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Slovenia: Alps, plains and caves

Slovenia (Republika Slovenija) is a small South-Eastern European country located at the northern end of the Balkan peninsula. It became independent in 1991 with the dissolution of Yugoslavia and in 2004 it joined the European Union.

The country has a short coastline along the Adriatic Sea, which extends for a few kilometers on the north end of the Istrian Peninsula. Here are the historic towns of Koper/Capodistria) and Piran/Pirano). The country has joint borders with Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. The capital Ljubljana is centrally located in the hinterland.

Slovenia is largely mountainous: It is crossed by the eastern section of the Alps. The most important Massif is that of the Julian Alps, situated near the border with Italy, whose highest peak is Mount Triglav, which reaches 2,863 meters. To the north-east you find the Julian Alps on the border with Austria. Furthermore there are the Karawank Mountains and the Kamnik–Savinja Alps. The Pohorje massif is close to the city of Maribor.

Slovenia map

Slovenia map

A big part of the territory is covered by mountains formed by the Krast plateau, which extends south of the Alps between the Italian border and the capital Ljubljana. The rest of the territory of Slovenia is a succession of hills and small plains. At the eastern border with Hungaryry a large flat area, the Prekmurje, opens to the Pannonian Lowland.

The country is crossed by two major tributaries of the Danube: The river Drava, which flows in North-Eastern Slovenia and crosses the city of Maribor and the river Sava, which runs through the central area near the capital Ljubljana.

English text correction by Dietrich Köster. 

  • Area: 20,273 sq km
  • Population: 1,997,000: Slovenes 83.06%, Italians 0.16%, Hungarians 0.43%, others (11.57%).
  • State Capital: Ljubljana
  • Official Language: Slovene; Italian and Hungarian are also spoken.
  • Religion: Roman Catholics 68,8%, Greek Catholics 2%, Muslims 1%, Lutherans 1%.
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Time Zone: Central European Time UTC+1, Summer Daylight Saving Time UTC+2.

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