Other treasures of Slovenia to be included in the World Heritage

Four UNESCO natural and cultural world heritage sites make Slovenia one of the richest guardians of the treasures of humanity in relation to its population. There are even more exceptional items from Slovenia on the Tentative List, on which items under consideration for World Heritage status are listed.

Franja Partisan Hospital

Franja Partisan Hospital

The Franja Partisan Hospital operated during World War II in a hidden gorge of a wild stream with difficult access. In its barracks, nearly 600 wounded soldiers were treated in a year and a half. This incredible symbol of humanity and unique example of the medical treatment of people under exceptional circumstances has been a worthy aspect of European heritage for a long time.

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Plečnik’s Ljubljana

Plečnik’s Ljubljana

Plečnik’s Ljubljana is a phenomenon. The original approach of the famous architect Jože Plečnik to buildings and urban planning between both wars enabled him to create the most wonderful architectural images of Ljubljana.

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Walk of peace

Walk of peace

The Walk of Peace, which runs from the Alps to the Adriatic Sea, combines a memory and a reminder of war during the Battles of the Isonzo and greater knowledge of the beautiful nature by the emerald Soča River. Discover a world of underground bunkers, firing trenches, military cemeteries, charnel houses and outdoor museums. 

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Fužinske planine Plateau at Bohinj

Fužinske planine Plateau at Bohinj

The Fužinske planine Plateaus are part of the protected area of the Triglav National Park. Mountain meadows at the altitude of about 1,000 m are great pastures for livestock in the summer. There are also small cheese dairies here, which are home to the most recognisable tastes of the cheeses of Bohinj, including a special cheese – Mohant.

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Classical Karst

Classical Karst

Through millennia, underground and rain water have transformed the lime landscape and created amazing images of the Classical Karst. The karst subterranean world with over 1,000 caves is particularly striking. The first explorations of the karst world were carried out here.

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Slovenian assets of intangible world cultural heritage of humanity

It is particularly important to preserve the cultural tradition passed on from generation to generation. Certain skills, knowledge and creativity of our predecessors are so extraordinary that they are worth protecting and preserving for future generations. Special attention to protecting and preserving oral tradition, dances, knowledge and skills can also be based on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which includes four sites in Slovenia.

Škofja Loka Passion Play

The oldest Slovenian play has been re-enacted on the streets of the medieval town centre of Škofja Loka since its origin in the time of Baroque. Rich costumes and scenery and the numerous, over 900-member ensemble of local actors attract many visitors to Škofja Loka for every performance. This is a historical re-enactment, which is performed every six years due to its complexity. The next performance will take place in 2021. Škofja Loka Passion Play was entered on UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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Door-to-door rounds of Kurenti

When you hear cowbells in the Ptuj area in February, you will surely know that spring is approaching. The bells are only a part of the costume of a Kurent, a traditional Shrovetide character, typical for Ptuj, the Drava Field, the Haloze Hills, and the Slovenske Gorice Hills. A Kurent wears a sheepskin, a distinctive head mask, high-ankle shoes, and red or green knitted socks. In its hand, it spins a ježevka, a thick stick with hedgehog spines. Its roots are from Slavic mythology, and it is considered to chase away winter and herald spring and a good harvest. The door-to-door rounds of Kurenti have been entered on UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. A unique tribute to this custom are the traditional Kurentovanje celebrations in Ptuj.                                                                                                                                                                                                

Bobbin lacemaking in Slovenia

Bobbin lace is a unique artistic expression and one of the recognisable symbols of Slovenian identity. For centuries stunning products have been made by bobbin lacemakers, and the skill of bobbin twisting is passed on from generation to generation. Bobbin lacemaking is a manual production of lace by braiding, twisting and interlacing thread wound on special wooden spindles known as bobbins. Bobbing lacemaking is about following a pattern drawn on paper attached to a cylindrical pillow in a basket or on a special base. Today, Slovenia is home to over 120 bobbin lacemaking associations, sections and groups. Lace is meant to be a fashion accessory and decoration on clothes and home textiles, and today it is also an inspiration for artistic creations, in architecture and even cuisine.

Knowledge of bobbin lacemaking is also spread at lace schools. The first such school was established by Maria Theresa in 1763 in Ljubljana; the most known lace school today is the one in Idrija, which has been operating for over 140 years. It is home to the famous Idrija lace.

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Dry-stone walling

Dry-stone walling means that no binder is used during construction. Instead, the secret to its firmness is in the particular way stones are stacked up. It is popular around the Mediterranean area. In Slovenia, we can find it in the Karst region and Istria. The art of dry-stone walling, knowledge and techniques are on UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage and connects eight European countries including Slovenia.

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World Network of Biosphere Reserves

The UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves within the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) connects areas which are examples of land or coastal ecosystems outstanding natural and cultural value. The purpose of the network is to spread knowledge and exchange best practices in the field of sustainable development and preserving biodiversity in this field. The network also includes four Slovenia biosphere reserves.

Julian Alps Biosphere Reserve

Julian Alps Biosphere Reserve

The Julian Alps were the first biosphere reserve in Slovenia. The majority of the Julian Alps is located in the Triglav National Park, which is the largest protected natural area in Slovenia.

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Karst Biosphere Reserve

Karst Biosphere Reserve

The Karst landscape is particularly sensitive to human activities in the environment, making responsible cohabitation of humans and nature all the more important for preserving balance. This biosphere reserve encompasses the whole of the Škocjan Caves Park.

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Kozjansko and Obsotelje Biosphere Reserve

Kozjansko and Obsotelje Biosphere Reserve

This reserve encompasses the area between the Sava, Savinja and Sotla rivers. Its main part is the Kozjansko Regional Park which is known for its tall-trunk orchards and the characteristic Kozjansko apple.

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Mura River Biosphere Reserve

Mura River Biosphere Reserve

The mouth of the Mura River, which is often referred to as “the European Amazon”, stretches across several European countries, including Slovenia. This biosphere reserve includes the largest preserved complex of floodplains in Slovenia, “where the interweaving of natural factors and human presence has created an exception cultural riverine landscape”. 

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UNESCO’s global geoparks in Slovenia

Global and European networks of geoparks were formed within the framework of UNESCO. The networks include areas with exceptional geological characteristics and where special attention is dedicated to the landscape and the preservation and research of geological assets in the sense of sustainable development. There are currently two such geoparks in Slovenia, which are involved actively in the European and global networks of geoparks: the cross-border Karavanke/Karawanken Geopark and the Idrija Geopark.

Karavanke/Karawanken Geopark

Karavanke/Karawanken Geopark lies between Mežica and Mt Peca and extends to the Austrian side. It boasts unique flora and beautiful minerals, which can be rarely seen anywhere else in the world. Some of the minerals were exploited below Mt Peca and Mt Obir as ore in the past, but today they can be admired in museums. Unforgettable adventures await you in the deserted mine in Mežica where you can explore the underground of Mt Peca by bike or kayak. The powerful natural forces have also formed beautiful caves with stalactites and stalagmites below Mt Obir.

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Idrija Geopark

Idrija Geopark stretches over the area of the eponymous municipality. Diverse geological soil composition was the basis for the development of the mercury mine, which was once the second largest mercury mine in the world. Today the mine and its appertaining infrastructure serve tourism purposes. Natural gems of the area include the Wild Lake (Divje jezero) and Zgornja Idrijca Natural Park. Higher sections of the geopark provide excellent opportunities for recreation. Bikers and hikers can enjoy this area in the summer, while skiing is possible in winter on the Vojsko and Črni Vrh plateaus. To regain your strength, try Idrija žlikrofi, while some will be enchanted by the delicate art of Idrija lace.

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Slovenia as part of the Memory of the World

The Memory of the World is the UNESCO list of documentary heritage. It includes the Codex Suprasliensis, an Old Church Slavonic Cyrillic manuscript, which is deemed the oldest preserved written document in a Slavic language. The manuscript originated from Bulgaria, and later found itself in Poland; part of the manuscript ended up on Slovenian soil thanks to the Slovenian linguist Jernej Kopitar. Today, it is kept at the National and University Library in Ljubljana.

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