users online
 
Contact me

SLOVENIA

Places that I visited in Slovenia:

Ljubljana

Maribor

Kranj

Bled

Celje

Ptuj

Kamnik




Slovenia, officially the Republic of Slovenia, is a country in southern Central Europe bordering Italy to the west, the Adriatic Sea to the southwest, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north. The capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana.

At various points in Slovenia's history, the country has been part of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Republic of Venice, the Duchy of Carantania (only modern Slovenia's northern part), the Holy Roman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy, the Austrian Empire (later known as Austria-Hungary), the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (renamed to Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929) between the two World Wars, and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1945 until gaining independence in 1991.

Slovenia is the only former communist state to be at the same time a member of the European Union (currently holding its rotating presidency), the Eurozone, the Schengen area, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe and NATO.

Slavic ancestors of the present-day Slovenes settled in the area in the 6th century. The Slavic Duchy of Carantania was formed in the 7th century. In 745, Carantania was incorporated into the Carolingian Empire, while Karantanians and other Slavs living in present Slovenia converted to Christianity. Carantania retained its internal independence until 828 when the local princes were deposed following the anti-Frankish rebellion of Ljudevit Posavski and replaced with a German (mostly Bavarian) ascendancy. Under the Emperor Arnulf of Carinthia Carantania, now ruled by a mixed Bavarian-Slav nobility, shortly emerged as a regional power, but was destroyed by the Hungarian invasions in the late 9th century. The Slovene Lands were turned into a military borderland of the Carolingian Empire (the Marches of Carinthia, of Carniola and of Friuli). Carantania was established again as an autonomous administrative unit in 976, but it never developed into a unified realm; it soon broke down into what became the duchies of Carinthia, Styria, Carniola and Friuli, into which the Slovene Lands remained divided up to 1918. The Carantanian identity remained alive into the 12th century when it was slowly replaced by regional identities. The first mentions of a common Slovene ethnic identity, transcending regional boundaries, date from the 16th century.

The Freising manuscripts, the earliest surviving written documents in a Slovene dialect as well as the oldest document written in any Slavic language with Latin script, were written in the 10th century. During the 14th century, most of Slovene Lands passed under Habsburg rule. In the 15th century, the Habsburg domination was challenged by the Counts of Celje, but by the end of the century the great majority of Slovene-inhabited territories were incorporated into the Habsburg Monarchy. Most Slovenes lived in the region known as Inner Austria, forming the majority of the population of the Duchy of Carniola and the County of Gorizia and Gradisca, as well as of Lower Styria and southern Carinthia. Slovenes also inhabited most of the territory of the Imperial Free City of Trieste, although representing the minority of its population. Slovene majorities also existed in the Prekmurje region of the Kingdom of Hungary, in the Venetian Slovenia and north-western Istria which were part of the Republic of Venice.

In the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation spread throughout the Slovene Lands. During this period, the first books in Slovene language were written by the Protestant preacher Primož Trubar and his followers, establishing the base for the development of the Slovene standard language. Although almost all Protestants were expelled from the Slovene Lands (with the exception of Prekmurje) by the beginning of the 17th century, they left a strong legacy in the tradition of the Slovene culture, which was partially incorporated in the Catholic Counter-Reformation. The Slovene cultural tradition was further reinforced in the Enlightenment period by the endeavours of the Zois Circle.

After a short French interim between 1805 and 1813, all Slovene Lands were included in the Austrian Empire. Slowly, a distinct Slovene national consciousness developed, and the quest for a political unification of all Slovenes became widespread. In 1848, a mass political and popular movement for the United Slovenia (Zedinjena Slovenija) emerged as part of the Spring of Nations movement within the Austrian Empire.

Between 1848 and 1918, numerous institutions (including theatres, publishing houses, as well as political, financial and cultural organisations) were founded in the so-called Slovene National Awakening; despite their political and institutional fragmentation and lack of a proper political representation, the Slovenes were able to establish a functioning and integrated national infrastructure. During this period, the town of Ljubljana, the capital of Carniola, emerged as the undisputed centre of all Slovene Lands, while the Slovenes developed an internationally comparable literature and culture. Nevertheless, the Slovene national question remained unsolved, so the political élite of the time started looking towards other Slavic nations in Austria-Hungary and the Balkans in order to engage in a common political action against German and Magyar hegemony. The idea of a common political entity of all South Slavs, known as Yugoslavia, emerged.

During World War I, after the Italian attack on Austria-Hungary in 1915, the Italian front opened, and some of the most important battles (the Battles of the Isonzo) were fought along the river Soča and on the Kras Plateau in the Slovenian Littoral.

With the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1918, the Slovenes initially joined the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, which soon afterwards merged into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later renamed to Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The western part of the Slovene Lands (the Slovenian Littoral and western districts of Inner Carniola) was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy and became known under the name of Julian March. In 1920, in the Carinthian Plebiscite, the majority of Carinthian Slovenes voted to remain in Austria. Although the Slovenes in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia were submitted to an intolerant centralist policy trying to eradicate a distinct Slovene national consciousness, they were still better off than Slovenes in Italy, Austria and Hungary, who became victims of policies of forced assimilation and violent persecution. As a reaction to the fascist violence of the Italian State in the Julian March, the organisation TIGR, regarded as one of the first armed antifascist resistance groups in Europe, was founded in 1927.

In April 1941, Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis Powers. Slovenia was divided between Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany and Horthy's Hungary. Soon, a liberation movement under Communist leadership emerged. Due to political assassinations carried out by the Communist guerrillas as well as the pre-existing radical anti-Communism of the conservative circles of Slovenian society, a civil war between Slovenes broke out in the Italian-occupied south-eastern Slovenia (known as Province of Ljubljana) between the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People and the Axis-sponsored anti-communist militia, the Slovene Home Guard. Nevertheless, the Slovene partisan guerrilla managed to liberate large portions of the Slovene Lands, making an important contribution to the defeat of Nazism.

Following the re-establishment of Yugoslavia at the end of World War II, Slovenia became part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, declared on 29 November 1945. A Communist dictatorship was established, but due to the Tito-Stalin split economic and personal freedom were better than in the Eastern Bloc. In 1947, Italy ceded most of the Julian March to Yugoslavia and Slovenia thus regained the Slovenian Littoral, including access to the sea. From the 1950s, the Socialist Republic of Slovenia enjoyed a relatively wide autonomy under the rule of the local Communist elite. In 1990, the first free and democratic elections were held and the DEMOS coalition defeated the former Communist parties. In December 1990, the overwhelming majority of Slovenian citizens voted for independence, which was declared on 25 June 1991. A Ten-Day War followed in which the Slovenians rejected Yugoslav military interference. After 1990, a stable democratic system evolved, with economic liberalisation and gradual growth of prosperity. Slovenia joined NATO on 29 March 2004 and the European Union on 1 May 2004. Slovenia is the first post-Communist country to hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, for the first six months of 2008.


Slovenia political map:

Slovenia location map:

November 2006

No comments:


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MUCH MORE ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Packing List

Subway Maps

Currency Exchange

View Guestbook Sign Guestbook Weather Transportation Accomodation Maps