Slovenia's History

Celtic culture was well established before the ancient Illyrians arrived centuries before the Roman conquest in the First Century AD. Ancestors of the Slavs swept into the Balkans in the 6th Century and established the Carantania Principality that lasted 300 years. The Hungarians conquered in the 9th Century and in the 14th Century Slovenia was incorporated into the Hapsburg’s Austrian Empire. Napoleon included the Dalmatian coast and Slovenia into his French Empire between 1805-13 but they returned to the Austrians with his defeat. At the end of WWI Slovenia formed part of the new Yugoslavia but in 1941 was split between Italy and Germany. In 1945 Slovenia returned to a resurrected Communist Yugoslavia. As ethnic Serbs began to dominate Yugoslavia following Tito’s death in 1980, the Slovene’s were keen to withdraw from Yugoslavia which they did in 1991 triggering a ’10 Day War’ and discarding Communism at the same time.

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Slovenia had always been the most ethnically homogenous republic of Yugoslavia and also enjoyed the highest standard of living. Many well educated, sophisticated and prosperous Slovenes felt they had little in common with their quarrelsome fellow Yugoslav countrymen and as soon as they became independent they commenced to form links to the European Union and plant their flag firmly in the Western Camp. In 2004 Slovenia joined the EU and in 2007 they replaced their currency the Tolar with the Euro. Tourism is not a huge industry but the nation’s mountains offer great winter skiing and the charming countryside has a surprisingly wide range of historical sites to explore.

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