Slovenia is a central European country. Though being small, it is a natural bio-diverse nation with plenty of tourist attractions. With a narrow coastline, it shares its land borders with four countries. It is mostly a mountainous country. With these 53 interesting facts about Slovenia, let’s learn about its history, culture, economy, famous tourist attractions and more.
1. Slovenia’s War of Independence in 1991, also known as the Ten-Day War claimed 76 lives. It was also the first war in Europe since World War II.
2. In 1995, archaeologists dug up the Divje Babe Flute, which is a flute made of the femur of a bear. Yes, that’s how passionate the early Slovenians were for music. It is believed to be 55,000 years old.
3. Though Slovenia was a monarchy, the first free election in Slovenia (then part of Yugoslavia) was held in 1925.
4. Everyone was happy with the 1925 elections, except the king who staged a coup to re-establish his reign. Known as 6 January coup, it resulted in, King Alexander I’s assassination two years later.
5. Slovenia represented a major part of the greater Yugoslavia. A political volcano for both the US and USSR, it was a hotspot of spying and backchannel diplomacy during the cold war era.
6. Slovenians are very passionate about politics. The president of the Croatian People’s Peasant Party, Stjepan Radić was assassinated right in the middle of the country’s parliament.
7. Slovenia is the only modern day European country that was occupied by both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. But still Slovenia had seen worse.
8. In 1990, Slovenia established democracy for the first time since World War I.
9. Slovenia had to face the wrath of the Yugoslavian military during its independence from Yugoslavia. The short 10 days war escalated quickly to engulf the whole Balkan region into a war frenzy.
10. The first country to recognize Slovenia as a country was Croatia. Incidentally, the first country to recognize Croatia itself as a country was Slovenia.
11. The oldest wheel ever excavated, Ljubljana Marshes Wheel belongs to Slovenia. Radiocarbon dating shows it to be 5000+ years old.
12. The pen is mightier than the sword. In 1887, a group of liberal-minded people forced the Communist leadership of the country to adopt democracy, through just one article published by the Nova revija, a popular newspaper.
13. Nova revija is more than just an institution; it is a vehicle of change. It represents the free will of the people and has a special place in the Slovene hearts and contemporary culture.
14. Hayracks are a unique cultural symbol of Slovenia and the country is also known as the Land of Hayracks. Farmers are very proud of their hayracks, so never ever mess with the hack rays in Slovenia.
15. The linden tree is a symbol for the Slovenian people. The tree can survive centuries and it represents love, friendship, and loyalty in Slovenia.
16. The oldest linden tree is in Slovenia is actually older than Modern Europe itself. The Najevnik Linden tree in the Slovenia’s Koroška region is 700 years old and has a circumference of 10 meters (over 30 feet).
17. Local lore has it that the Najevnik Linden tree was planted by Turks atop a massive loot of treasure, so they can collect it later.
18. Slovenia is famous for its own patented brand of beautiful white show horses. 425 years old Lipica Horse farm, located in Slovenia breeds its own unique white horse that’s found nowhere else.
19. Imagine your wedding in a prehistoric church, where once the Slavic goddess of love Ziva herself got married. Add to that the charm of an isolated island and what you get is the Bled Church of the Assumption, in Slovenia. The only catch is the groom has to carry the bride 99 steps up into the church.
20. A potica a day keeps the sadness away. A Slovenian loves his potica, which is a very popular pastry in Slovenia.
21. Tourism in Slovenia is fuelled by unique and offbeat places. Numerous hidden caves, beautiful forest canopy, an awesome network of waterways and adventurous people make it’s a major tourist puller of Europe.
22. Tourism in the country grew by whopping 65% in 2012.
Related: Interesting facts about Hungary
Interesting facts about Ljubljana
23. Ljubljana is pronounced lub-lee-yana.
24. The country’s capital city’s (Ljubljana) name translates as “the loved one”.
25. Ljubljana is the center of Slovenia.
26. There are 12 museums in the city and they are close to each other. Thus you could visit them all in one day and still have ample time to do other things.
27. Ljubljana is the European Green Capital of the world for 2016.
Tourists attractions, geographical wonders, famous people, and some fun facts about Slovenia
28. The linden tree and the chamois are two important national symbols of Slovenia.
29. Slovenia is a country dotted with picturesque natural wonders. It has the highest number of caves (more than 10,000) in the world and more than half of the country is covered with forests.
30. Postojna is the biggest at 20,570 m long and the best-known cave system in the world.
31. Slovenia is a heaven of biodiversity. It contains 1% of the world’s organisms on 0.004% of the Earth’s surface area.
32. Slovenia has a total coastline of 46.6 km.
33. Slovenia by some estimate has a winery for every 70 people.
34. The mysterious pile dwellers of the Alps lived in Slovenia during the prehistoric and Neolithic ages.
35. Did you know? Etruscan shrew, weighing at 2 grams, is the lightest mammal in the world. This little known, fascinating creature is found natively in Slovenia.
36.You might wonder why a person swims the entire length of various rivers. The answer is because he is a Slovenian. Martin Strel swam the entire length of Mississippi River (2,414 mi), Yangtze River (2,487 mi), Amazon River (3,273 mi) and the Danube River (1,780 mi). He is the first person to do so.
37. Imagine skiing down the world’s roughest and highest peak, the Mount Everest. No one dared entertain such thought, expect Slovene alpinist Davorin Karničar, who became a record holder for his daredevil stunt. He is also the first man in the world to ski the highest peaks of all seven continents.
38. Ljubljana is a fairy-tale city for kids. Legends have it that a mighty dragon was harassing the townsmen. Prince Jason of ancient Greece happened to be passing by and decided to help. In a classic battle, the young prince slew the dragon.
39. Sadly, the dragon became the de-facto symbol of Ljubljana and not Prince Jason of ancient Greece.
40. Speaking of Dragons, you can find the green statue of the “martyr” dragon at the awesome Dragon Bridge. It represents power, courage and greatness. Yes, Ljubljana is that cool. This bridge is also the finest example of Vienna Secession style architecture.
41. Slovenia has one of the highest per capita GDP in Central Europe.
42. It’s also said that the dragon at the Dragon Bridge wags its tail every time a virgin lady crosses the bridge.
43. Wanna try being a prisoner without committing a crime? Book a room, rather a cell at the Celica Hostel, which happens to be an ex-military prison camp.
44. The grandmother of all European chimneys is the Chimney of the power station in Trbovlje. At 1,180 ft. or 360 m, it is the tallest in Europe.
45. What is the wildest place you can imagine hosting a literary award ceremony? Whatever you can think of Slovenians will beat that. The Vilenica international literary prize is held every year inside a cave.
46. Slovenia is famous for its water tourism. It’s a water paradise with 27,000 km of rivers and streams.
47. Bears and forests are abundant in the country.
48. Slovenia is so small that you can look at two countries while standing in Slovenia. On the right you can spot Italy, while on the left you can find Croatia.
49. The Old Vine in Maribor, Slovenia is at least 400 years old and it is believed to be the oldest vine in the world.
50. “Lake Cerknica” in Slovenia is an intermittent lake. An intermittent lake is the one that disappears seasonally.
51. Slovenia also has one of the oldest stud farm in the world – the Lipica stud farm.
52. A race run in Slovenia nicknamed as “the hill of death” and “the vertical marathon” is 400 m long. However, the race is sheer vertical climb. The actual name of the thrilling race is “The Red Bull 400.” Watch its video below.
53. As per CIA, there are 477,782 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals in Slovenia (2015 – April 2016).
Quick/fast country facts Slovenia
|Total area||20,273 sq km|
|Population||1,983,412 (July 2015 est.)|
|Borders||Hungary, Croatia, Italy and Austria|
|Life expectancy||78.01 Years (2012)|
|Climate||Mediterranean climate on the coast, continental climate with mild to hot summers and cold winters in the plateaus and valleys to the east|
|Terrain||a short southwestern coastal strip of Karst topography on the Adriatic; an alpine mountain region lies adjacent to Italy and Austria in the north; mixed mountains and valleys with numerous rivers to the east|
|Natural resources||lignite, lead, zinc, building stone, hydropower, forests|
|Birth rate||8.42 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)|
|Death rate||11.37 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)|
|Sex ratio||0.95 male(s)/female (2015 est.)|
|Independence||25 June 1991 (from Yugoslavia)|
|National symbol and national colors||Mount Triglav; national colors: white, blue, red|
|Industries||ferrous metallurgy and aluminum products, lead and zinc smelting; electronics (including military electronics), trucks, automobiles, electric power equipment, wood products, textiles, chemicals, machine tools|
|Exports||$28.09 billion (2015 est.)|
manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food
|Imports||$27.1 billion (2015 est.)|
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, chemicals, fuels and lubricants, food
|GDP - per capita (PPP)||$31,000 (2015 est.)|
|Time Zone||CET (UTC+1)|
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
|Internet users||1.45 million|
percent of population: 73.1% (July 2015 est.)
|Internet country code||.si|
|Drives on the||Right|