Slovenia Tourist Attractions

General Information

Slovenia with its capital city in Ljubljana is located in the northern part of the Balkan Peninsula. It boarders on Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary.

Mountains constitute the main landscape of the country. Julian Alps start on the border with Italy and Austria and in the southeast there is Kras Plateau. Moreover, the eastern part of the country is a part of the Great Hungarian Plain. There are a little more than 2 millions inhabitants on the total area of 20,000 square kilometers in Slovenia.

Slovenia can be geographically divided into six regions. The highest of them are Julian Alps with the highest peak in Slovenia- Triglav at 2862 meters and Kranj and Kamniške-Savinjske Alps Region with young mountains built as a result of a Alpine orogeny, made of lime stones, dolomites and slates. In the north and in the northeast there is a Pohorje region. At the bottom of the Alps there is a subalpine area with Idrija, Cerkno, Škofja Loka and Posavje ranges. A limy karst plateau is located between Ljubljana and the border with Italy. Interesting karst formations are to be found here, e.g. characteristic valleys with a flat bottom (polja), karst lakes, underground rivers and caves. The best- known among the caves are: Postojna and Škocjan. Plains constitute only 10% of the total area of the country. The Pannonian Plain is the main plain in Slovenia located in the east and the northeast of the country. The access to Adriatic Sea is limited as Slovenia has only 47 kilometer- long shore. The biggest river in Slovenia is the Sava River which begins in Austria, flows out from the lake Bohinj and Drava area and flows into the Danube. The Sava is also the main thoroughfare in Slovenia. Other big rivers are in the watershed of the Adriatic. Among them are: the Soča in the west, the Mura in the northeast and the Kupa which partially constitutes the border with Croatia. The biggest lakes in Slovenia are: the Lake Cerknica, a karst lake which is drying out during the driest periods, and the Bohinj Lake.

Forests cover more than 70% of the total area of Slovenia which makes this country one of the greenest countries in Europe. Beech forests and beech and fir tree forests are in majority. This relatively small country is a habitat for more than 2,900 different plants varieties which are unique. The majority of them is to be found in the Triglav National Park.

The history of Slovenia began hundreds of years BC. The first country in the current area of Slovenia was founded by the Celts and was called The Nordic kingdom. At the beginning of a new century it was made a part of the Roman Empire by the Romans. At that time villages such as Emona, Cleia, Poetivo und Virunum were built. These cities were originally military camps, but many temples, baths, fortifications were built which gave a rise to many Slavic cities later on. Many invasions by Huns in the 5th century and later by the Ostrogoths and the Lombards put an end to the Roman reign. In the 6th century the ancestors of today’s Slovenian people settled in the valleys of the biggest rivers in this region. In the 8th century this country was under Bavarian reign. By the beginning of the first millennium the independent Slovenian kingdom was proclaimed but it was soon afterwards conquered by Germany. The intensive germanization of the inhabitants of the former Slovenian kingdom began. From the beginning of the 19th century for more than 100 years the majority of Slovenian lands was occupied by the Habsburgs who contributed to a sudden development in this region. After the fall of Habsburgs in 1918, Slovenia was a part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes which was named the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929.

During the 2nd World War Slovenia was occupied by Germany and Italy which resulted in the activity of a strong antifascist movement. After the war, Slovenia was a part of Yugoslavia as a one out of six union republics. As a result of a referendum on 5 June 1991, Slovenia was the first republic to step out of the union and declare its independence.

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