Slovenia Geography

By | October 17, 2021


Slovenia is a predominantly mountainous region, being affected by the extreme southeastern foothills of the Alpine chain, from which the reliefs of the Dinarides detach. The reliefs are oriented according to two main alignments: to the N, along the border with Austria, the Karawanken, the Kamnik Alps and the Pohorje extend with the WE direction, separating the Drava basin from that of the Sava; to the W, near the border with Italy, they stretch towards the SE starting from m. Triglav (Tricorno, 2863 m) the reliefs of the Julian Alps which continue in the Dinarides. Between these two mountainous alignments opens the upper basin of the Sava: the north-eastern sector of Slovenia is occupied by the basins of the Drava and Mura rivers, the south-western one by a part of the peninsula of Istria. The only Slovenian river to flow into the Adriatic is the Soča (Isonzo), which originates from the Eastern Alps and in the plain, in Nova Gorica (Gorizia), passes into Italian territory. The Karst stretches between Ljubljana and the border with Italy, a succession of limestone plateaus characterized by caves, gorges, sinkholes and rivers, sometimes underground. The climate is semi-continental, with cold winters, hot summers and abundant rainfall (1200-1400 mm per year), especially on the hills.


In the complex and heterogeneous cultural panorama of Balkan Europe, Slovenia represents an exception, being one of the few states where the compactness and numerical superiority of the national ethnic group are very clear. The Slovenes, descendants of the Southern Slavs who settled in the territory starting from the 6th century, represent 83.1% of the entire population. The remaining 17% is divided into numerous minorities, among which the most consistent, from a numerical point of view, is the Serbian one (2%), which for the most part is the result of immigration in the last years of the last century and only in limited extent comes from the groups of Serbs who settled in the fifteenth century. in the Gorjanci mountains region. The Croatian minority (1.8%) has a slightly lower consistency than the Serbs, whose relations with Slovenes have traditionally been positive and facilitated, in part, by the fact that, like Slovenes, Croats also profess the Catholic religion . The border area with Croatia is the one where the Croatian presence predominates, even if a small representation is located in the narrow coastal area of Istria under Slovenian sovereignty.

Bosnian Muslims also moved to Slovenia and their percentage (1.1%), as well as that of the other minorities of the former Yugoslav Federation, increased due to the migration to Slovenia of tens of thousands of refugees from territories affected by the civil war. On the other hand, the two non-Slavic minorities of the Magyars (0.3%) and the Italians (0.1%) can boast an older permanence in the Slovenian territory, which over time have seen their consistency gradually decrease. However, they are particularly protected by the Constitution, which grants them the right to express their own representative in the Ljubljana Parliament. The Magyars are based in the Maribor area(Marburg) and Pluj, while the Italians are present mainly in the coastal towns of Pirano (Pirano) and Koper(Capodistria), but also in the hinterland of Trieste.

Before the Second World War, the Italians constituted the absolute majority of the population of these territories, but in reaction to the climate of violence established by Tito’s partisans, a very high percentage returned to Italy, abandoning all their assets and thus starting the question of how to return them. This problem became current again after the disintegration of the former Yugoslav Federation, which also meant the violation of the principle of the non-separability of the Italian minority in Yugoslavia, established in the Treaty of Osimo, whose adaptation to the new requirements was accomplished with the entry of Slovenia into the EU. According to iamhigher, the average population density is 100 residents per km², with considerable differences between the mountainous or karst areas of the West and the eastern plain. The urban population represents 48% of the total (2008). The main cities, besides the capital Ljubljana (Ljubljana), are Maribor, Celje, Kranj and Koper. The railway network guarantees connections with neighboring states, but there are numerous areas of the country not reached by the service. The road and motorway system is quite developed. There are two axes of international connection, which intersect in Ljubljana: the one in the NW-SE direction, which connects the countries of the Germanic area with the Balkans, and the one in the WE direction, which connects Italy and Europe. Mediterranean with the Pannonian plain. The latter connection, according to the European Union “Corridor 5” project, will be strengthened and expanded, including a motorway section, a railway section and a digital corridor that will connect Lisbon to Kiev, passing through Milan, Venice, Trieste and Ljubljana.

Slovenia Country and People