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Rare Prešeren’s Manuscripts Found In Cleveland, OHIO

“I’m very glad that I was able to handle these valuable manuscripts,” says Luka Zibelnik, a professor of the Slovenian language, who stumbled upon two still uncatalogued versions of Prešeren’s poetry manuscripts in the U.S. The two manuscripts — of the poems Slovo od mladosti (“A Farwell to Youth”) and Dohtar (“Doc”) — will be on display in Ljubljana on ...

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An Underground Link More Than Century Old

For more than a century, a rail tunnel has served as a vital link under the Karavanke Mountains that separate Slovenia from Austria. Its construction was fraught with difficulty, but once completed, the tunnel became one of the most important segments of the Slovenian railroad network – and was followed by an equally important road tunnel almost 90 years later. ...

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A Monastery That Survived Tough Times

Sveta Gora, a mountaintop monastery above the town of Nova Gorica, is one of several well-known pilgrimage sites in Slovenia. However, it stands apart not just because of its spectacular location overlooking much of western Slovenia but also because of its unusually turbulent history. A medieval church that once stood on the site was burned down by the Turks. Sveta ...

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A Town Ahead Of Its Time

Novo Mesto, the most important town in Slovenia’s Dolenjska region, is different than most other towns its size. Instead of emerging organically, from a village that increased in size through the ages, its creation was the result of an official decree. Eventually, it acquired the reputation as a center of the Slovenian avant-garde, and is now a symbol of prosperity ...

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Streetcars Gave Ljubljana a Big-City Flavor

For much of the 20th century, the distinctive clatter of streetcars (also known as trolley cars or trams) could be heard on the streets of Ljubljana. A massive crowd turned out to witness their retirement, and many people still wistfully remember the city’s first form of public transportation. It all began in 1900, when Ljubljana’s visionary mayor, Ivan Hribar, announced ...

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Ivan Šprajc – Slovenian Indiana Jones

Ivan Šprajc (pronounced E-von Shprites) is a tranquil version of Harrison Ford’s frenzied film character less 50 pounds, with ice-blue eyes and now sweating through head-to-toe khaki at a streetside table in Tulum. The Slovenian archaeologist’s pioneering work mapping heretofore unknown Maya cities in the deepest Yucatán—battling snakes, insects, rain, and looters—has inspired colleagues to nickname him after the bullwhip-wielding ...

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A Coca-Cola Substitute Became a Leading Slovenian Brand

In the 1950s, Coca-Cola was conquering the world, but the iconic American soft drink wasn’t available in Communist Yugoslavia. A Slovenian company decided to offer a substitute – and created an iconic brand of its own. In the interwar period, Emeril Zelinka owned a company that made syrups and liquor. As the manager, he made sure to keep in touch ...

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A Centuries-Old Sound of Bells

Churches are among the most common sights in Slovenia; they add a picturesque note to towns, the tops of remote hills, and everywhere in between. Many of these churches are also the home of a musical tradition that has been passed on from generation to generation. The exact origin of Slovenian bell chiming – known as “pritrkovanje” – is unknown, ...

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In 1821, Ljubljana Became The Center Of The World

In the early 19th century, Ljubljana was a small Hapsburg town of around 20,000 people. For a few months in 1821, however, heads of state from around Europe briefly made Ljubljana the center of international politics and diplomacy. Between January and May of that year, Ljubljana was the venue for the second congress of the Holy Alliance, which united most ...

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A Bread With a Long History

Slovenia’s southern province of Bela Krajina is known as a land of sun-drenched vineyards and birch forests. It is also the home of a local delicacy whose origins date back to migrations from the Western Balkans. The dish is known as “Belokranjska pogača” and is essentially a type of flatbread topped with a layer of caraway, eggs, and sea salt. ...

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