Sunday, October 23, 2005

Dolenjska and Bela krajina

Dolenjska and Bela krajina


1. What and where?

Dolenjska and Bela Krajina is a large, mostly forested area of south-eastern Slovenia, dotted with small villages and gently rolling hills. Dolenjska is a land of hilltop and riverside castles, monasteries and small farms, which is dominated by the fast-flowing Krka river, whose rapids are a popular location for canoeing and kayaking. This large unspoilt agricultural area is characterised by low hills and woods, which make it ideal for walkers and cyclists. Dolenjska is perhaps best-known for its thermal spas where visitors come to enjoy the beneficial effects of the waters in a peaceful natural environment. The double hayracks of this region are found nowhere else in Europe.
Bela Krajina is an area of ancient birch forest and a land where ancient customs still hold sway. Jurjevanje, one of the most important celebrations of folklore in Slovenia, is a three-day festival of music, dance and bonfires taking place in mid-June.

2. History

The Romans had a garrison at Trebnje, but there is good evidence of people living here long before they arrived. The Dolenjska Museum in Novo mesto displays priceless finds of jewellery, swords and vessels decorated with birds and figures. Do not miss the Hallstatt helmet spectacularly slashed by an axe.
The Slavic ancestors of today's Slovenians arrived in the 6th century. The land they settled has, until 1918, been part of succeeding European empires including the Carolingian and finally the Austro-Habsburg empire.
Ottoman Turks repeatedly attacked in the 15th and 16th centuries. Castles were built and manor houses fortified with steep roofs and corner bastions; and foreign nobles built grand houses in the 1700s. But the area has remained essentially Slovenian, with a notable flowering of Slovenian arts and letters in the 18th century.
The Church has been important in the life of the country and churches are often prominent landmarks. Many of them look Baroque in style, but are Gothic in origin. Look inside for frescoes and surprisingly delicate and restrained Baroque altarpieces as at Mirna (see left), Šentrupert, Vesela Gora (see page 7) and Stopiče (see map - A). Vaulted ceilings are often painted with a delicate tracery of flowers. If the church is locked, the priest or neighbour will usually let you in.

3. Places of Interest
In Dolenjska and Bela krajina, history is particularly coloured by years of resistance to foreign rule and invasion; and by a strong pride in Slovenian identity. You will find a fascinating heritage of historic places, archaeology, rural tradition, religion, festivals and cultural events.

a) Food and wine
Slovenian cuisine has been influenced by its neighbours so you will find elements of Italian, Austrian, Hungarian and Balkan dishes. Traditional specialities include potica, suckling pig (odojek), spiced sausages (pečenice) and black pudding (krvavice), venision (divjačina), pork (svinjina) and trout (postrv), with local vegetables and salad.
At one of the popular "gostilna", your meal typically might include salami (suhe klobase, salama) and cured ham (šunka) beef soup with noodles (goveja juha z rezanci), meat served with salad and a delicious "štrudel", either filled with apple or cherry, or nuts and raisins, and curd cheese (skuta). You will be offered a selection of good local wines (vino), or beer (pivo); and good coffee (kava).

b) Festivals, fairs and celebrations
· The international festival of naive art at Trebnje in June,
· farm events in many areas in the summer:
- "Igre pod dedovo lipo"
- "Metliške grajske prireditve"
- "Straška jesen"
- "Praznik harmonike"
- "Vinska vigred"
- "Kostanjeviška noč"
- "Topliška noč"
- "Semiška ohcet"
· the choir festival in Šentvid near Ivančna Gorica,
· fairs in Šentjernej, (the largest in Slovenia) and in Mokronog and Vesela Gora,
· celebration of the missionary
· Baraga, in Trebnje in June,
· annual performances of the plays of Josip Jurčič in the open air
· theatre at Muljava in summer,
· Črnomelj's fireman's festival, the Florjanovo, on 4th May, and the grand festival of folk dance and music in June - Jurjevanje.

c) Museums, castles, caves, spas,..
· Turjak Castle,
· Trubar Homestead,
· Podpeška jama cave,
· Ribnica Castle,
· Ledena and Želinje caves
· Kostel Castle(Kolpa river canyon and Nežica waterfall),
· Krška jama cave,
· Dolenjske Toplice health resort,
· island castle Otočec,
· Šmarješke Toplice health resort,
· Rosalnice(a group of three Gothic pilgrimage churches from the 14th and 15th century),
· Lahinja Landscape Park,
· Carthusian Monastery,
· Kostanjevica Castle and the Forma Viva sculpture park,
· Čatež Thermal Spa,
· Mokrice Castle.

4. Municipalities
The municipalities in the region of Dolenjska are:
· Novo mesto (civic municipality)
Novo mesto is the economic and cultural center of the Dolenjska region. It is situated at the crossroads of the main traffic routes in the middle of a hilly landscape just above the Krka river meander.
This area was settled above 1000 years B.C. Arheological excavations shows that the place was inhabited from the end of the Bronze Age until the end of the Roman empire. Most of the excavations are kept in the Dolenjska museum. The town was founded on the 7th of April 1365 by the Rudolf IV. von Hapsburg in purpose to firm a base of the Hapsburgs in their advance towards the Adriatic sea. A grammar-school was founded in 1746 and in 1749 a district office. The town got its primary school and in 1816 a girls-school. In 1850 was estabilshed the gendarmery and the court. In 1875 the National home (Narodni dom) was completed - it was the first in Slovene teritory. The railway connected Novo mesto with the other parts of the industrial Europe in 1894.
In 1958 the highway Ljubljana-Zagreb was built - that caused that Novo mesto started to grow in one of the main economic and industrial centres in Slovenia.
· Črnomelj
· Dolenjske Toplice
· Metlika
· Mirna Peč
· Semič
· Šentjernej
· Trebnje
· Žužemberk


Sources:
http://www.slovenia-tourism.si/
http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/si-07.html
http://www.spot-slovenia.com/major-attractions-slovenia-dolenjska.html
http://www.slovenia-heritage.net/ang/index.stm
http://www.burger.si/NovoMesto/NovoMesto2.htm


Matej Lenarčič, Peter Vonča, Hudobivnik Luka, Matic Tržan, G2A

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Slovenian political, social and economic system

Government type: parliamentary democratic republic The Slovenian head of state is the president, who is elected by popular vote every 5 years. The executive branch is headed by the prime minister and the council of ministers or cabinet, which are elected by the parliament.The bicameral Slovenian parliament consists of the National Assembly or Državni zbor, and the Državni svet or National Council. The National Assembly has 90 seats, which are partially filled with directly elected representatives, and partially with proportionally elected representatives (two seats reserved for autochthonous Hungarian and Italian minorities). The National Council has 40 seats, and is made up of representatives of social, economic, professional and local interest groups. Parliamentary elections are held every four years, while National Council members are elected indirectly every 5 years.

Executive branch
1. the president of the state

2. the prime minister (The leader of the majority party is usually nominated to become prime minister by the president and elected by the National Assembly.)

3. Council of Ministers (Cabinet)


Legislative branch

1. National Assembly (
“Državni zbor”)
2. National Council (“Državni svet”) This is primarily and advisory body organized on
corporatist principles with limited legislative powers, it may propose laws, ask to review any National Assembly decisions and call national referenda.

Judicial branch
1. Supreme Court (Judges are elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the Judicial Council.)

2. Constitutional Court (Judges are elected for nine-year terms by the National Assembly and nominated by the president.)


Economy
Slovenia is a high-income economy which enjoys the highest GDP per capita of the newly joined EU countries. GDP (gross domestic product) is often seen as an indicator of the standard of living in a country and is a measure of the value of economic production. In March 2004, Slovenia became the first transition country to graduate from borrower status to donor partn
er at the World Bank. The country has a relatively high rate of inflation (3.6% in 2004) when compared to the European Union average, even though inflation is expected to decline in 2005 to 2.5%. Slovenia's economy grew impressively in 2004, by 4.6%. Overall, the country is on a sound economic footing. However, much work remains to be done in the areas of privatization and capital market reform. The privatizations were already seen in the banking, telecommunications, and public utility sectors. Restrictions on foreign investment are slowly being dismantled, and foreign direct investment is expected to increase over the next two years. Slovenia can be considered one of the economic front-runners of the countries that joined the European Union in 2004. In mid-2004 Slovenia agreed to adopt the euro by 2007 and therefore, must keep its debt levels, budget deficities, interest rates and inflation levels within the Maastrict criteria.

Social System
The area of social care is one of the branches of social security and is founded on social justice,
solidarity and the principles of equal access and free selection of forms. The basic starting point for measures in the area of social care is ensuring dignity and equal opportunities and the prevention of social exclusion. A basic condition for the operation of Slovenia as a social state is harmonised economic and social development. The Republic of Slovenia has adopted a definition of social security as the right of the individual to be insured for the following risks: illness, unemployment, old age, injury at work, disability, motherhood, child maintenance and payments to family members after the death of the person maintaining the family, and the rights governed in Slovenia by the Social Security Act. Under the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia, the state is obliged to arrange compulsory health, pensions, disability and other social insurance, and to ensure their operation. It is at the same time obliged to protect the family, motherhood, fatherhood, children and young people, and to create the necessary conditions for such protection.
Marinka Žitnik

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Slovenia

http://www.gov.si/mddsz/index.php
http://www.ljse.si
http://www.ds-rs.si http://www.partow.net

Presentation of our school

Here is a short movie about our school. Enjoy.

Slovenia in general


REPUBLIKA SLOVENIJA

Capital and Largest city: Ljubljana
46°03′ N 14°30′ E



Offical languages:
Slovenian, Italian, Hungarian
Government: Democratic republic
President: Janez Drnovšek
Prime Minister: Janez Janša
Main political parties and leaders:
-Slovenian Democratic Party, Janez Janša

-Liberal Democracy of Slovenia, Jelko Kacin

-Slovenian National Party, Zmago Jelinčič

Independence: from Yugoslavia
•Declared: June 25, 1991
•Recognized: 1992
Area
•Total: 20,273 km²
•Water (%): 0,6 %
Population
2005 est.: 2,011,070
Density: 96/km²
Currency: Tolar (SIT)
Time zone: CET (UTC +1)
•Summer: CEST (UTC +2)
Internet TLD: .si
Calling code: +386
Bordering: Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia

by Teja Gortnar
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovenia

LJUBLJANA


Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is a dynamic Central European city lying at an altitude of 298 m above sea level and is located between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea. It covers a surface area of 275 km2 and has a population of 276,000. Its climate is continental, with an average temperature of 3,4˚ C in January and 21,9˚ C in July.

Ljubljana is a city with a high quality of life. Its very centre is occupied by parks and forests,.
It has a lot of theatres, museums, galleries and one even of the oldest philharmonic orchestras in the world. Every year it hosts more than 10,000 cultural events.

The old town
core is situated between the casle hill and the Ljubljanica River. Outskirts of the city are: Šiška, Bežigrad, Moste and Vič.

The Ljubljana Castle was built on top of a hill. It was used as a fortress in the 11. century. After a large earthquake that stroked in 1511, the castle was rebuilt. The remains show the signs of gothic (chapel of the st.Jurij) and Renaissance's time. The watch out tower was built in 1848. It was reconstructed in 1982. Nowadays the castle is main attraction for turists, who can get there by a small “train”. It is also capable of hosting weddings and is a great hiking point. If you ever intend of paying a visit, you should also pay attention at the monument of the labors rebellion.Ljubljana's castle is accecable by car or walking through the narrow street leading up to the castle.

The architect Joze Plecnik made a number of parks and squares in the town. His style was very much influenced by his trips to Rome and Paris as a student where he had admired the ancient Classical and Renaissance Masters.

The finest pices of art:

-The Ursuline Church: The Ursuline Church was built in 1718 to 1726 and is the most beautiful Baroque work in Ljubljana. The architect is unknown but the church is a model of Palladio's Church in Venice.

-The Three bridgeswhere constructed because of an earthquake in 1895. Because Ljubljana was under the government of Austria, the Austrians were paying for the rebuilding of the town. Actually the bridge, which was single at that time, didn't suffer from the earthquake, but they managed to make the Austrians believe otherwise. The city of Ljubljana got money to rebuild the bridge. The funds were used to enlarge the flow of people crossing the bridge by building two extra bridges on each side of the existing one. This was designed by Plecnik and is believed to be a unique construction.

-The Shoemakers bridge and the Three Bridges are the oldest bridges crossing the river Ljubljanica in Ljubljana, dating back to at least the 13th century.
The name of the Shoemakers bridge has a funny story behind it. It started out as a wooden bridge with butchers' booths on it, but the smell was so awful that the Emperor paid to have them removed to another place. The ones who took over the booths afterwards were shoemakers, giving the bridge its present name.
Because of many natural disasters like fires and floods, iron bridge was built in 1867. It was moved in 1931 further down the river where it is still in use, replaced by a stone bridge designed by Plecnik.

-Robba Fountain is situated on Mestni trg and is considered to be the youngest part of the medieval town, however, the history of the buildings of this area can be tracked back to the 12th century.
The fountain, next to The Townhall, is said to be the most beautiful Baroque monument in Ljubljana and it is quite well placed to the junction of threee streets. It symbolises the three rivers: Sava, Krka, Ljubljanica. It is 10m high.

Uroš Križman

Sources:
http://www.ljubljana.si/
http://www.ijs.si/slo/ljubljana/
http://geocities.com/ljubljanalife/
Ljubljana Life: Volume 8, Issue 2, Autumn 2005
http://www.burger.si/Ljubljana/Gradovi_LjubljanskiGrad.htm
http://www.ijs.si/slo/ljubljana/
Matjaž Chvatal in Željko Božek: Slovenija, turistični vodik, tourist guide, Reiseführer, guida furistica
http://www.burger.si/Ljubljana/Virtual/Panorama_KongresniTrg_Ursulinska_021099_0945.html

Friday, October 21, 2005

Slovenia

The Republic of Slovenia (Slovenian: Republika Slovenija) is a coastal sub-Alpine country in southern Central Europe bordering Italy to the west, the Adriatic Sea to the southwest, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north.
Slovenia was part of: Kingdom of Yugoslavia until 1945, SFR of Yugoslavia from 1945 until gaining independence in 1991. It became a member of the European Union on 1 May 2004. It is also a member of the Council of Europe, the NATO.
History It is believed that the Slavonic ancestors of the present-day Slovenians settled in the area in the 6th century. The Slavonic Duchy of Carantania, the first proto-Slovenian state and the first stable Slavonic state, was formed in the 7th century. In 745, Carantania lost its independence, being largely subsumed into the Frankish empire. Many Slavonic tribes converted to Christianity.
The Freising manuscripts, the earliest surviving written documents in Slovenian and the first ever Slavonic dialect documents in Latin script, were written around 1000. During the 14th century, most of Slovenia's regions passed into ownership of the Habsburgs whose lands later formed the Austro-Hungarian Empire, with the Slovenians inhabiting all or most of the provinces of Carniola, Gorizia and Gradisca, and parts of the provinces of Istria, Carinthia and Styria.
In 1848 a strong programme for a united Slovenia emerged as part of the "Spring of Nations" movement within Austria.
With the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in 1918, Slovenians joined the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later renamed (1929) the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Following the re-establishment of Yugoslavia at the end of World War II, Slovenia became a part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, officially declared in 1945. Present-day Slovenia was formed on 25 June 1991 upon its independence from Yugoslavia.
Politics The Slovenian head of state is the president, who is elected by popular vote every 5 years. The executive branch is headed by the prime minister and the council of ministers or cabinet, which are elected by the parliament.
The bicameral Slovenian parliament consists of the National Assembly or Državni zbor, and the Državni svet or National Council. The National Assembly has 90 seats, which are partially filled with directly elected representatives, and partially with proportionally elected representatives (two seats reserved for autochthonous Hungarian and Italian minorities). The National Council has 40 seats, and is made up of representatives of social, economic, professional and local interest groups. Parliamentary elections are held every four years, while National Council members are elected indirectly every 5 years.
Economy Slovenia is a high-income economy which enjoys the highest GDP per capita of the newly joined EU countries. The country has a relatively high rate of inflation when compared to the European Union average, even though inflation is expected to decline in 2005 to 2.5%. Overall, the country is on a sound economic footing. However, much work remains to be done in the areas of privatization and capital market reform.
During 2000, privatizations were seen in the banking, telecommunications, and public utility sectors. Restrictions on foreign investment are slowly being dismantled, and foreign direct investment is expected to increase over the next two years. Slovenia can be considered one of the economic front-runners of the countries that joined the European Union in 2004. In mid-2004 Slovenia agreed to adopt the euro by 2007 and therefore, must keep its debt levels, budget deficities, interest rates and inflation levels within the Maastrict criteria.
Historical regions Traditional Slovenian regions, based on the former division of Slovenia on three crown lands (Carniola, Styria and Goriška) and their parts, are:
Gorenjska (Upper Carniola) (denoted on the map by U.C.)
Štajerska (Styria) (S)
Prekmurje (Transmuraland) (T)
Koroška (Carinthia) (C)
Notranjska (Inner Carniola) (I.C.)
Dolenjska (Lower Carniola) (L.C.)
Goriška (G)
Slovenska Istra (Slovenian Istria) (L)
Municipalities: Slovenia is divided into 193 municipalities (občine, singular - občina), of which 11 have urban status.
Geography Four major European geographic regions meet in Slovenia: the Alps, the Dinarides, the Pannonian plain, and the Mediterranean. Slovenia's highest peak is Triglav (2864 m); the country's average height above the sea level is 557 m. Around one half of the country (10,124 km²) is covered by forests; this makes Slovenia the third most forested country in Europe, after Finland and Sweden. Remnants of primeval forests are still to be found, the largest in the Kočevje area.
Its climate is Submediterranean on the coast, Alpine in the mountains and continental with mild to hot summers and cold winters in the plateaus and valleys to the east. The average temperatures are -2°C in January and 21°C in July. The average rainfall is 1000 mm for the coast, up to 3500 mm for the Alps, 800 mm for south east and 1400 mm for central Slovenia.
Demographics Slovenia's ethnic groups are: Slovenians (89%); Croats, Serbs, Bosniaks and other nationalities of the former Yugoslavia (10%); and the ethnic Hungarian and Italian minorities (0.5%). Life expectancy in 2000 was 71 years for men and 79 years for women.
With 95 inhabitants per km², Slovenia ranks low among the European countries in population density (compare with 320/km² for the Netherlands or 195/km² for Italy). Approximately 50% of the total population lives in urban areas, the rest in rural.
The official language is Slovenian, which is a member of the South Slavic language group. Hungarian and Italian enjoy the status of official language in the nationally mixed regions along the Hungarian and Italian border.
Culture Slovenia got its first printed book with protestant reformer Primož Trubar (1508-1586). It was actually two books, Catechismus (a catechism) and Abecedarium, which was published in 1550 in Tübingen, Germany.
Part of the country, namely Carniola (which existed until the 19th century) was etnographically and historically well described in the book The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola, published in 1689 by baron Janez Vajkard Valvasor (1641-1693).
Slovenia's two great literates were poet Dr. France Prešeren (1800-1849) and writer Ivan Cankar (1876-1918). The most important Slovenian painters are Ivana Kobilca and impressionist Rihard Jakopič. The most important Slovenian architect is Jože Plečnik.
Slovenia is a homeland of numerous musicians and composers, including Renaissance composer Jacobus Gallus (1550-1591). He influenced Central European classical music very much. In the 20th century, Bojan Adamič was a renowned film music composer.
Contemporary popular musicians have been Slavko Avsenik, Laibach, Vlado Kreslin, New Swing Quartet, Siddharta and most recently Atomik Harmonik.
Slovenia's learned men include physicist Jožef Stefan, linguist Franc Miklošič and mathematician Jurij Vega.
Biodiversity Although Slovenia is a small country, different influences interact there. The Alps are in the north (namely, Julian Alps, Karavanke, Kamnik Alps), the Dinarides lie in the south, and there is also a small part of Pannonian plain and a Littoral Region. It also has Karst - a very rich underground world. Diverse flora and fauna are found there.
The autochthonous fish Soča trout is found in Slovenia. There are dolphins in the Adriatic Sea, but also whales can appear here.
Domestic animals originating in Slovenia include the Carniolan honeybee, the autochthonous Karst Sheepdog and the Lipizzan horse breed.
The national proverb says: "A true Slovenian must raise a child, write a book and plant a tree."
Sources:
http://www.en.wikipedia.org/Slovenia
http://www.ceeman.org/
http://www.uvi.si/
http://www.hervardi.com/
http://www.answers.com/

By Marinka Žitnik

Ljubljana and The Upper Secondary School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Ljubljana

Ljubljana is the capital of the independent Slovenia since 1991. The river Ljubljanica flows through Ljubljana. The population of Ljubljana is around 280.000 people,
495.000 in the urban Ljubljana area. Historians disagree as to where the name comes from. Although it is commonly pointed out that it originates out of the Slovenian word "ljubljena" (a feminine form of beloved), this is not known for certain. A lot of nations conquered Ljubljana during the history, such as Romans, Napoleon’s army, etc. We were a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During the Second World War Ljubljana was occupied until 1945. After the World War Two Ljubljana became the capital of Yugoslav socialist republic of Slovenia. When Slovenia gained independence in 1991,Ljubljana became the capital city of an independent country.

HISTORY
The building was finished in 1875. With its monumental architecture and its Renaissance design, the building was approved by the owner, “Kranjske Hranilnice”. “Real Gymnasium” – Technical Grammar School was establish in Ljubljana in 1872. It soon became an excellent grammar school. In the history of the school a lot of famous Slovenian people were teachers, such as: writers Juš and Ferdo Kozak, the composer Anton Foerster, the painter Gojmir Anton Kos, the mathematician Josip Mazi, the physicist Lavo Čermelj and many others. And also a lot of students, which became famous later, were learning at this school, such as: the writers Ivan Cankar and Mile Klopčič, the poet Srečko Kosovel, the painter Rihard Jakopič, the architect Maks Fabiani, the electrical engineer and chess player Milan Vidmar, the actor Vladimir Skrbinšek and many more.
The history of the grammar school was very dynamic, except between 1915-1945, because of the First and Second World War.
In 1959 the building became the Secondary Schoo for Electrical Engineeringl. The school became the best and the most important school for the area of electrical engineering and computer science technicians. Our students became, after studying at the university of Ljubljana, the leading engineers in our country.
In 1996 the school became again the grammar school.



THE UPPER SECONDARY SCHOOL OF ELECTRCAL AND COMPUTER ENGENEERING LJUBLJANA
The school has 38 classes, 1035 students and 48 rooms. We are the TECHNICAL VOCATIONAL and the TECHNICAL GRAMMAR SCHOOL with 73 teachers. The current headmaster is Mr. Silvester Tratar.
SŠER LJ. is located in Ljubljana, near the Kongres Square and on the street called Vegova and because of the street, almost everybody knows The Upper Secondary School of Electicaland Computer Engineering Ljubljana by the name “Vegova”.

Across our school is the University of Ljubljana.

By Samo R. Stergel

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Slovenia -presentation

Slovenia - Life is Always Greener on the Other Side? (LAGOS)

Marinka Žitnik and Samo Stergel will be representatives of the G 2. A class taking part in the Comenius project exchange in Italy (Cava dei Tereni). Students will be preparing for the visit. Presentation of our county and our school is a part of the preparation. In Cava dei Tereni we will meet students and teachers from our partner schools:

1. Abja Gűmnaasium (Estonia),
2.
Zespół Szkół Technicznych i Liecealnych (Poland),

3. Istituto Tecnico Commerciale, Liceo Tecnico per le attivita’ gestionali Matteo Della Corte (Italy),
4. Nummi-Pusulan koulu ja lukio ( Finland).


The description af all the schools should be added to this blogger.