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Thursday 13th June
Slovenia Facts
Mt. Triglav, the highest peak (2863 m) in the Slovenian Alps, is represented on Slovenia's national coat of arms.

Slovenia's Skocjan Caves, on the World Heritage List, are among the world's most famous systems of limestone (karstic) caves.

There are about two hundred and sixty waterfalls in Slovenia. Boka is Slovenia's highest waterfall.

Lake Bohinj is the largest lake in Slovenia.

The bone of a cave bear with artificially made holes, found in a cave near Reka in 1980, is believed to be Europe's oldest musical instrument.

The famous Lipizzaner horses originate from Lipica in Slovenia. The stud farm was established in 1580.

Ptuj, Slovenia's oldest town, has the status of a museum town. The town was built on Roman foundations next to an old crossing over the River Drava.

The Secovlje Saltworks in Piran Bay dating back [at least] to the thirteenth century still use traditional methods to produce salt.

In the thirteenth century Kamnik, Kranj, Ljubljana, Maribor, Piran, Ptuj and Skofja Loka became chartered towns.

From the thirteenth century Slovenian craftsmen formed Guilds that looked after the interests of their members.

A vine, said to be four hundred years old, can be seen growing in Maribor's old town. The vine is thought to be the oldest in the world.

Jurij Vega, an engineer, mathematician, ballistics expert and inventor was born near Ljubljana in 1754.

Leon Stukelj, the oldest Olympic Champion, celebrated his 100th birthday in November 1998. Stukelj was born in 1898, two years after the first modern Olympic Games, and died in Maribor just before his 101st birthday. A Leni Riefenstahl film is the only recording of the young Leon Stukelj in action.

The Triple Bridge, one of the symbols of Ljubljana, was designed by Joze Plecnik in 1929.

The Crni Kal Viaduct, one of the most impressive structures in Slovenia, was designed by Marjan Pipenbaher (2007). The viaduct is Slovenia's longest motorway bridge and tallest structure. On a personal note, I assisted in the translation into English of a technical paper on the presentation of the specifications of the associated wind tunnel.

Josip Broz "Tito" (1892-1980) was born in Croatia - his father was Croatian and his mother was Slovenian. Tito controlled Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia) for thirty-five years.

Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia on 25 June 1991.

In 1991 the tolar became the only legal tender in Slovenia. The ten toler coin bore a rearing horse and along the edge is the Latin word EQUUS (horse). Following the country's independence the tolar was an important national symbol.

On 1st May 2004 Slovenia joined the EU; on 1 January 2007 the Republic of Slovenia adopted the Euro.

In 2008 Slovenia became the first former communist state to take on the EU presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Slovenia's main university is the University of Ljubljana, founded in 1918.

The University of Maribor was established in 1975.

The Slovenian National Anthem, "A Toast", was written by France Preseren (1800-1848), Slovenia's greatest poet:

"God's blessing on all nations,
Who long and work for that bright day,
When o'er earth's habitations
No war, no strife shall hold its sway;
Who long to see
That all men free
No more shall foes, but neighbours be."

In August 2023 Slovenia suffered from what is said to be Slovenia's worst national disaster; exceptional rainfall led to damage to roads, bridges, energy infrastructure and loss of life.

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