Acro Image

Aerobatics Server

ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] Slovenia

[International Aerobatic Club] [Communications] [Aerobatics Images]

Disclaimer: These aerobatics pages are developed by individual IAC members and do not represent official IAC policy or opinion.

[Usage Statistics]

ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] Slovenia


Thread: [Acro] Slovenia

Message: [Acro] Slovenia

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)

From: "Marilyn Dash" <m.dash at>

Date: Thu, 01 Aug 2002 15:50:24 UTC


I thought it might be nice to learn something about Slovenia while our team represents the USA there! I have attached a map - to show us where in the world Slovenia is. I bet many of you couldn't have found it on a map! 

I have added some text below including an Introduction about the country, Facts, History and Attractions (just in case you are looking for someplace to go with the family besides DisneyWorld or OshKosh). 

At the bottom, I have included a URL for a website about the country. Please feel free to delete this message - however, I thought it was interesting. 

I am thrilled we have a team there and wish them all the BEST of luck! It took a ton of courage for them to make that trip. I - personally - will be checking the website daily. 

In the eyes of many a Yugoslavian despot, Slovenia is the golden goose that got away. Rich in resources, naturally good looking and persistently peaceful, Slovenia has been doing just fine (flourishing, even) since breaking away from its Yugoslav owners in 1991. Travellers in search of an antidote to much of Europe's crowds and high prices can, at least for the meantime, consider it their little secret.

Little Slovenia (Slovenija) straddles Eastern and Western Europe. Many of its cities and towns bear the imprint of the Habsburg Empire and the Venetian Republic, while up in the Julian Alps you'd almost think you were in Bavaria. The 2 million Slovenes were economically the most well off among the peoples of what was once Yugoslavia, and the relative affluence of this country on the 'sunny side of the Alps' is immediately apparent.

Except for a brief period in June and July 1991 when Yugoslavia attempted to stop its smallest child from leaving its collapsing nest, there's been no fighting, no war and no terrorism in Slovenia. While Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina became embroiled in the bitterest conflict in Europe since WWII, Slovenes got on with making money and keeping out of the limelight.

Facts at a Glance   


Full country name: Republic of Slovenia (Republika Slovenija)
Area: 20,256 sq km (7898 sq mi)
Population: 2 million
Capital city: Ljubljana (pop 330,000)
People: Slovenian 88%, Serbo-Croatian 7%
Language: Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, German, English, Italian
Religion: Roman Catholic (72%), atheist (4.3%), Eastern Orthodox Christian (2.4%), Muslim (1%), Protestant (1%)
Government: parliamentary democratic republic
President: Milan Kucan
Prime Minister: Janez Drnovsek 

History & Culture   
The early Slovenes settled in the river valleys of the Danube Basin and the eastern Alps in the 6th century. In 748, Slovenia was brought under Germanic rule, first by the Frankish empire of the Carolingians, who converted the population to Christianity, and then as part of the Holy Roman Empire in the 9th century. The Austro-German monarchy took over in the early 14th century and continued to rule (as the Austrian Habsburg Empire from 1804) right up until 1918 - with only one brief interruption. Over these six centuries, the upper classes became totally Germanised, though the peasantry retained their Slavic (later Slovenian) identity.

In 1809, in a bid to isolate the Habsburg Empire from the Adriatic, Napoleon established the so-called Illyrian Provinces (Slovenia, Dalmatia and part of Croatia), making Ljubljana the capital (which it still is today). Though the Habsburgs returned in 1814, French reforms in education, law and public administration endured. The democratic revolution that swept Europe in 1848 also increased political and national consciousness among the Slovenes, and after WWI and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Slovenia was included in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. During WWII much of Slovenia was annexed by Germany, with Italy and Hungary taking smaller shares. Slovenian partisans fought against the invaders from mountain bases. Slovenia joined the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1945 and remained behind the Iron Curtain for several decades.

Slovenes worried when Serbia started to make moves in the late 1980s to assert its cultural and economic leadership among the Yugoslav republics. In late 1988, when Belgrade abruptly ended the autonomy of Kosovo, Slovenes feared that the same could happen to them. Pushing the Slovenes to split from Yugoslavia was the fact that for some years Slovenia's interests had been shifting to the capitalist north and west. Meanwhile, its ties to the rest of Yugoslavia had become an economic burden and a political threat.

In the spring of 1990, Slovenia became the first Yugoslav republic to hold free elections and slough off 45 years of communist rule; the following December the electorate voted overwhelmingly (90%) in favour of independence. Fearing the worst, the Slovenian government began stockpiling weapons and, on 25 June 1991, it pulled itself out of the Yugoslav Federation. To dramatise its bid for independence and generate foreign sympathy, Slovenia deliberately provoked fighting with the Yugoslavian federal army by attempting to take control of its border crossings. A 10-day war ensued, but resistance from the Slovenian militia was fierce and, as no territorial claims or minority issues were involved, the Yugoslav government agreed to a truce brokered by the European Community (EC). Slovenia got a new constitution right away and, on 15 January 1992, the EC formally recognised the country. Slovenia was admitted to the United Nations in May 1992.

In October 2000, in Slovenia's third election since gaining independence, the Liberal Democratic party was returned to power and Janez Drnovsek was returned to the prime ministership after being dumped six months earlier when his coalition lost its majority. Drnovsek is believed to be the person who can finally wrench open the political doors to the European Union and NATO for Slovenia.



Ljubljana (The Capitol City) 

Ljubljana is a smaller Prague without the hordes of tourists. By far Slovenia's largest and most populous city, it feels like a clean, green, self-contented town rather than an industrious municipality of national importance.

Ljubljana began as the Roman town of Emona, and legacies of the Roman presence remain throughout the city. The Habsburgs took control in the 14th century and later built many of the pale-coloured churches and mansions that earned the city the nickname 'White Ljubljana'. From 1809 to 1814, Ljubljana was the capital of the Illyrian Provinces, Napoleon's short-lived springboard to the eastern Adriatic. Despite the patina of imperial Austria, contemporary Ljubljana has a vibrant Slavic air all its own. The 35,000-something students who attend Ljubljana University keep the city young.

Most of the city's sights are along the banks of the Ljubljana River. On the southwest side is the Municipal Museum , stocked with a collection of Roman artefacts, plus a scale model of Roman Emona and some terrific period furniture. Further northwest from it is the National Museum, which has the requisite prehistory, natural history and ethnography collections. The highlight is a Celtic situla, a kind of pail or urn, from the 6th century BC. Diagonally opposite is the Museum of Modern Art, where the International Biennial of Graphic Arts is held every other summer. More museums occupy the Old Town , which also features cafes, baroque churches and quaint bridges hidden in its maze of narrow streets. If looking at all this art incites the need for some R&R, head for peaceful Tivoli Park, in the northwestern quadrant of the city. A recreation centre within the park contains bowling alleys, tennis courts, swimming pools and a rollerskating rink.

Julian Alps

Adrenaline seekers in Slovenia head for three-headed Mt Triglav (2864m/9394ft), the country's highest peak. It presides over the Julian Alps, which cut across Slovenia's northwestern corner into Italy. The Alps are visited by hundreds of weekend warriors, not all of whom are on ambitious treks. Early Slavs believed the mountain to be the home of a three-headed deity who ruled the sky, the earth and the underworld. Since the days of the Habsburgs, the 'pilgrimage' to Triglav has been a confirmation of Slovenian identity. Today Triglav figures prominently on the national flag.

Bled's quintessentially medieval castle was the seat of South Tyrolian bishops for over 800 years and was later used as a summer residence by the Yugoslav royal family. Set atop a steep cliff above Lake Bled, the castle has great views. A small museum within peeks into the area's history through a manly collection of swords and armour. On Bled Island, at the western end of the lake, is a white 15th century belfry with a 'bell of wishes'. It's said that anyone who rings the bell will get what they wish for; naturally everyone and their Slavic grandmother rings it over and over again. The land around Lake Bohinj, 30km (19mi) southwest of Bled, is undeveloped and exceedingly beautiful, with high mountains rising directly from a basin-shaped valley. The best routes up to Mt Triglav start from nearby Savica Waterfall and Stara Fuzina.

Skocjan Caves

The large underground Skocjan Caves lie below the desolate land of the Karst region. Millions of years ago this area was covered by a deep sea which left a thick layer of limestone deposits. Visitors can pass through these spectacular deposits thanks to an artificial tunnel built in 1933. The tunnel passes through the Silent Cave, a dry branch of an underground canyon that stretches for half a kilometre (545yd). The first section, called Paradise, is filled with stalactites, stalagmites and flow stones; the second part, called Calvary, was once the river bed. Silent Cave ends at the cavern known as the Great Hall - a 120m (394ft) wide and 30m (98ft) high jungle of dripstones and deposits. The caves are home to 250 varieties of plants and five types of bats.

The caves are within the village of Matavun, 110km (68mi) southwest of Ljubljana. There are frequent bus and train services via Divaca.

Adriatic Coast

There are several bustling beach towns along Slovenia's short Adriatic coast. Italianised Koper , only 21km (13mi) south of Trieste, Italy, was the capital of Istria under the Venetian Republic in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Old Town's medieval flavour lingers despite the surrounding industry, container ports and superhighways.

Pretty Piran is a gem of Venetian Gothic architecture with narrow streets, which tend to be a mob scene at the height of summer. Its name derives from pyr - the Greek word for fire - referring to fires lit at Punta, the very tip of the peninsula, to guide ships to the port at Koper. Piran's long history dates back to the ancient Greeks, and well-preserved remnants of the medieval town walls still protect it to the east. The Maritime Museum, in a 17th century harbourside palace, has compelling exhibits on seafaring and salt-making, which have been important to Piran's development over the centuries.

The nicest beach along the coast is nearby at Fiesa. From its clean sands and boat-restricted waters you can see Trieste's Miramare Castle.

Piran is 17km (10.5mi) southwest of Koper, which in turn is 163km (101mi) southwest of Ljubljana. Bus service to both towns is frequent from Ljubljana and Trieste; buses also conveniently link all the coastal towns. A train also links Koper to Ljubljana.

And if that isn't enough.....
      For more information -

Marilyn Dash

Quote of the Day

The only service a friend can really render is to keep up your
courage by holding up to you a mirror in which you can see a noble
image of yourself.
George Bernard Shaw 1856-1950
Attachement 1: part2.html

Attachement 2: slo-eu.jpg


© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Email Guenther Eichhorn