Literary trails of Ljubljana

In Ljubljana, City of Literature by Unesco and the World Book Capital 2010, there are a number of memorial houses where visitors get an insight into the lives and minds of the artists.

It is no coincidence that Ljubljana got the prestigious UNESCO title. Slovenians are probably the only nation in the world that celebrates a cultural day as a national holiday. The language and reading culture have played a crucial role in the Slovenian history as they helped the Slovenians to preserve their own language and identity in an area between Germanic and Romance people.

Slovenians, a nation of poets

People often say that Slovenians are a nation of poets. Slovenian artists have always kept in touch with time and have used foreign influences, tested them and adapted them to match the Slovenian soul. Thus, they have enriched the European cultural legacy with their often very original works.

The most famous historical figures

Primož Trubar (1508-1586), the central figure of the Protestant Reformation in Slovenia, published the first two printed Slovenian books called Catechismus and Abecedarium.

Janez Vajkard Valvasor (1641-1693), the author of the famous The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola, is noted for being the best chronicler of the Slovenian lands, customs and habits.

France Prešeren (1800-1849), the most important Slovenian poet, belonged to the Romantic Movement. He is also known for his efforts to modernize the Slovenian language.

Ivan Cankar (1876-1918) distinctly marked the contemporary Slovenian culture. In his works, he depicted the artificialness of different structures and layers of the Austrian and Slovenian society.

Slovenian literature today

Nowadays, the creative pulse is still strong. Among a number of globally recognised names are the following: philosopher Slavoj Žižek, authors Boris Pahor, Drago Jančar, Brina Svit, Miha Mazzini, writer and illustrator of juvenile books Lila Prap and poets Tomaž Šalamun, Svetlana Makarovič, Aleš Debeljak, Uroš Zupan and Aleš Šteger.

In addition to the very rich literary production, there are numerous international literary festivals held in Slovenia every year. The most famous among these are Vilenica, Fabula and Days of Poetry and Wine.

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