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After the fall of the Holy Roman Empire, Slovenia came under the Habsburg dynasty, which ruled the region until 1918. This was also the year that Slovenia merged with Serbia and Croatia, creating the new south Slavic state of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenians. The newly established state's name was later changed to Yugoslavia in 1929.
After a 10-day war against the Yugoslav Communist Regime in 1991, Slovenia became an independent state in June of that year. They later became a member of the European Union and NATO in 2004.
Slovenia is located in Central and Southeastern Europe, and consists of 4 major European geographic regions, which are: the Alps, the Dinarides, the Mediterranean, and the Pannonian Plane. Its borders are Austria, Croatia, Italy, and Hungary.
For a tiny country, Slovenia has a wide range of different landscapes. Being the 3rd most forested country in Europe, Slovenia's land area consists of a majority of hilly or mountainous regions. About 90% of the country's land surface is at least 200m above sea level.
Slovenia is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic. The President is elected into office by popular vote and serves a 5-year term with a maximum of 2 consecutive terms in office. The President is head of state, commander in chief of the Slovenian Military Forces, and mainly serves a representative role.
The Legislative power is exercised by the bicameral Parliament - with the National Council as the Upper House, and the National Assembly as the Lower House.
Executive and Administrative powers are exercised and held by the government of Slovenia, which is headed by the Prime Minister and the council of ministers or Cabinet.
Slovenia offers its tourists a wide range of varying landscapes. The Alpine is found in the northwest region, while the Mediterranean is to the southwest, the Pannonian in the northeast, and the Dinarides in the southeast. Each region offers its own unique natural, architectural, cultural, and geographic features that make each experience different from the other.
Tourists can take their pick from snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, the sea, subterranean caves, and lush meadows - making Slovenia a truly unique destination in Europe.
The most visited city in the country is the capital of Ljubljana - the capital that boasts of Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings. Among the most notable tourist attractions in this beautiful city are the old city center, the cathedral, the opera house, the Tivoli town park, the countless cafes on the banks of the river Ljubljana, and the Ljubljana castle that towers over the city.
For the best Mediterranean town in Slovenia, the ancient small town of Piran is the best to visit. Located along the Adriatic coast, this charming town reminiscent of Venetian architecture features houses that are huddled together and narrow winding streets. For an intimate travel destination in Slovenia, Piran is a must-visit.
Lake Bled is one of the most popular tourist attraction in the country. Found in a fairytale town in the Julian Alps, this glacial lake has an island in the middle with the Bled Castle perched on its rocks 100m above the lake. Tourists can rent canoes and paddle to the island or rent boats for large groups.
The Postojna Cave is one of the best-known caves in the world. It is considered to be a Stalactite paradise - filled with beautiful natural formations with its tunnels, halls, and galleries. Entering the cave consists of riding a train - making it a truly unique and exciting experience.
Slovenian education is the 12th best in the world and the 4th best in the European Union. The University of Ljubljana is among the top ranking universities in the world - belonging to the first 3% of the world's best higher education institutions.
Slovenia's adult literacy rate is at 99.6%. Out of all students who enter primary level, 98% of them proceed to secondary school, where 84% of those who finish proceed to higher education.
- A grape vine found in Maribor is said to be the oldest in the world at 400 years old.
- For a unique hotel experience, tourists can pay to stay in a prison cell at the Hotel Celica in the capital of Ljubljana.
- About 1% of all living organisms and 2% of all continental species live in Slovenia, making the country one of the most biologically rich and diverse in the world.
Last Updated : December 30, 2014
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