The Republic of Slovenia is a country located in the region of Central Europe. It used to be part of Yugoslavia. The capital, and largest city, is Ljubljana, which means “the loved one”. The official language is Slovene. It is a nation with many tourist attractions and large biodiversity. It has a narrow coastline and shares boundaries with Austria, Croatia, Hungary and Italy.
Here are 11 facts about this very green country!
1. It was a hotspot for spies and backchannel diplomacy
During the cold war, it was a preferred place for spies and backchannel diplomacy. During that time, Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia and it was considered of political interest by the United States and the Soviet Union.
2. Slovenia was a monarchy until the 20th century
An interesting fact about Slovenia is that the country was a monarchy until the first free election in 1925 took place. It was still part of Yugoslavia. However, even though the elections went well, King Alexander I staged a coup to get back his power. This resulted in his assassination in 1927.
3. Independence from Yugoslavia took place in 1991
In 1991, Slovenia started its War of Independence. It is also known as the Ten-Day War. A total of 76 people died during this event. It was the first war to take place in Europe since World War II.
However, it is a country that likes to stay in peace. According to the annual Peace Index, which measures the world’s national peacefulness, it ranks 7mari out of 163 countries.
4. There are around 90,000 beekeepers in Slovenia
Slovenians love bees. The country has around 90,000 beekeepers and their population is of barely 2 million people, a fun fact about Slovenia. That is almost 5% of the population! Since the country is covered almost 60% in forests, bees thrive in it. Honey is considered a delicacy. The Carniolan bees are from this region. They are not aggressive and work together with a “team ethic”.
5. Slovenians are among the ten tallest people in the world
The people in Slovenia are some of the tallest in the world. A typical man can measure up to 1.8 meters. They are also elderly. The average age of the country’s residents is 43.5 years. Additionally, they like to smoke and drink a lot. Slovenia is the 6th biggest smoker on Earth and the 6th biggest wine consumer.
There is also a vineyard for every 70 people. The Vipava Valley, located in central Slovenia, is a producer of world-class red wine. In Maribor, the oldest vine in the world is located. They still produce grapes and it is estimated to be approximately 400 years old.
6. The country is home to one of the largest underground canyons in the world
The Škocjan Caves, located in Slovenia, is one of the country’s four World Heritage Sites. It is a large underground canyon with more than four miles of passages, chambers and waterfalls, a fun Slovenia fact. Postojna Cave is a very popular touristic attraction. There, the Proteus anguinus, a blind salamander, can be found. This creature is also known as “the human fish” because it has a pink skin color.
7. You can find more than 500 types of brown bears
A percentage of 53.6 of Slovenia’s territory consists of protected land. The only other country in the world that beats it is Venezuela. However, this percentage makes it one of the greenest countries on Earth. This is why there is a large amount of biodiversity and more than 500 brown bears call this region home.
8. It is said that the wheel was invented in Slovenia
In 2002, a wheel was found at an archaeological site located 20 kilometers south-west of the city of Ljubljana. After several scientific studies, it was dated 3,200 BC. This makes it the oldest wheel ever found. It was named the Ljubljana Marshes Wheel. It has a radius of 70 centimeters and it is made of ash and oak.
9. There are more than 46 different dialects in Slovenia
The official language is Slovene and is spoken by 2.3 million people. An interesting Slovenia fact is that there are also at least 46 dialects in the country. Some people say that there are 50. They are so different from each other that sometimes people from different regions in Slovenia cannot understand each other.
Slovenian was the first written Slavic language. It is also considered to be one of the most archaic tongues in Europe. Since it is spoken by approximately 2 million people, it is almost a secret language.
10. Ski lovers can enjoy the world’s largest ski jump
In Slovenia, ski lovers have a lot to choose from. Since it is a country with many mountains, skiing is a popular sport. Here, you can find the world’s largest ski jump, located in Planica. Bjoern Einar Romoeren set a world record of 239 meters in this place.
An interesting fact about Slovenia is that the cheapest ski resort is also found in this country located at a city called Kranjska Gora. The total cost of equipment, lift passes, lessons and food are much less than compared to other places in Europe.
11. The oldest Linden tree is in Slovenia
The Najevnik Linden tree is located in the region of Koroška in Slovenia. It is 700 years old and its circumference is ten meters. The Linden tree is also a symbol for the people of this country. It represents, for them, love, friendship and also loyalty.
Slovenia may be a small European country, but it has a lot to offer. Its large biodiversity makes it a place chosen by many for tourism and exploring. As for wine, skiing and bee lovers, they will find in Slovenia many interesting things to do and learn.
I hope that this article on Slovenia facts was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Country Facts Page!