Visit Slovenia: 10 Fascinating Facts

As you may have realized by now, I am a extited to visit Slovenia.  Nestled in Central Europe, Slovenia is tucked between Italy to the west, Austria and the magnificent Alps to the North, Croatia to the south and Hungary to the east. It is a small yet beautiful land of vast forests. Rugged mountain ranges, picture-postcard villages and a handful of cosmopolitan cities. It is an ancient country once ruled by Austria for nearly a thousand years, before becoming part of what was Yugoslavia. Slovenia is now an independent country, and one of the most stunning in the region.

 Visit Slovenia

Here are 10 fascinating facts about Slovenia:

  • The country is only 24 years old – it was part of the former Yugoslavia until June of 1991 when it declared independence, which led to a brief ‘Ten Day War’ between the two.
  • Slovenia is roughly 20,000 km2 in size; as a comparison, the US state of Arizona is almost 15 times bigger than Slovenia. The country’s surface area has close to 10,000 km2 of forest, meaning more than half of it is woodland, making it the third most densely wooded country in Europe – beaten only by Sweden and Finland.

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          Image Courtesy: commons.wikimedia.org/Jeancaffou

  • The country boasts the most-visited cave in Europe: the two million year old Postojna Cave, in the country’s southwest Karst region. Postojna has a colossal 20 km maze of natural halls, passages, caverns and chambers, including the wonderful Kongresna Dvorana which can hold 10,000 people during musical performances.

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          Image Courtesy: commons.wikimedia.org/BoštjanBurger

  • Slovenia’s second-largest city, Maribor, contains the Old Vine House which has the famous Žametovka grapevine growing outside – at an estimated 440 years old, it has been entered in The Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest vine in the world and to this day produces up to 55 kilos of red grapes each year. Bottles of ceremonial Žametovka wine are often gifted to VIPs and dignitaries.

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         Image Courtesy: commons.wikimedia.org/AndrejJakobcic

  • Europe’s tallest industrial chimney can be found at a thermoelectric power plant in the central Slovenian town of Trbovlje. Taking more than 200 days to build in 1976, it stands 362 metres high.
  • The famed Lipizzaner horses, which many people associate with Spain or Austria, actually originate from the village of Lipica in Slovenia. The Lipica Stud Farm, opened in 1580, still breeds premium Lipizzan horses to this day.

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          Image Courtesy: flickr.com/Gorupka

  • The country has numerous unusual festivals, such as the Stuffed Cabbage Festival each May in the village of Rátka, or the annual Fizolov dan – or ‘Bean Day’ – held every September in Hrovaca.
  • Once a military prison, the Celica Hostel in the capital Ljubljana offers guests the chance to stay in a real – albeit colourfully decorated – prison cell for the night, complete with bars on the doors and windows. The building is now a vibrant hostel and arts centre, voted the world’s ‘hippest hostel’ by Lonely Planet.

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  • The glorious Bled Island in the centre of Lake Bled is a must-visit – and for that romantic touch, couples can still get married in the island’s small pilgrimage church. However, fitness is a must, as local tradition dictates that for a long, happy marriage the groom has to carry his new bride up the church’s ninety-nine steps before ringing the bell and making a wish.

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          Image Courtesy: commons.wikimedia.org/Adiello

  • Slovenia’s Soča Valley served as a backdrop for many scenes in the blockbuster Disney film The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

Top Image Courtesy: commons.wikimedia.org/RichardHuber

Victoria Thomas

Victoriais a regular contributor on LuxeInACity.com, a luxury travel blog curating hotels, spas, restaurants, boutiques, products as well as once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences.

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