(Republic of Slovenia, Republika Slovenija)
Total Area: 20,048,951 km sq
Slovenia shares a border with Croatia, Italy, Hungary and Austria, all of whom have occupied them at some point. After World War Two, they sought protection by joining Yugoslavia. When Yugoslavia disbanded in 1991, Slovenia made, in comparison to other ex-Yugoslavian countries, a smooth transition into democracy. In 2004, they became a valued member of the EU.
The Slovenian population does not contain the large mixture of Slavic people of other ex-Yugoslavian countries. 83% of the population is Slovenian natives while the rest is evenly spread between Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks and Hungarians. It is predominantly a Roman Catholic country with 57 people declaring themselves Roman Catholic and only 3% as either Orthodox or protestant. It must also be one of the most Atheist countries in the world with over 10% of the population declaring they are non-believers.
The Postojna Caves are 20km of underground galleries, chambers and corridors, which you can reach via their underground rail system. Once inside you inside you are likely to see the largest toploditic amphibians in the world, the Olm. More impressive, however, is the concert hall. A concert hall is unique to any cave system, but this one’s excellent acoustics attracts the very best musicians. It holds up to 10,000 people.
Bled is a town noted for its glacial lake, Lake Bled. Overlooking the lake is Bled castle, the oldest castle in Slovenia and the country’s most popular tourist attraction. A small island in the middle of the lake holds a church. Visitors can row over to the church and, for good luck, ring its bells. In 2011, Bled will be hosting the world rowing Championships for the fourth time.
Though a small city with only 270 people, Ljubljana rivals bigger cities like Prague for the beauty of its architecture. A lot of the city was rebuilt in 1511 after an earthquake and then again in 1895. Consequently not only are many of the buildings undamaged, but they are also a variety of styles- each time it was rebuilt they rebuilt it in the style of those times. One can now see a variety of types of architecture from Baroque to Vienna Secession.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Simon Arms (Berlin, Germany) for story editing.