Slovenia has a rich cultural heritage, and is proudly nurturing it and preserving it. You can learn countless details of all historical forms of creativity at one of Slovenia’s well-kept museums. All the major periods of human history are preserved in Slovenia in the precious form of archaeological findings, with new ones being discovered all the time. In an area where once there were thousands of castles, a good number have been preserved, of which four are major tourist destinations.
The most important museums in the country are in the capital, but there are some excellent exhibitions and collections in other cities: for example, the Museum of the First World War in Kobarid, and the Technical Museum in Bistra pri Vrhniki. A host of small museums all over Slovenia uncover the history of various artisan trades such as metalsmithing, beekeeping, lacemaking and Alpine herding. The mining museums of Idrija, Velenje and Mežica are particularly worth a visit for their vivid recounting of the underground experience.
Most museums offer foreign-language guided tours, although larger groups should pre-book. A visit to Ljubljana’s National Gallery or Museum of Modern Art will allow you to see major works by Slovenian artists.
There are major collections housed at certain castles, which are very striking in appearance. The most amazing is Predjama Castle, built into a cliff concealing an intricate cave system, which itself can be explored. The views from Ljubljana Castle and Bled Castle are wonderful, while Celje’s Old Castle offers a wide range of tours. Each of these castles is special in its own way, while all four are among the ten most popular tourist attractions in Slovenia.
A treasure trove of the past
Among the major archaeological sites in Slovenia are the Stone Age sites at Betalov Spodmol, Potočka Zijalka and Divje Babe near Idrija, where the world’s oldest flute was found. There are many excavations and fortifications from the Roman era in Slovenia. The most important finds are kept at museums, while many are on view at archaeological parks or sites specially set up to receive visitors.
Libraries and archives are also responsible for keeping the rich cultural and historical heritage, which is also maintained by numerous monuments to significant figures in Slovenian history, and by protected buildings.
Some cemeteries in Slovenia are monuments of national importance owing to their centuries-old gravestones. Particularly in the River Soča area, the scene of First World War battles on the Soča Front, there are military cemeteries with ossuaries. The main cemeteries at which notable figures in Slovenian history are buried are Prešernov Gaj in Kranj and Navje in Ljubljana. The latter is the work of architect Jože Plečnik.
Slovenia’s many museums and galleries give a deep insight into its culture, history and distinctiveness. The National Museum, the Museum of Natural History and the Ethnographic Museum in Ljubljana should not be missed. Kobarid is also well worth a visit: its Museum of the First World War is one of the finest in ...
Bled Castle, Ljubljana Castle, Predjama Castle and Celje’s Old Castle are must-sees in any visit to Slovenia. All four are among the most popular destinations in the country, and with good reason, but there are many other beautiful castles to see.
The majority of monuments in towns and in the countryside are dedicated to the victims of w ar, or major historical figures. Slovenia is one of those rare countries where more monuments are dedicated to artists and cultural figures than to political leaders.
Slovenia is in many ways one huge archaeological site: important historical remains are found during nearly all excavation work. The wealth of archaeological findings encompass all major historical eras, and speak of all the various cultures that lived here. These findings can be seen at museums and archaeological ...
The National and University Library in Ljubljana is the country’s most important library, and is one of the jewels of Plečnik’s architectural work. Some of the oldest Slovenian books, such as the translation of the Bible, are kept at monastery libraries.
Military cemeteries and monuments to the victims of war bear testimony to Slovenia’s turbulent past. The River Soča area has the most First World War cemeteries. A number of major figures in Slovenian history are buried at Navje in Ljubljana, which was designed by the country’s greatest architect, Jože Plečnik.