, among them the Renaissance composer Jacobus Gallus (1550-1591), who greatly influenced Central European classical music. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobus_Gallus)

Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770) was an Italian composer and violinist. Born in Pirano, a town on the peninsula of Istria, in the Republic of Venice (now Piran, Slovenia). Almost all of Tartini's works are violin concerti and violin sonatas. Unlike most of his Italian contemporaries, Tartini wrote no operas and no church music whatsoever. In addition to his work as a composer, Tartini was a music theorist, of a very practical bent. He is credited with the discovery of »sum and difference tones«, an acoustical phenomenon of particular utility on string instruments (intonation of double-stops can be judged by careful listening to the difference tone, the "terzo suono"). He published his discoveries in a treatise Trattato di musica secondo la vera scienza dell'armonia (Padua, 1754).Arguably Tartini's most famous work is the "Devil's Trill sonata", a solo violin sonata that requires a number of technically demanding double stop trills and is difficult even by modern standards (one myth has it that Tartini had six digits on his left hand, making these trills easier for him to play). According to legend, Tartini was inspired to write the sonata by a dream in which the Devil appeared at the foot of his bed playing the violin. Tartini's »Four Concertos for Violin and Orchesta«, and »Sonate for Flute, Obo, Fagot and Cembalo« are two of his other famous works. Tartini's birthday, 8 April. is celebrate every year with a concert in the main town cathedral of Piran.

Ivan Zorman (1885-1957) was a Slovenian poet and composer. Emigrated with his family to USA only fours years old. While Zorman’s poetry became successful in USA, it went largely unnoticed in his homeland of Yugoslavia. In 1933, his poems became more popular and he was acknowledged as a legitimate writer in the Slovene language. His 5th book of poetry, »From the New World«, received honourable recognition in his homeland. Zorman eventually wrote 6 volumes of poetry and translated many others.

Blaž Arnič (19011970) was a Slovenian symphonic composer Born in Luče, Lower Styria, Austria. Piano Trio (1929) His works; Overture to a Comic Opera for symphony orchestra (1932), Symphony No. 3DUMA for orchestra, bass and mixed choir (1933), Symphony No. 6SAMORASTNIK for symphony orchestra (1950), Ples čarovnic (The Dance of the Witches), symphonic poem (1936), Pesem planin (Song of the Highlands), symphonic poem (1940), Gozdovi pojejo (The Forests Sing), symphonic poem (1945), Divja jaga (Wild Chase), symphonic poem (1958–1965), Pastoral Symphonic Poem for violoncello and orchestra (1960), Concerto for violin and orchestra No. 3 (1969).

Marjan Kozina (1907-1966) is considered as one of the most distinctive and interesting figures in Slovene music; http://www2.arnes.si/finearts/kozina/kozina.html, http://sl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marjan_Kozina

Bojan Adamič (1912-1995) was a renowned film music composer in the 20th century. Adamič composed music for more than 200 domestic and foreign films. He was the author of a book on Slovene songs, Samospevi, 1943-1945, published in 1971.

Contemporary popular musicians have been; Vlado Kreslin, Slavko Avsenik, Pero Lovšin, Laibach, Zoran Predin, Silence, New Swing Quartet, Valentino Kanzyani, Magnifico, Melodrom, DJ Umek, and Siddharta.

SLOVENE PHILOSOPHERS

Prof. Dr. Anton Strle (1915-2003) was a Slovenian professor of dogmatic theology and a priest. He was born in the village Osredek in the parish Sv.Vid nad Cerknico. He was ordained priest in 1941 and was promoted D.D. in 1944 at the University of Ljubljana. In 1977, he was appointed as a papal domestic prelate by Pope Paul VI.

Slavoj Žižek (born 21 March 1949) is a Slovenian sociologist, post-modern philosopher, and cultural critic. He received a Doctor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Ljubljana and studied psychoanalysis at the University of Paris VIII with Jacques-Alain Miller and François Regnault. He writes on countless topics including fundamentalism, tolerance, political correctness, globalization, subjectivity, human rights, Lenin, myth, cyberspace, postmodernism, multiculturalism, post-marxism, David Lynch, and Alfred Hitchcock. It was not until the 1989 publication of his first book written in English, The Sublime Object of Ideology, that Žižek achieved international recognition as a major social theorist. One of Žižek's most-widely discussed books, The Ticklish Subject (1999), explicitly positions itself against Deconstructionists, Heideggerians, Habermasians, cognitive scientists, feminists and what Žižek describes as New Age "obscurantists".

SLOVENE LITERATURE

Literacy and general culture reached the Slovenes in the 16th century, during the period of Reformation. In 1551 was the first Slovene book printed by the Protestant reformer Primož Trubar (1508-1586). It was actually two books, Catechismus (a catechism) and Abecedarium, which was published in 1550 in Tübingen, Germany. In 1554 the first translation of the Bible was printed, and thereafter the first book on Slovene grammar followed.

The two greatest Slovene writers were the Romantic poet France Prešeren (1800-1849) and writer Ivan Cankar (1876-1918).

France Prešeren (1800-1849) was a Slovene Romantic poet. His most famous work, Sonetni Venec, »A crown of sonnets« was inspired by a lifetime unhappy love for Julija Primic, and the death by drowning of a close friend, the poet Matija Čop (Matthias Tschop). The seventh stanza of Prešeren's poem Zdravljica (A Toast) has been the Slovenian national anthem since 1991.

"Naprej zastava slave", "Forward, Flag of Glory", a poem in Slovenian language, is the old Slovene national anthem. It was written by Simon Jenko and put into music by Davorin Jenko on 16th May 1860. When Slovenia became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later Kingdom of Yugoslavia), this poem was first used as a part of this state's anthem. Later it was replaced by Hej Sloveni (Slovenian Hej, Slovani). As Slovene anthem, Naprej zastava slave was in use till the second half of the 1980s, when it was gradually replaced by Zdravljica, written by the Slovene poet France Prešeren (put into music by Stanko Premrl). Naprej zastava slave remains the official anthem of the Slovene military.

Ivan Cankar (1876-1918) was a Slovene writer, playwright and poet. He is the primary exponent of Slovene modernism. and one of the most important fin-de-siècle European writers, and dealt with social, national and moral themes. He wrote around 30 books, and in Slovenia his most famous work is the drama "Hlapci". His symbolistic sketches and other short stories, which, in their mixture of symbolism, modernism and even expressionism, have sometimes been paralleled to Franz Kafka and James Joyce.

Avgust Pavel (1886-1946) was born in 1886 in Cankova (Kaltenbrunn/Vashidegkút) in today's Slovenia, not far away from Bad  Radkersburg. Avgust Pavel was a writer, linguist, historian, folklorist, poet, lecturer at Szeged University, and museum director. Mother language; Slovene.

The republics of Slovenia and Austria have enabled renovation of the Family Pavel Farm House which was built in 1837, as it from an architecture-historical perspective should be kept for preservation.  A community project and sign of tolerance, this house of culture is meant to be a meeting place between Slovenia and Austria, between Štajrern and Styrians, on the one hand, and a cultural institution for the local, multi- and monolingual community, on the other.  The multilingual donor of the name, Avgust Pavel, lived up to the principles of a multiple identity, which is prevalent in this region.

SLOVENE PAINTERS

The most important Slovenian painters are Ivana Kobilca, and impressionist Rihard Jakopič

Ivana Kobilca (1861-1926). Her best known paintings; are Kofetarica (Coffee madam), Citrarica (The Zitherist), Likarice (Women Ironers), Holandsko dekle (A Dutch Girl), Portret sestre Fani (Portrait of Sister Fani), and Poletje (Summer). Her portrait appeared on the 5000 Slovenian tolar banknote.

Rihard Jakopič (1869-1943). His best know painting are; Sončni breg (Sunny Hillside), and Križanke Church. His portrait appeared on the 100 Tolar Slovenian banknote

More Information: Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Slovenian_artists

SLOVENE GALLERIES AND FINE ART MUSEUMS

Throughout Slovenia, there are Art Galleries and Fine Art museums. The most important institutions for the Fine Arts are the National Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art, and the International Graphics Center in Ljubljana. In Slovene cities there are dozens of private galleries and usually a city gallery as well. In many places, Forma Viva art colony collections are exhibited

SLOVENE FILM

In the context of a divided 20th-century Europe, Slovene film aesthetics clearly reflected the country's borderline characteristics. Whilst the influence of social realism was present in Slovene film from an early stage, film aesthetics in Slovenia have oscillated over the years between entertainment and politics, art and industry, aesthetics and ideology. This is clearly illustrated by an examination of the historical line of important Slovene films, starting with »On Their Own Land (1948), »Vesna and The Valley of Peace« (1950s), »Dance in the Rain and Castle of Sand« (1960s), »Widowhood of Karolina Žašler« (1970s). In the 1980s, Karpo Godina’s films »The Raft of Medusa«, »The Red Boogie and Artificial Paradise« showed the development of a new generation of bold directors. The ‘Spring of Slovene Film’ in the second half of the 1990s was heralded simultaneously by two films: »Express Express« by Igor Šterk and »Outsider« by Andrej Košak. »Express Express« - which drew its inspiration from railroad movies and traditional farce - won awards at several European festivals, while »Outsider« - a love story between a Slovene girl and a Bosnian 'outsider' framed by social criticism and characterised by the precise real-life rhythm that so characterises ex-Yugoslav film - turned out to be a major box office success.

HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS

Two kinds of holidays in Slovenia; national holidays and work-free days. Those celebrated by the state are National holidays which include official functions and flying of the national flag. Work free holidays are actually Catholic religious holidays (Christmas, Easter and Assumption). There is no official celebration during work free holidays, but schools and companies are closed.

DATES

OFFICIAL HOLIDAYS

REMARKS

1 and 2 January

New Year

Work free

8 February                  

Prešeren Day, Slovene cultural day

Work free. Culture Day established in 1944. Anniversary of the death of the famous poet France Prešeren.

Date varies

Easter Sunday and Monday

 

27 April                          

»Day of Uprising« against the Occupation

Earlier called »Liberation Front Day«. Marks establishment of the Liberation Front (1941) to fight the German, Hungarian and Italian and Hungarian occupation of Slovenia

1 and 2 May     

Labour Day Holiday

 

Date varies

Pentecost

Work free

25 June                        

Slovenia Day (Statehood Day)

Proclamation of Independence in 1991

15 August                    

Feast of the Assumption

Work free

17 August                   

Slovenians in Prekmurje Incorporated into the Mother Nation

Not work free

15 September  

Restoration of the Primorska Region to the Motherland

Not work free

31 October                   

Reformation Day

Work free

1 November                  

All Saint's Day (Remembrance Day)

Work free

23 November               

Rudolf Maister Day

Not work free

25 December                

Christmas Day

Work free

26 December               

Independence and Unity Day

Commemorates the proclamation of the independence plebiscite results in 1990

In addition to these holidays, there are lots of traditional festivals which are popularly celebrated by Slovenes;

  • Mardi Gras (pust, date varies),
  • St. George's Day on 23 April, the welcoming of spring
  • St. Martin's day on 11 November, Wine Festival; changing of must into
  • Saint Nicholas Day on 6 December, when children get presents
  • The Former Yugoslav Youth Day on 25 May is still celebrated by some people, mainly by the Serbian minority (also birthday of former Yugoslav president Tito)