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Culture & People

Architecture & Art

Famous Slovenian architects are Jože Ple?nik who worked in Vienna as well as in Prague, Max Fabiani, Ivan Vurnik and Vladimir Šubic. The most important Slovenian painters are Ivana Kobilca, Anton Ažbe, the impressionist Rihard Jakopi? and the constructivist Avgust ?ernigoj.


Slovenia's first book was printed by the Protestant reformer Primož Trubar (1508-1586). It was actually two books, Katekizem (a catechism) and Abecednik, which was published in 1550 in Tübingen, Germany.

The central part of the country, namely Carniola (which existed as a part of Austria-Hungary until the early 20th century) was ethnographically and historically well-described in the book The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola (German: Die Ehre deß Herzogthums Crain; Slovene: Slava vojvodine Kranjske), published in 1689 by Baron Janez Vajkard Valvasor (1641-1693).

Slovenia's two greatest authors were the poet France Prešeren (1800-1849) and writer Ivan Cankar (1876-1918). Other famous Slovenian authors include Vladimir Bartol, Sre?ko Kosovel, Edvard Kocbek, Boris Pahor, Dane Zajc, Tomaž Šalamun, Aleš Debeljak and Drago Jan?ar.

Cinema & Performing Arts

Slovenian cinema has more than a century-long tradition with Karol Grossmann, Veli?an Bešter, Božidar Jakac, Janko Ravnik, Ferdo Delak, France Štiglic, Mirko Grobler, Igor Pretnar, France Kosma?, Jože Poga?nik, Matjaž Klop?i?, Jane Kav?i?, Jože Gale, Boštjan Hladnik and Karpo Godina as its most established filmmakers. Contemporary film directors Janez Burger, Jan Cvitkovi?, Damjan Kozole, Janez Lapajne and Maja Weiss are the most notable representatives of the so-called "Renaissance of Slovenian cinema".


The music of Slovenia is closely related to Austrian, Istrian and Croatian because of its common history and Alpine and littoral culture. In the minds of many Slovenes and foreigners, Slovenian folk music means a form of polka that is still popular today, especially among expatriates and their descendants in North America. However, there are many styles of Slovenian folk music beyond polka and waltz.

Classical Music

The first Slovenian hymnal, Eni Psalmi, was published in 1567. This period saw the rise of musicians like Jacobus Gallus and Jurij Slatkonja. In 1701, J. B. Hoffer founded the Academia Philharmonicorum based on the Italian model. Italy was an important musical influence of the period, especially opera.

As the economic depression hit the country in the last half of the 18th century, music declined in popularity. Beginning in 1768, German theatre companies arrived and became very popular. The 1794 formation of the Philharmonische Gesellschaft was important because it was one of the first such orchestras in Central Europe. The 19th century saw the growth of a distinctively Slovenian classical music sound based on romanticism, while the German minority continued to push for a stronger Germanic identity.

In the early 20th century, impressionism was spreading across Slovenia, which soon produced composers Marij Kogoj and Slavko Osterc.

Avant-garde classical music arose in Slovenia in the 1960s, largely due to the work of Uroš Krek, Dane Škerl, Primož Ramovš and Ivo Petri?, who also conducted the Slavko Osterc Ensemble. Jakob Jež, Darijan Boži?, Lojze Lebi? and Vinko Globokar have since composed enduring works, especially Globokar's L'Armonia, an opera.

Modernist composers include Uroš Rojko, Tomaž Svete, Brina Jež-Brezavš?ek and Aldo Kumar. Kumar's Sonata z igro 12 (A sonata with a play 12), a set of variations on a rising chromatic scale, is particularly notable.

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