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Slovenia

Map of Slovenia
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Flag of Slovenia

Slovenia's Quick Facts

Land Area 20,151 km2
Water Area 122 km2
Total Area 20,273 km2
Population 1,978,029
Population Density 97.57 / km2
Government Type Parliamentary Republic
GDP (PPP) $68.35 Billion
GDP Per Capita $33,100
Currency Euro (EUR)
Largest Cities
  • Ljubljana (272,220)
  • Maribor (95,171)
  • Celje (37,520)
  • Kranj (36,874)
  • Velenje (25,456)
  • Koper (24,996)
  • Novo Mesto (23,341)
  • Ptuj (18,164)
  • Trbovlje (15,163)

Slovenia is one of the youngest European countries, becoming an independent state in 1991, after the collapse of the Yugoslav federation.

However, the first record of human habitants dates back some 250,000 years ago when Neanderthals roamed the area.

By the 1st century BC Illyrian and Celtic tribes dominated the land, until Romans took over, and established trade and military routes that ran through Slovene territory.

These routes greatly exposed the region to invasions, and after the Slavs from the East warded off the last Germanic tribe, they took over control of the area.

During the 6th and 7th centuries the Slavs successfully resisted invasions by the Asian Avars, and united with King Samo, whose kingdom included present-day Moravia, Slovakia and lower Austria.

The alliance dissolved in 658, and the Slavs created their own independent region known as the duchy of Carantania.

Carantania fell under Bavarian rule by the mid 8th century, and later (along with the Bavarians) was absorbed into the Carolingian Empire.

Through the next couple centuries, the Slavic people found themselves in between a power struggle with the Franks, Magyars, as well as the Holy Roman Empire.

Finally, by the 14th century, the House of Habsburg, who maintained control until the beginning of the 20th century, overpowered much of Slovenia.

The aftermath of World War I in the early 1900's destroyed the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was established - this was later renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

Industrialization thrived in Slovenia over the coming years, and the country found itself the center of focus in Yugoslavia.

At the onset of World War II, German and Italian forces invaded the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and Slovenia was split amongst the occupying powers.

Although the Italians granted Slovenia cultural autonomy, the Nazis waged a violent administration sending more than 63,000 Slovenes to concentration camps.

Following World War II, Yugoslavia re-established themselves, and Communistic rule was put into place.

Once again, Slovenia was at the forefront of economic growth, however, after the death of Yugoslavian President, Josip Broz Tito, the political and economic situation of the region suffered.

In 1987, Slovenia began their push towards freedom, and on June 25, 1991 they finally declared their independence from Yugoslavia.

Naturally, Yugoslavia didn't let them go so easily, and a war was quick to emerge. Fortunately, for all involved it was only a ten-day ordeal before a truce was called, and by October 1991 the last of the Yugoslavian Army vacated Slovenia.

Soon after, Slovenia became the 176th member of the United Nations and an associate member of the European Union.

By 2004, the country joined NATO, followed by the Eurozone after meeting Maastricht criteria in 2007.

Then, for the first half of 2008, Slovenia became the first post-Communist country to hold Presidency in the Council of the European Union.

Today, agricultural industries are a significant economic factor, and its large freight port in Koper (on the Adriatic Sea) is an important gateway into Central Europe.

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