Republic of Slovenia is a coastal sub-Alpine country in south 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.
Take a little bit of Bavaria, a sliver of Mediterranean Riviera, a stretch of
the Danube, a touch of Venice and a slice of the Balkans -- and you have Slovenia,
one of eastern Europe's best-kept secrets. This charming little country, which
declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, walked away relatively unscathed
from the turmoil that engulfed the rest of the region. It took along with it some
of everything that travelers enjoy in this part of the world: mountains and lakes,
castles and alpine forests, vineyards and meadows, beaches and island resorts.
Lying at a natural hub of European routes at the eastern tip of the Alps. Although
the country may not be as impressive as Austria, Italy or Greece, it is certainly
less crowded and less expensive. We don't recommend a special trip to Europe just
to see Slovenia, but we do think it is a wonderful destination if you are in the
region. With Slovenia's entry into the European Union, a trip may be worth your
while, especially if you are planning to tour more of the region.
and largest city - Ljubljana its lovely baroque capital is just a two-hour
drive from Venice and a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Vienna.
language - Slovenian, which is a member of the South Slavic language group.
Hungarian and Italian enjoy the status of official language in the nationally
mixed regions along the Hungarian and Italian border.
Slovenia was part of
Yugoslavia from 1945 until gaining independence in 1991. It became a member of
the European Union on 1 May 2004. It is also a member of the Council of Europe,
NATO, and has observer status in La Francophonie.
It is believed that the Slavic ancestors of the present-day Slovenians settled
in the area in the 6th century. The Slavic Duchy of Carantania, the first Slovenian
state and the first stable Slavic state, was formed in the 7th century. In 745,
Carantania lost its independence, being largely subsumed into the Frankish empire.
Many Slavs converted to Christianity.
The Freising manuscripts, the earliest
surviving written documents in Slovenian and the first ever Slavic dialect documents
in Latin script, were written around 1000. During the 14th century, most of Slovenia's
regions passed into ownership of the Habsburgs whose lands later formed the Austro-Hungarian
Empire, with Slovenians inhabiting all or most of the provinces of Carniola, Gorizia
and Gradisca, and parts of the provinces of Istria and Styria.
In 1848 a strong
programme for a united Slovenia emerged as part of the "Spring of Nations"
movement within Austria.
With the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy
in 1918, Slovenians joined the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later renamed,
in 1929, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Following the re-establishment of Yugoslavia
at the end of World War II, Slovenia became a part of the Socialist Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia, officially declared on 29 November 1945. Present-day Slovenia was
formed on 25 June 1991 upon its independence from Yugoslavia. Slovenia joined
NATO on 29 March 2004 and the European Union on 1 May 2004.
major European geographic regions meet in Slovenia: the Alps, the Dinaric area,
the Pannonian plain, the Karst region and the Mediterranean. Slovenia's highest
peak is Triglav (2864 m); the country's average height above the sea level is
557 m. Around one half of the country (10,124 km) is covered by forests; this
makes Slovenia the third most forested country in Europe, after Finland and Sweden.
Remnants of primeval forests are still to be found, the largest in the Kocevje
area. Grassland covers 5593 km of the country and fields and gardens 2471 km.
There are also 363 km of orchards and 216 km of vineyards.
is Mediterranean on the coast, Alpine in the mountains and continental with mild
to hot summers and cold winters in the plateaus and valleys to the east. The average
temperatures are -2°C in January and 21°C in July. The average rainfall
is 1000 mm for the coast, up to 3500 mm for the Alps, 800 mm for south east and
1400 mm for central Slovenia.
Slovenia's ethnic groups are: Slovenians (89%); Croats, Serbs,
Bosniaks and other nationalities of the former Yugoslavia (10%); and the ethnic
Hungarian and Italian minorities (0.5%). Life expectancy in 2000 was 71.80 years
for men and 79.50 years for women.
With 95 inhabitants per km, Slovenia ranks
low among the European countries in population density (compare with 320/km for
the Netherlands or 195/km for Italy). Approximately 50% of the total population
lives in urban areas, the rest in rural.
In the residential municipalities
of Italian or Hungarian national community.
Central European nation of 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 nation's capital, Ljubljana, proudly shows
its Baroque and Art Nouveau influence. Other attractions include the Julian
Alps with the picturesque Lake Bled in Bled and Soca Valley,
as well as the nation's highest peak, Mount Triglav. Perhaps even
more famous is Slovenia's Karst named after the Karst plateau in
southwestern Slovenia. More than 28 million visitors have visited Postojna
Cave, while a 15-minute ride from it are Skocjan caves.
Further in the same direction is the coast of the Adriatic sea, with a jewel of
Venetian style Gothic architecture, Piran. 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 northeastern part of the country rich with spas, with Rogaska Slatina
being perhaps its most prominent site.
(voltage) - 220 V, 50 Hz, plug type -
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