Basic facts on Slovenia
Population: 2 million
Main airport: Ljubljana Jože Pucnik Airport (a.k.a Brnik Airport) LJU
Capital city: Ljubljana
Main cities: Ljubljana (277.554), Maribor (95.586), Celje (37.628), Kranj (37.223), Koper (25.775)
30 Interesting Slovenia Facts, including people, history, geography, and culture
– Maribor, the second-largest city in Slovenia, is home to the oldest vine in the world.
The over 400 year old Zametovka vine growing outside the Old Vine House in Maribor is registered in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest vine in the world. Image by János Korom Dr. / CC BY-SA 2.0
– The famous Lipica stud farm in Slovenia is recognized as the oldest European stud farm continuously breeding one of the oldest cultural horse breeds.
The Lipica Stud Farm is the cradle of all Lipizzaner horses in the world. It is one of the most beautiful cultural and historical monuments in Slovenia, with the history reaching back to the year of 1580. Image by Gorupka / CC BY 2.0
– The Postojna Cave is the most visited cave in Europe and the only cave with a double-track railway in the world.
The Postojna Cave system is 20.6 km long and two million years old. Image by Donald Judge / CC BY 2.0
– Slovenia is a small country, it makes up less than 0.004 % of the Earth.
– One third of the Slovenia’s territory lies within the Europe-wide network of Natura 2000 protected areas.
Triglav National Park covers a total of nearly 85,000 hectares and is centered around Mount Triglav. It is popular for its outdoor adventure possibilities, numerous gorges and waterfalls, and the spectacular Lake Bohinj. Image by Vicente Villamón / CC BY-SA 2.0
– Slovenia has one of the largest brown bear populations in Europe.
– Slovenia is a country with the largest number of religious buildings per capita in Europe. There are more than 3,000 churches, chapels and religious monuments.
The Church of Mary the Queen, also known as the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary is located on a small island in the middle of Lake Bled. Image by Lemsipmatt / CC BY-SA 2.0
– The tallest cliff on the Adriatic coast is in the Strunjan Peninsula, Slovenia.
– The most famous Slovene carnival figure is the Kurent.
Kurents in Ptuj. The Kurentovanje carnival is one of the most ethnologically significant Slovenian carnival festivals. Image by Ekke / CC BY 2.0
– Potica is a typical Slovenian festive dish known all around the world.
Potica is a traditional Slovenian pastry which is made spreading chopped nuts, honey, butter, cinnamon and raisins onto a yeast bread, rolling it into a spiral, and baking. I bought this slice at a tiny bakery near the Dragon Bridge, adjacent to the city market.. Image by Michael R Perry / CC BY 2.0
– Slovenia’s highest peak and the symbol of Slovenes is Mt. Triglav (2,864 metres).
– On Zalarjev Vrh near Idrija in Slovenia you can see the traces of real dinosaurs.
– The most important battle that was the cause of the break-up of the Roman Empire into the Eastern and Western part was fought in Slovenia.
– The Freising Manuscripts are the oldest surviving document in Slovene language.
The Freising Manuscripts are the earliest document of Slovenian culture. Image by Marjan Smerke
– The first Slovene book was a Catechism written in 1550.
– The Old Pharmacy in Olimje is one of the oldest surviving monastic pharmacies in Europe.
– Dr. France Preseren is considered the greatest Slovene poet.
Dr. France Preseren is described as the Shakespeare of Slovene literature. A stanza from his poem ‘A Toast’ is used as the lyrics for the national anthem.
– Slovenia’s War of Independence in 1991, also known as the Ten-Day War, was the first war in Europe since the WW2.
– The Vilenica cave is the oldest show cave in Europe. Tourists from around the world have been visiting it since 1633.
– The canteen in the coal mine in Velenje is the lowest-lying dining room in Europe. It’s 160 metres below the surface.
– The longest stone-arch railway bridge in the world is the Solkan Bridge across the Soca river. The total length of the bridge is 219 metres.
Solkan Bridge across the Soca river. Image by Miran Hladnik / CC BY-SA 2.5 si
– The tallest industrial chimney in Europe is in Trbovlje, Slovenia. It’s 362 metres high.
– The most successful Slovene musical group is the Avsenik Brothers Ensemble, a popular folk group which has sold over 31 million albums worldwide.
– The Slovene Davo Karnicar became the first person to carry out the complete ski descent of Everest, the highest mountain in the world.
– The Slovene ultra-marathon swimmer Martin Strel was the first man to successfully swim the Amazon and the Mississippi river.
– Slovenia has many interesting gastronomic festivals, including the Saltworkers’ Festival, the Cabbage Festival, Chestnut Sunday and Bean Day.
– In Slovenia you can pay to spend the night in a prison cell. The Celica Hostel in Ljubljana is a former military prison with comfortable and imaginatively designed cells for guests.
– Some scenes from the film Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian were filmed in the Soca Valley in Slovenia.
– The most famous wedding place in Slovenia is the island in Lake Bled. According to tradition, in order to ensure a long and happy marriage, the groom must carry the bride up the 99 steps leading to the island while the bride must remain perfectly silent.