Slovenia (Slov. Republika Slovenija)
- Jurij Snoj,
- Leon Stefanija
- and Svanibor Pettan
(Slov. Republika Slovenija)
Country in southern Central Europe, bordered by Austria in the north, Hungary in the northeast, Croatia in the south and southwest, and Italy in the west. Following centuries of Habsburg rule, the current territory of Slovenia was incorporated into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes in 1918, and into the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1945. Slovenia became an independent republic in 1991 and joined the European Union in 2004. The population of roughly 2 million is composed of the Slovenian majority (over 80%) and several minorities, including those from former Yugoslav republics: Hungarians, Italians, and Roma. The official language, Slovene, belongs to the Slavic branch of the Indo-European linguistic family and is particularly rich in dialects. The predominant religion is Roman Catholicism, while Lutheranism is of major historical importance. The political and cultural capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana.
In the Middle Ages, the great majority of the territory inhabited by Slovenians made up part of the Holy Roman Empire. More exactly, Slovenians lived in Carniola (Ger. Krain), southern Carinthia (Ger. Kärnten), southern Styria (Ger. Steiermark), the County of Gorizia, and some other adjoining political formations. All these lands passed in the later Middle Ages to the House of Habsburg, and were still later united as Inner Austria with the capital Graz. The coastal belt of the modern Slovenia belonged, until the beginning of the 19th century, to the Republic of Venice, and the easternmost regions to the kingdom of Hungary. In the later Middle Ages the most important Slovenian town became Ljubljana (Ger. Laibach), the capital of Carniola. In ...