School is still in Session at the Slovenian School Museum

by Inga Batur

Nobody wants to think about school on their vacation, right. School is boring and you want to have fun on your travels. Slovenian School Museum might just change your mind.

Their exhibitions are fun and interesting, but what sets it apart from other museums is a chance to step back in time and attend a class in the strict primary school in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. This is an experience you’ll never forget.

What is Slovenian School Museum?

For starters it’s one of the oldest museums in Slovenia, founded way back in 1898. The idea for the museum showcasing the history of school and the work of teachers in Slovenia originally came from Jakob Dimnik, a primary school teacher from Ljubljana.

It houses permanent and different special exhibitions with the common goal – giving visitors a chance to learn about education in Slovenia spanning over centuries.

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It’s a fun museum to visit, especially with kids who are attending school. They get to see how different it once was. Much stricter that’s for sure. My kids started appreciating their teacher and classes more after the visit.

Adults too will find it intriguing, maybe you’ll find something that you had to use in school or your parents and can share the memory with your family.

We loved seeing old photographs, notebooks, annual school reports and old desks, chairs and blackboards.

The Slovenian School Museum is also very proud of the library holding more than 55,000 titles, including a large number of rare pedagogical books written in the 18th and 19th centuries.

žWe learned about the history of the everyday life and the importance of education, because it has the power to influence all the great historic event by teaching young minds.

Fun fact about the museum

In addition to the interesting exhibitions, which will help you understand Slovenia better, there is a classroom from the late 19th century permanently on display. Enter it and step back in time.

Try a turn-of-the-20th-century lesson

Definitely the best thing about this museum is a chance to attend school. Doesn’t sound right? But if you want a different experience, something that will stay with you long after you’ve come home from your vacation, I encourage you to enrol in class and experience first-hand what primary school was like in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which Slovenia was once a part of.

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The goal of the class, taught in English, is for pupils - you to get to know the importance of discipline and tidiness, learn where the name Ljubljana originates from, discuss Slovenian poet France Prešeren and his poem »A Toast« (Slovenian anthem) and learn how to count from one to ten in the Slovenian language.

The lesson is suitable for children aged 12 and over as well as adults. It is taught to a minimum of seven people and a maximum of 30 adults or 40 children. To arrange it, send an email to: prijavassm@guest.arnes.si.

Opening hours

The museum is open from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm and every first Saturday of the month from 10 am to 2 pm and by prior arrangement. On weekends and public holidays, it is closed.

Group visits should be arranged by appointment.

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How to get here?

The building is across the street from the Kongresni square (Kongresni trg), right in the city centre and it’s next to another interesting place, the Ursuline Monastery and the Church of the Holy Trinity, also referred to as the Ursuline Church (Uršulinska cerkev).

How long should you plan?

If you’ll be attending the lesson, which you should, my kids still talk about it, then plan at least a couple of hours for the class and the exhibits. And have fun.

Inga Batur

Inga Batur thinks all the trips with the kids should be fun(ny).

More about Inga Batur

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