God Vodin can be traced back to the Venetic people who had settled in Scandinavia. There are also traces of him elsewhere, particularly in pre-christian Caranthania, as the god 


Liznjek Homestead

Liznjek house highlights the well established residential culture of country houses in the Upper Sava Valley during the first half of the 17th century. In the centre of Kranjska gora …

King Matjaž

Kralj Matjaž/King Mathias is the mythical king of the Slovenian people. The stories of Kralj Matjaž are many, and can be traced far back to pagan times. He represents a mythical ruler …


Terra Cognita

In its central European space, Slovenia has maintained a powerful sense of national identity, evident in a highly diversified cultural life, and cultural forms nurtured with long traditions …

Dominkova Homestead

Dominkova Homestead is today more than a museum. Medicinal herbs are growing in the garden. In front of the house they still sow corn, plant garlic and other produce …

Herman Noordnung Potočnik

Slovenian space travel pioneer When Herman Potočnik, a retired captain and construction engineer in the Austro-Hungarian army published his book The Problem of Space Travel – The Rocket Motor, he did it under…


Idrija lace

Bobbin lace-making is a unique phenomenon in Slovenia. It has developed most intensively in the Idrija area, although the skill has always been practiced in other parts of the country …


The Next World

Carantanians believed that there was a world where the departed dead go, deep underground. There is also an upper world, a beautiful garden, in the mountains, a metaphor for paradise.

Slovenian cuisine

There are more than forty distinct cuisines in a country, whose main distinguishing feature is a great variety of land formation, climate, and history.


Škratelj House

Škratelj House in Divača was built in the 17th century. An important stopover hostelry, it served all traffic until the construction of the railroad between Vienna and Trieste …

The Water Man

In Slovenian folklore there are countless tales of Povodni mož/Water man, sometimes called Gestrin. He is a water spirit, often described as half man, half fish, who can change his appearance on land and may play mischief on humans.


Čatež as described in Slovenian legends is identical with Greek Pan, and his double Roman Silvanus. In common with these deities Čatež is half man half goat, and has horns.

The Trubar Homestead

The three buildings stand on the spot, where Trubar homestead stood, the house where he was born in 1508, with the mill and sawmill. However the present buildings are of more recent date – merely 200 years old.


In Slavic languages Triglav means the three-headed one. The image of the three-headed god is recorded in the sources on Pomerania, in traditions of Branibor and indirectly of Carantania, where it


Water Man and the Boy

Many tales of the Water Man are about his loneliness and goodwill towards humans. He sometimes saves or kidnaps young maidens or children, is kind to them and offers them a wonderful life with great treasures to entice them into staying with him.


Maya, goddess of nature, greenery and flowers gave the name to the month May. Its visible symbol is maypole (orig. Sl. mlaj), also also called may or maya, which is the focal point of 1st May festivities


House of Tona

Tona’s house/Tonina hiša got its name after its last resident, the well-to-do farm owner, Mrs. Antonija Goreli. Some 500 years old building, it is a beautiful example of Istrian rural architecture.

Dancing horses of Lipica

They were bred to selected imported mares and the local Karst horses, which were white in colour, small, slow to mature and extremely tough.



Živa was above all the goddess of water. In the consciousness of people she represented the concept of life, personified by water. She was their first “goddess”, even before mother Earth, who rules



Vile are mythological beings in south Slavic folklore, incarnation of beauty and power, benevolent friends of sufferers, the dwellers of forests and rivers. Shared by most Slavic cultures …

Maksim Gaspari: Self-portrait (1905) (lastna podoba)

Maksim Gaspari. Artist for the People

Maksim Gaspari, (1883 – 1980) Slovenian painter and illustrator has been and continues to be immensely popular in his homeland. His is a priceless cultural legacy to Slovenian people, embedded principally in a huge postcard collection. He had created a unique and distinct style, and a pictorial and artistic corpus of work portraying the people of rural Slovenia in the 19th century.

The Past Captured in Fashions

Clothes worn by the country people in Slovenian Lands till the start of 20th century Mankind had discovered weaving far back in the history of mankind. Embroidery and embellishment of clothes with…


Slovenian lands in 16th century

The fighting and survival strengths of Slovenian people were tested to their limits. They emerged as a self-aware people with a literary language. Protestantism was a watershed …


Janez Vajkard Valvasor

At that time, and some time after, no other country could boast of such a publication. In this work he describes Carniola, the central Slovenian region.

Herman of Carinthia

Slovenian translator and polymath Herman of Carinthia was most probably born in Carinthia, the ancient Slovenian land, circa 1110. He is variously referred to as Herman of Carinthia, Herman Sclavus (Herman the…


Kavčnik Homestead

The Kavčnik homestead with its central part named “dimnica” (smokehouse) takes us back some 400 years. In this space the family slept, cooked, ate and worked.

How it came to be

In the rich Slovenian folk tale tradition there are many different types of tales. Very significant, attractive and often humourous are the tales of how things came to be. We are presenting the tale of how the rocky Kras region of Slovenia, and the Vilenica cave.


Dogana, the goddess of morning, also called Zora (dawn) personified the morning light. She represented the start of the working day, and the end of winter when days begin to lengthen. Her feast was Candlemas.

Primož Trubar

The third defining event in Slovenian history is the emergence of reformation and its guiding spirit – Primož Trubar, a priest and disciple of Martin Luther. Trubar argued for Slovenian …


Proteus anginus

In the eighteenth century the amphibian, proteus anginus, inhabitant of subterranean waters, was considered to be progeny of the dragon.

Tales of three rivers

Tales about rivers have a special place in Slovenian tradition. They reflect the fondness the Slovenian people have towards their major rivers and express the gratitude and appreciation for the prosperity they bring to their land.

The White Serpent

The white serpent / bela kača occupies a significant place in Slovenian mythology. Known mostly as the guardian of great hidden treasures,  it is a powerful magical being, that can be benevolent towards mankind, rewarding kindness and good deeds.


Lacemaking in Slovenia on Unesco Heritage List

Nomination for the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage On October 26, 2018, The evaluation committee of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Conference  nominated Lacemaking in Slovenia for the UNESCO’s representative list…

Vodnar / Aquarius

There are few traces left of Vodnar, god of waters in Slovenian tradition, but he lives on in the folk tales as the water man, inhabiting the rivers and lakes of Slovenia, and as St. Christopher, the bread-giver.

Tales of Dwarfs

The underground is the domain of the dwarfs, who guard its treasures. They can lead to great riches, but never willingly. They must be tricked to reveal the hidden treasures of the earth. In their contact with humanity, they are mischievous and love to play tricks.


Architecture of Abiro established by architects Miloš Florjaničič (1955) and Matej Blenkuš (1971) significantly marked the space of Slovenian contemporary architecture …

Pust / Shrovetide Carnival

Pust of Slovenian tales is a Dyonisian figure, appearing in many folktales as the spirit of merriment and wine. The shrovetide festivity is called “pustovanje,”and it celebrates the winter’s end.

Glagolitic script in Slovenia

Glagolica was still in common use in parts of Slovenia during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. In the 16th century Reformation movement and the introduction by Primož Trubar of the Latin …

Bonfire man

Kresnik appears to be the fire god, the son of the sun god, or in later tradition a powerful hero with magic powers. The word Kresnik derives from kres/bonfire and the bonfires of midsummer solstice.

Yuri Venelin (1802-1839)

Yuriy Venelin: Ancient and Modern Slovenes

Yuri Venelin (1802-1839) was Russian and the first historian of the Slavic peoples on European territory. He maintained that European history had been written almost exclusively from the Roman or German point of view, ignoring the presence and influence of the Slavic peoples of Europe.


Jože Peterkoč

Emancipation of form Profile: In the decade after his graduation from the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana in 1990, architect Jože Peterkoč (1962) was still highly influenced by prevailing architectural thought in…

The Goldenhorn

The legend of Goldenhorn/Zlatorog, the white steinbock with golden horns, is one of the best known Slovenian tales. His realm are the heights of Slovenia’s legendary mountain, Triglav, where tended by White women or Vile (fairies), he guards great treasures.


The Saltpans of Sečovlje

The Sečovlje saltpans (Sečoveljske soline) on the Slovenian Mediterranean coast are today a part of one of the largest coastal marsh wetlands (650 hectares). The wetlands in the estuary of Dragonja River…

Vladimir Bartol and his novel Alamut

Vladimir Bartol (1903-1967) published his novel Alamut in 1938. Set in northwestern Persia of 1092, it was intended to be a metaphor for Europe of his own time, providing insight into the rise of totalitarianism.


The worship of Svetovid or Svantevid has been established among Baltic Slavs, Rugians and Pomeranians, and Carantanians in the Alpine region. We encounter him only in Middle Europe.


Karst sheepdog

"He is intelligent, listens attentively and understands what he is told to do; in short – he is a perfect sheepdog, afraid of nothing."

Frescoes of Hrastovlje

The eye is assailed by a plethora of images and warm, rich colours, every space and surface aglow with familiar images of Christian iconography

The Other World

In his article Perceptions of Landscapes, Zmago Šmitek speaks of wealth and diversity in the Slovenian folk tradition, of the imagined, dream, fantastic, utopian, fairy-tale places …


Jože Plečnik

The architectural legend of Slovenia Joze Plečnik (1872-1957) holds a special place in the history of the Slovene nation. He became one of the leading architects of central Europe, creating innovative work…

Pre-Christian goddess worship

In the frescoes of Hrastovlje he discovered the representation of an ancient pre-Christian religion of the Goddess, which existed in a matriarchal world order later to be displaced …

Soča Front/Isonzo Front

The World War I started with a shot in Sarajevo on 28 June, 1914. Gavrilo Princip a young Bosnian assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austro-Hungary…  



Belin is an ancient deity. He succeeded the Great Spirit of the Age of Hunters and appeared as the highest god in the Age of Shepherds and Tillers. He manifested as 


Vesna, the goddess of spring is better known in other Slavic traditions. In Slovenian tradition this is expressed in festivity of Palm Sunday, Flower Sunday in Slovenian and symbolized in “butara,” the Easter sheaf.


Anton Janša

Anton Janša: "Among all of God’s creatures there is none as industrious and as useful, and needing less care, nourishment, or costing less than the bee".


Baron Sigismund von Herberstein

An eminent diplomat of the Habsburg Empire in the 16th century, Sigismund (Žiga) von Herberstein (1486-1566) was the first to make use of his knowledge of Slovenian language in his diplomatic career and in research.



Korant was god father of his people. His name can be traced back to the people called Carni and their land Korotan. Roman Noricum included him in its pantheon as Caruontanus.


Ofis Architects

Architect Nande Korpnik (1962) was born in Velenje, a city which is a unique example of Slovenian urban planning. The specifics of his environment in his formative years mixed …

Stična Abbey

A centre of learning, it surpassed for a period of time in influence and standing Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenian territories.

Tales of rivers

These are widely known Slovenian folk tales; "Tale about Drava River" is an account how rye and wheat grain came to Slovenian lands. The "Drava, Sava and Soča" compares the character of the three rivers…

Anton Martin Slomšek, Priest and educator in the age of Enlightenment

One of the most significant contributions to Slovenian education was made by Anton Martin Slomšek, a prominent Slovenian of the time. Born in 26 November 1800, the same year as France Prešeren, he was to be appointed to an exalted position as the Bishop of Lavant, but the work into which he put all his energy and undoubtedly great ability was Slovenian language education. 

Šmit Homestead

The homestead is typical of the lower Pannonian region, built of beams coated on both sides with clay. It is a distinctive regional building style called locally cimprača …

Perceptions of landscape

The triad of gods Perun, Veles, and Mokoš are narrowly linked to the characteristics of Slav landscapes. Perun was linked with sky and high mountains, Veles was god of the underground …


Frygian name Zemele means earth in Baltic and Slavic languages, the ground, the world. Its identification with the Greek Gaia has been preserved by Latvians as mother earth Žemyna

Žiga Zois, Man of the Enlightenment

It was the Age of Enlightenment. In Austria and in Slovenian lands of the empire, Žiga Zois became the leading patron of the arts and sciences, owner of the largest private library in the Austrian Empire, second only to the State Library of Vienna. It is estimated that the library collection exceeded 2,700 titles in the second decade of the nineteen century.


The name Kresnik is reflected in the word “kres” (bonfire), that derives from the word “iskra” (spark). The original meaning of all these names is ultimately fire, symbolic representation of the Sun.


Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus

First Bible translator to Latin Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus  (347 – 420 AD), aka St. Hieronymus or St Jerome in English, was a Roman, born in the town of Stridon near Emona in…


ISSV Publications and Web Projects 1984 – 2013

From 1984 – 2013 Institute for Slovenian Studies of Victoria publications, materials for Slovenian language learning, teaching and Slovenian culture studies…

Slovenian Community in Australia