Lifestyle

19 Jan 2020, 11:47 AM

Keep up with the daily news in Slovenia by checking the morning headlines here. What to find out what happened last week in Slovenia? Look no further.

The following schedule was prepared by the STA:

MONDAY, 20 January
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Finance Minister Andrej Bertoncelj will take part in a session of the Eurogroup, focusing on deepening the economic and monetary union and the European Commission's recommendations for the euro zone as part of the European semester.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar will take part in a session of the EU Foreign Affairs Council discussing developments in Bolivia, India, Libya and Venezuela.
        LJUBLJANA - The Office for Slovenians Abroad will speak about the course of repatriation of Venezuelans of Slovenian descent.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor will receive the credentials of newly appointed ambassadors from Australia, Italy, Russia, Paraguay and Saudi Arabia.
        LJUBLJANA - The Human Rights Ombudsman's council will debate climate policy and Slovenia's long-term climate strategy.
        LJUBLJANA - President Borut Pahor will host a reception to mark the 30th anniversary since a Slovenian delegation walked out of the 14th congress of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, a major milestone in the break-up of Yugoslavia.
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary inquiry into party financing will interview former governor of the central bank, Boštjan Jazbec, and former NKBM bank executives.
        LJUBLJANA - The presidency of the coalition Social Democrats (SD) will be in session to debate plans for 2020.
        LJUBLJANA - The Health Insurance Institute and the Public Administration Ministry will launch electronic medical certificate for sick leave.
        LJUBLJANA - An international photo exhibition Rabbit Hole will kick start Slovenia 2050 festival at Cankarjev Dom.

TUESDAY, 21 January
        DAVOS, Switzerland - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec will take part in the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum; until 22 Jan.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Development and Cohesion Policy Minister Angelika Mlinar will hold talks with European Cohesion Commissioner Elisa Ferreira.
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - Finance Minister Andrej Bertoncelj will take part in a session of EU finance ministers discussing taxation of digital economy and the European Green Deal.
        LJUBLJANA - The Defence Ministry will present a white paper on defence policy.
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Intelligence Oversight Commission will discuss hirings at the intelligence agency SOVA behind closed doors.
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Infrastructure Committee will debate planned investment in traffic infrastructure until 2025.
        LJUBLJANA - A debate held by the Peace Institute will discuss repatriation of persons granted international protection in Slovenia and the EU.
        LJUBLJANA - A press conference on HPV infections will mark European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.

WEDNESDAY, 22 January
        JERUSALEM, Israel - President Borut Pahor will take part in the World Holocaust Forum marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp; until 23 Jan.
        LJUBLJANA - An international conference on performance-based remuneration in the public sector.
        LJUBLJANA - Conventa, a two-day trade show for business tourism in New Europe, will get under way.
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Committee on Education, Science, Sport and Youth will debate shortage of dentists in the country.
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary committees on defence and health will debate helicopter emergency service at a joint session.
        LJUBLJANA - The Museum of Contemporary History will host a symposium dedicated to the 30th anniversary of a walk-out of the Slovenian delegation from the 14th congress of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.
        LJUBLJANA - The Slovenian Film Centre will speak about plans for the year.

THURSDAY, 23 January
        ZAGREB, Croatia - Boštjan Poklukar will attend an informal session of the EU's Justice and Home Affairs Council.
        LJUBLJANA - An auction of the bankruptcy estate of Adria Airways, including its Air Operator's Certificate.
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Constitution Commission will resume debate on a proposal to start procedure for constitutional reform.
        MARIBOR - A commemoration ahead of the 27 January International Holocaust Remembrance Day, to be addressed by Culture Minister Zoran Poznič.
        PORTOROŽ - A two-day tax conference will get under way.
        LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office will release the consumer confidence index for January.
        POKLJUKA - The IBU World Cup Biathlon meet will get under way, to run until 26 January.

FRIDAY, 24 January
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Commission for Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services will debate the legality of hiring at the intelligence agency SOVA.
        LJUBLJANA - A public debate on 5G technology, hosted by the Public Administration Ministry.
        ČRNA NA KOROŠKEM - A three-day festival King Matthias's Castles will get under way as part of which participants will build sculptures from ice and snow.
        ŽALEC - The annual BUMfest percussion festival will kick off, until 26 January.

SATURDAY, 25 January
        LJUBLJANA - 2020, a theatre production inspired by texts by contemporary Israeli historian and thinker Yuval Noah Harari, will open at Cankarjev Dom.
        MARIBOR - The newspaper publisher Večer will hand out its Spade of the Year award for the statement that its readership believe best captured the zeitgeist of 2019.

SUNDAY, 26 January
        POKLJUKA - The IBU World Cup Biathlon meet will come to a close.

 

19 Jan 2020, 09:00 AM

If you're not in town for the week of this guide (20 - 26 January, 2020) then you can see all the editions here, and if there's event or activity you want to promote in a future edition of What's on in Ljubljana please get in touch with me at flanner(at)total-slovenia-news.com or try and find me on Facebook. If you want something a little different and easy to print, then a comprehensive PDF of events for the next seven days, as prepared by Ljubljana Tourism, is here. If you're in town and want to follow the news then check out our regular morning headlines for Slovenia here.

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You can see more about upcoming events and festivals in Slovenia  here, to fill your calendar with things to look forward to, while below is a selection of entertainments, educations and diversions on around the capital in the next seven days.

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday SNG Opera and Ballet are putting on Tchaikovsky’s Joan of Arc, all starting at 19:30 except Friday, when it’s 18:00.

Alcoholics Anonymous has an English language meeting every Tuesday, 19:00 in Poljane – email for more details: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Friday Kino Šiška has the acclaimed Slovenian musician Bowrain presenting a new music project titled 2020 Seconds(A)live at 20:00. Same night, 21:00, there’s Jazz at the Castle, and this week it’s Femi Temowo.

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Friday and Saturday 20:00 the city’s most intimate venue, Pocket Theatre, is bringing back Vaudeville: Matilda, Let's Do It. It’s a small place and usually sells out. Details here.

Saturday the 5th Philharmonic Festival of Baroque Music is back with another concert, with this one titled Handel and the English, with the other names being Arne, Avison, Purcell, Greene and Boyce. Note that this starts at 11:00am, at Slovenian Philharmonic, Kongresni trg 10. The piece from Handel is the one shown below.

Still open until 5 March, 2020, Magic Ice-rink Lumpi Park offers 600 m2 of the covered ice surface and 180 m of ice-skating paths which enable you to skate through the Sports park Savsko naselje, at Kranjčeva ulica 24. Details here.

Looking ahead, the next edition of the MENT music festival, in early February, has just announced the full line-up. Check it out

New or new-ish movies in town this week include the following:

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In town and looking for a gift or souvenir? Take a look at Cook Eat Slovenia - the book.

How much do tourists spend in Slovenia? Find out here

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You may have heard about Free Tour Ljubljana, the tour company that’s #1 on TripAdvisor for the city and gives away its main product. What’s the deal with that? Find out here.

While the Old Town is quaint, and full of music, where does Ljubljana really shop? One popular answer is BTC City, a vast complex of malls, entertainment facilities and more, including more than 70 different food vendors, offering everything from Slovenian to Thai, Indian to Italian, Mexican to Chinese. Check out my recent visit here.

Looking for something different to eat? Trubajeva cesta, running right by Dragon Bridge, has the greatest concentration of "ethnic food" places in Ljubljana, and thus perhaps the country. Check out our walk through guide as of June 2019.

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In warmer days than you'll see this week. Photo: JL Flanner

Ljubljana is forecast to be the fastest-warming city in the world over the next few decades.

You're in the town of Slavoj Žižek, but do you find yourself lost when conversation turns to the philosopher? If so, check out our collection of quotes and clips to learn more.

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Screenshot from YouTube


Contents

Cinemas and films

You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kids' movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, while non-English language movies for older viewers will have Slovenian subtitles.Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.

Note - most children's films will be dubbed (sinhronizirano) - for subtitles look for 'podnapisi'.

Kinodvor –This is an arts cinema, not far from the train station, that shows new features as well as hosting the occassional festival.

Kinoteka – And not far from Kinodvor you can find this revival cinema, which shows art house classics along with some deep dives in the archives.

Kino Bežigrad - A relatively small theatre, but one which usually has the biggest of the new releases.

Kolosej -The multiplex out at BTC City Mall shows all the big movies, with well over a dozen titles on the schedule, although note that there are far more movies than screens, so some of the older ones mayonly be playing once or twice a week.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store shows two or three different features a week, usually including the biggest titles.

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Looking for a souvenir you'll really enjoy? Take a look at Broken Bones Gin, the first gin made in Ljubljana (learn more here, and try it at the Central Market or selected downtown bars).

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Photo: Genius loci d.o.o.

Know that big triangular building behind the train station? Learn what's inside here.

Clubbing

Compared to some European capitals it can seem that nightlife in Ljubljana ends rather early, especially along the river, but there are still bars that stay open late and clubs were you can dance until dawn, and perhaps the best place to stumble across something interesting is the legendary Metelkova. Be aware it's a grungy kind of place and not for all tastes, but also that there's considerable variety to found within the various clubs there, from death metal to electropop, gay cabaret to art noise. You can read "the rules" of the place here. And if you're curious about how the place started then read our story, and look at some pictures, about last year's 25th anniversary.

Božidar - DJ events aren't too common here, but when they happen they often have a big name.

Channel Zero – DJs shows here include regular dub nights as well as electronic music.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue, you can sometimes hear bhangra and Bollywood here, but more often funk, hip hop, breakbeat and so on.

Klub Cirkus – The more commercial end of clubland, and a venue that aims to serve the student party scene. Expect house, anthems, and bangers.

Klub K4 – The home of techno, old and new, along with various other electronic genres,

Koncertna Dvorana Rog– There are irregular DJ sets at this underground (not literally) venue at the far end of Trubarjeva cesta, and they range from techno to goa to drum'n'bass.

Orto Bar80s and 90s throwback nights can often be found here, along with rock-based DJ sets.

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Live music

Balassi Institute – Free Hungarian music, when available, from the Hungarian cultural institute just a short walk downriver from Dragon Bridge.

Cankerjev dom – The main arts venue in the country hosts classical, opera jazz, folk and occassinally pop.

CvetličarnaRegional pop and rock concerts can be found here.

Channel Zero – This Metelkova venue sees live shows from punk and rock bands, as well as others.

Gala Hala – Another Metelkova venue with indie bands of various styles.

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city, with a varied programme that include indie, rock, pop, experimental, hip hop, and so on.

Klub Gromka – Live music is often metal, from sludge to stoner, death to thrash, while punk bands also appear, as do others.

Križanke – The venue that hosts the Ljubljana Festival often has classical music, and some rock, in the open air.

Orto Bar– The home of live rock, metal, punk and other guitar-based genres.

Pinelina dnevna soba – LIve music is rare here, but it does happen.

Slovenska filharmonijaClassical music in the centre of town.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - While dance is more common here, they also have some contemporary and experimental music shows.

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Slovenska cesta, 1959. Wikimedia. See more pictures of Old Ljubljana here

Theatre and dance

Cankerjev dom- The main arts venue in the country always has something of interest going on.

Gledališče IGLU - IGLU Theatre – Saturday night this group is usually putting on an English improv show somewhere in town, but it’s generally promoted after this is written, so check the Facebook before putting on your shoes.

Kino Šiška – One of the top live venues in the city also hosts some dance performance, often of the more experimental variety.

Mini Teater Ljubljana –The English schedule of varied performances, for adults and children, for the month is here.

Ljubljana Puppet Theatre - Puppetry has a long and noble tradition in Slovenia, and you can see performances for children and adults (including non-puppet shows) drawing from the Theatre's rich repetoire as well as new productons.

SNG Opera and Ballet - As the name suggests, here you'll find the best of opera and ballet in the country.

Španski borci - The home ofcontemporary dance(and the EnKnapGroup) in Slovenia.

Pocket Teater Studio– There are regular flamenco evenings at perhaps the smallest venue town, but note that the number of seats is very limited, and thus you should make a reservation via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 070 325 522.

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Harm reduction and drug testing

Drogart is an organization that aims to minimise harm on the party scene, and offers drug-testing services and reports on their webpage. It’s in Slovene, but you can Google translate it or work things out yourself, and our story on the group is here.You can find the latest warnings on fake drugs and high strength pills and powders (in Slovene) here. However, be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia.CBD is legal, though, and our retailer of choice can be found on Trubarjeva cesta - read more about Sena Flora here.

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Photo: Igor Andjelič. See more of his work here

Things to do with children

You can find our Top 12 list of things to do with kids in Ljubljana here. If want to read more about the philosophy behind the wonderful House of Experiments look here, while our trip to the Museum of Illusions is documented here, and there’s always riverside walks, pizza and ice cream. With regard to the latter, take a look at our guide to six places that serve good ice cream in winter, and thus are serious about the dessert.

Mini Teater Ljubljana – The season sees a lot of puppet performances for children, in Slovene, at this theatre not far from Križanke. The English schedule for the month is here.

Ljubljana Puppet Theatre - The puppet theatre near the Central Market and next to the Castle funicular has a full programme or shows, for children and adults, with the schedule here.

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LGBT+ Ljubljana

If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.

Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, although sometimes there are other events

Klub Tiffany –And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays. Other things coulds also be planned, so click on the name to find out.

Pritličje – This seems to be the only "always open" LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space in town, and perhaps the country, so it's a good thing it's such a good one, open from morning to night, and with fliers and posters letting you know what's happening outside the narrow confines of, say, a general interest online what's on... guide.

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Screenshot from Google Maps, showing the location of the Castle vineyard

Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main attraction is said to be the top tourist draw in the country overall, and to my mind it earns a spot near the top just for the history and views. But beyond that the current owners, the City of Ljubljana, have laid out a varied, interesting and enjoyable programme of events, one that rewards regular revisits. On until 17 November Mighty Guardians of the Past: Castles in the Slovenian Lands, a presentation that delivers on the promise of its title.

I try and get up there every Saturday morning to clear my head and move my feet on the trails, and never tire of that end of the hill. At the other end, where the Castle sits, there’s a lot more than fresh air on offer. There are guided tours, restaurants, a café, Castle museum, puppet museum, a Watchtower you can climb to the highest point in the city, art shows, dances, live music, movies under the stars, festival days and more – enough to reward multiple trips up the hill through the year. All of these activities and events can be found on the Castle website, while on TSN you can see “25 things to know about Ljubljana Castlehere, and “Ten Ways to Enjoy Ljubljana Castle” here.

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Museums and galleries

Most public galleries and museums are closed on Mondays, although not the National Museum.

Bežigrajska galerija 2 – Take a trip to Vodovodna cesta 3 and until 8 February 2020 you can see Lojze Spacal (1907–2000): From the Littoral and the Karst Region.

 Cankerjev dom – On until 3 March 2020 there's an exhibition on Ancient Greek Science and Technology. Details here.

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Plečnik's desk. Photo: JL Flanner

Plečnik’s House is worth a visit if you want to learn more about the architect who gave Ljubljana much of its character, and it's also in a really nice part of town, Trnovo, just a short walk or cycle upriver. Read about our guided tour here.

Balassi Institute – The Hungarian culture centre is next to a Spar and Hofer, and not far from Dragon Bridge, and always has something interesting going on. Learn more here.

City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square an interesting permanent exhibition on the history of Ljubljana, from prehistoric times to the present day, with many artefacts, models and so on that bring the story alive.You can read about my visit here. On until August 2020 there’s Book. Reason. Knowledge. From Protestantism to Enlightenment (1500–1800), which presents the processes and events that encouraged and fostered the cultural and spiritual development in Ljubljana from the end of the 15th to the beginning of the 19th century – from humanism and Protestantism to the Enlightenment. More on that here.

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The Faces of Ljubljana in the City Museum. Photo: JL Flanner

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Drink like a pro - find gallery openings. Photo: JL Flanner

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MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, along with some temporary shows and a good cafe. BIO 26: Common Knowledge is on until 9 February, looking at information, fake news and citizenship, with details here.

Moderna galerija – The main branch of this gallery, to be found near the entrance to Tivoli Park, has a good collection of modern art, as well a nice café in the basement.

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Alan Ford was recently at the National Gallery - read more about this comic book here.

National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages

The real Robba Fountain can be found in the entrance to the National Gallery - the one you see in the Old Town is a genuine fake, as seen below and reported here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

National Museum of Slovenia – There’s plenty to see in the permanent collection here, from Roman times, Egypt and more. Meanwhile, the museum's Metelkova branch, located between one branch of the Moderna galerija and the Ethnographic Museum has some rooms on Church art, furniture and weapons, with the latter including more guns than you'll see anywhere else in town, and quite a thrill if coming from a nation where such objects are not household items.  

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A fragment of a Coptic textile; 5th–6th cent.:  Upper Egypt; linen, wool; National Museum of Slovenia. Photo: Tomaž Lauko

Until 24 May 2020 you can see Coptic Textiles from the Collection of the National Museum of Slovenia at the branch in the Metelkova museum quarter, by the Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Details.

Natural History Museum – On until the end of December 2019 is Our Little Big Sea, which takes a look at the oceans.

National Museum of Contemporary History - Tucked away in park Tivoli, you can see a permanent exhibition on Slovenians in the 20th century.

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum has two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). 

Union Experience – The Ljubljana-based brewer has a museum showing the history of the company, with the ticket also including access to part of the factory and a few samples of the product. You can read about our visit here.

It's not a formal museum, but if you're interested in "Yugo-stalgia" then you'll enjoy a trip to Verba, a small, privately run space that's crammed with objects and pop culture items from the era, and is conveniently located at the start of one of the short walks to the castle. It's also a great place to take pictures, if you leave a donation, and you can read more about it here.

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Verba. Photo: JL Flanner

Alternative Ljubljana isn't a museum or gallery, as such, but instead turns the city streets into a museum and gallery. Learn more about their tours of street art, history and LGBT Ljubljana here.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Other things to do in Ljubljana

Learn more about Ljubljana with "25 things to know about Slovenia's green city of dragons", or take a look at our guide to spending from four to 48 hours here.

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If you like the city's architecture then check out this great book, Let’s See the City - Ljubljana: Architectural Walks & Tours, with our review here and a page from the book shown above. We took a walk with one of the authors who showed us how much there is to learn and enjoy if you slow down and pay attention - read about that here.

Ljubljana has some beautiful buildings from the early 20th century, in the Secessionist style, like the one below. Learn where to find them here.

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Photo: Neža Loštrek

For something a little more brual, check out Republika trg / Republic Square, in the heart of the political quarter.

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Photo: JL Flanner

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Photo: JL Flanner

Some view of the city you can only get from the river. If you'd like to take a boat ride then read about my experience here. If you'd like to spend an evening painting with others, then take a look at Design with Wine, which organises painting parties on Trubarjeva cesta,

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If you want to see some antiques, then check out the wonderful Antika Carniola, as discussed here. The man behind it, Jaka Prijatelj, has a fine eye for life on this street, as you can see on his Facebook account.

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Photo: JL Flanner

If you’re in town and want to go jogging or walking in nature, why not take another look at the Castle, with a brief guide to the trails here. If you want something bigger, head to Tivoli Park.

And if you're bored with the Old Town, why not take a walk, cycle or boat ride to nearby Špica and enjoy the riverside life. Learn more about that here.

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Nataraja Studio

Want to stretch and breath? Then check out our list of drop-in yoga classes for tourists, visitors and the uncommitted. We go to Nataraja Studio, by Dragon Bridge, and here's a story about it.

Prefer to have someone else stretch you? The check out the totally legit massages you can get from Sense Wellness - either in one of their spas or in you home, office or hotel. (And - to repeat - these are legit and non-sexual in nature)

There are some golf courses near Ljubljana, but even ones further away are not far, as seen in our list of all the golf courses in Slovenia, which usually run until the first snow.

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Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain

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Daytrips

Most of Slovenia is only a few hours from Ljubljana, and you can easily visit Lake Bled, Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle, the coast and other locations, while if you'd like to take a photo of from that bench in Bled, then you can learn how to get there here. If you’re looking for something more ambitious, then check out our recent guide to the 17 members of the Association of Historical Towns of Slovenia. We've also written guides on spending from four to 48 hours in Bled and Piran.

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Photo: Google Image Search

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Getting around

If you want to get a Ljubljana Tourist Card, which gives you travel on the city buses and entry to a lot of attractions, then you can read more about that here, and if you want to use the bike share system, as useful for visitors as it is for residents, then you can learn more by clicking this. Visitors with reduced mobility will be pleased to find that downtown Ljubljana is generally rated as good with regard to accessibility, and that there’s a free, city-sponsored app called Ljubljana by Wheelchair highlighting cafés, attractions and so on with ramps, disabled bathrooms and Eurokey facilities, which you can read about and download here. Manual wheelchair users can also borrow, for free, an attachment that will motorise their equipment, as reported here.

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Screenshot from a Twitter video

If you’re driving into town and don’t know where to park, our guide to how to park in Ljubljana is here.

Emergencies

Ljubljana is a small and relatively safe city, but if need to contact the police then there’s a special number for foreigners, and that’s 113.

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Photo: JL Flanner

There aren't many places to eat after midnight, and most of them are by the train station, as reported here.

Want / need cigarettes but the stores have closed? Here's an incomplete list of bars downtown that will satisfy your craving for the demon weed. While if you’re having trouble with the ATMs then here’s a guide to the Slovene you’ll see on screen. If you get a hangover then find out where to get paracetamol (and prescription drugs) in Ljubljana here, while details on emergency birth control can be found here.

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18 Jan 2020, 20:32 PM

During the last months of World War II, several airstrikes were carried out on the mining town of Idrija, destroying a good part of the settlement and taking the lives of many of its citizens. Questions about who the attackers were and what was their objective remained unclear for decades.

It was only by chance that the revelation came about in 2012, when a native of Idrija came across a photo of the attacks.

The 2018 documentary film The Bird of Steel over Idrija explains the events in 1945 with eye-witness accounts as well as never before seen footage of the attacks recorded by the film camera on the plane. The film is currently available on YouTube and comes with English subtitles.

16 Jan 2020, 16:58 PM

It’s now mid-way through January, and with any luck you’ve stopped writing 2019, have eased back on the over-indulgence, and are still filled with the optimism and desire for new experiences and challenges that tend to mark the beginning of any new year, and new decades in particular.

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With that in mind why not take a look at the updated and final line-up for MENT 2020, the latest edition of the international music showcase festival that’s already been named the best indoor festival in Europe, and the best small festival, a three-day extravaganza of live shows, discussions and more. Along with performances there’s a chance to meet up, network, share ideas and enthusiasm with people from all areas of the music industry, from musicians to promoters, DJs to academics.

You can see the full line-up here, where you’ll find pictures and videos of all the acts, or you can read the following lightly edited press release which says everything far better than we could. Note that we're at the age where if we watch MTV we find it hard to guess what's the artist's name and what's the song, so some of the photo captions may be wrong.

We are glad to disclose the full programme of MENT Ljubljana 2020, which will occupy the Slovenian capital’s venues between 5 and 7 February.         

The 6th edition brings 81 acts that will perform on 14 locations across Ljubljana. Besides the 60 already announced names, including the headliners of the opening night, the golden boy of London jazz Kamaal Williams and Ukrainian group of seven actresses Dakh Daughters, Dutch  electronic music ambassadors Dekmantel Soundsystem and plenty of great Slovenian artists, we have added an additional 21 acts.  

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It It Anita. Photo Matjaz Rust

Among this year's novelties are venues Dijaški dom Tabor, a student hall of residence with a charming dance hall, and record shop Big Nose, the warm up party preMENT with Turkish legends BaBa ZuLa, and MENT specials like the collab with the respected Amsterdam-based Red Light Radio and synth-oriented music workshops [email protected]> and HEX 1.0. In 2020, MENT is again joining forces with gallery DobraVaga for the commercial exhibition of music art prints appointMENT 4.0, while the audio-visual duo Beam Team will again visually adorn three festival locations. Let’s not forget about the four receptions and four speed networking sessions with various music professionals (apply here).                   

Daily tickets are now available here at the presale price of €15.

For smoother navigation through the programme and the city, we suggest you download the MENT Ljubljana app – Android / iPhone

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My Ugly Clementine. Photo: Manifroh

THE FINAL 21-ACT LINE-UP:        

Poetic rock duo gone septet ALL STRINGS DETACHED, contemporary interpreter of Basque and other musical traditions AMORANTE, one of the foremost Slovenian DJs BORKA, indie rock revellers ČAO PORTOROŽ, punk troubadour DAMIR AVDIĆ, dark techno producer DOUCHEAN, eclectic digger and synth lover

DULASH DER DJ, praised young Macedonian DJ ERMILOVA, fresh wave of Slovenian synth-pop FUTURSKI, Slovak future pop act FVLCRVM, young exponent of the rave heritage GL.YSTEN, conjurers of sombre electro-acoustic soundscapes II/III, promising hip hop/bass producer JUNKER, the youngest resident at Klub K4 LARA, Ljubljana's club scene veteran LAVKA, internationally acclaimed Croatian DJ MAJA PA, first name of Slovenian electro NULLA, Hungarian electrofolk jewel

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Bolt Ruin. Photo: unknown

ODD ID, indie pop soul collective PEOPLE CLUB, singer, multi-instrumentalist, writer and painter PETER PIEK and breakbeat scientist TERRANIGMA. &   

The schedule of MENT conference 2020, which will take place at Kino Šiška and M hotel between 6 and 7 February, is here! It is divided into four interconnected sections: EX-YU, DIGITAL, LIVE and AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN.  

Among this year's guests are distinguished booking agent Rob Challice, university professor and music professional Sally-Anne Gross, head of Ljubljana-based record label Glitterbeat Records Chris Eckman and the European representative of the global music platform Bandcamp Aly Gillani

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Photo: Unknown

MENT conference 2020 includes presentations on ex-YU markets, a debate on streaming income, a conversation about Eastern European festivals and a panel with representatives of some successful Eastern European music media. It also covers topics like the sustainability of festivals and musicians' careers, innovative music PR and booking, and the Serbian initiative Hali gali. &          

Applications for speed networking are open! Meet the representatives of some of the most famous international festivals (apply here), important Slovenian venues and promoters (apply here), a colourful bunch of French music professionals (apply here) and some key venues and promoters from the former Yugoslavia region (apply here).

If you are interested in innovative approaches to concert booking, visit the presentations The Future of Booking: Sold-out Shows Using Data and Banding – a matchmaking app for bands/DJs to exchange gigs and promote each other, which will be followed by the workshop Banding – Real-life Matchmaking (apply here). You can now also apply for the day-long workshop Europe in Synch (apply here), dedicated to music licensing in advertising, film and TV.

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Modularnice Prague Synth 1. Photo: Unknown

Also, don’t miss this year’s receptions where you have the chance to chat with music professionals from four countries. The Austrians, represented at MENT by the acts Alicia Edelweiss, Bernhard Eder, My Ugly Clementine and Petrol Girls, kindly invite you to the Austrian Heartbeats reception. The Russian delegacy is organising the reception New Russian Wave, a nod to the performing Russian artists Gnoomes, Stadt, Wooden Whales and Inturist. Join the Czech delegates at Soundczech in Time and check out their squad Never Sol, Bratři and Market or attend the French Pitch & Brunch, have a snack and learn about their bands Decibelles, Slift and Cheap House.        

Receptions:
https://www.ment.si/conference-receptions/

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Stadt. Photo dodiques6

___#SPECIALS

MENT specials connect the dots between music, contemporary visual art, technology and community.&            

appointMENT 4.0&  

In collaboration with the gallery DobraVaga, MENT is organising the fourth commercial exhibition of music art prints appointMENT 4.0 where music art prints of 77 young Slovenian and international visual artists will be on show and available for purchase.

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Malidah Moasis. Photo by Horia Victor Munteanu

Red Light Radio (NL) x MENT Ljubljana                    

Slovenian DJ Borka has recently joined forces with Amsterdam’s indispensable sanctuary of music Red Light Radio and selected a team of DJs from various parts of the Balkan region. On Thursday, they are visiting our local favourite Radio Študent. On Friday, Red Light Radio will stream their sets live from Ljubljana’s brand new record shop Big Nose. 

[email protected] (CZ) x MENT Ljubljana 

A 3-day synth playground for fans of electronic music and the general public with the collective Synth Library Prague (apply here)!    

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ii iii. Photo: Unknown

Workshop: HEX 1.0&

Under the mentorship of Slovenian artists Anže Sekelj and Staš Vrenko, you will build your personal electronic instrument HEX 1.0 from the semi-modular series of electronic instruments HEX (apply here).&              

BEAM TEAM / sound-reactive projection mapping&  

Slovenian multimedia artists 5237 (Stella Ivšek) and SMECH (Anja Romih) will again visually adorn three festival locations with their immersive sound-reactive projection mappings.

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Borka. Photo: Unknown

___#TICKETS

PRESALES (until 4 February 2020):           

  • · & DAILY TICKET: €15
  • · & FESTIVAL TICKET (3 days, all venues): €39    
  • · & PRO PASS (festival and conference): €79&

Line-up: https://www.ment.si/lineup/
Conference: https://www.ment.si/conference/
Tickets: www.ment.si/tickets
Website: www.ment.si
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/464482000755911/

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All Strings Detached. Photo: Unknown

16 Jan 2020, 15:38 PM

STA, 15 January 2020 - Slovenia's road safety statistics for 2019 shows a 12% increase in the number of road traffic deaths - more than 100 persons lost their lives in road accidents last year, mostly due to drink driving, speeding and reckless driving. The Traffic Agency has highlighted the importance of raising awareness about responsible driving.

Almost 50 persons died as a result of speeding, followed by some 20 dying because of wrong-way driving, and twelve due to drivers forcing the right of way.

Drivers under influence caused more than 1,520 accidents, killing some 30 persons involved in them, a slight increase compared to the year before. Drink drivers were thus responsible for one out of three road fatalities in 2019.

Related: Interior Minister, Hospitality Industry Oppose Stricter DUI Rules

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Source: Wikipedia

Almost half of total road accident victims were traffic participants from vulnerable groups - motor riders, pedestrians and cyclists.

Despite the larger number of road accidents, there were fewer seriously injured people though.

The agency's head Vesna Marinko said at today's press conference that last year's figures were not promising, but the situation was improving taking into account a longer timeline.

Related: Coffee, Cigarettes & Alcohol – Slovenia’s Place in the World

She warned about the dangers of drink driving and urged drivers to exercise caution and responsible driving.

Ivan Kapun, the head of the General Police Department's Traffic Police, said that alcohol abuse was ingrained in society, but the police had noted that most young drivers in cities found it unacceptable to be drunk behind the wheel.

Apart from driving under the influence, mobile phone use is another issue posing danger to road safety. The agency has thus launched a prevention campaign in cooperation with the police raising awareness about the dangers of using a phone while driving.

Related: Youth Say No to Cigarettes & Alcohol, Yes to Marijuana & Social Media

15 Jan 2020, 16:45 PM

The stories about King Matjaž are part of oral tradition, and the main narrative about the good king goes as follows. King Matjaž and his goodness towards his subjects got him into a conflict with nobility, who eventually went after him and cornered him by Mount Peca. The mountain opened and gave The King a place to hide. Inside the mountain Matjaž fell asleep at a stone table and when his growing beard turns nine times around the table, he will wake up and good times will return to Carinthia (Koroška). Oh, and he had a wife, Alenčica, who had been kidnapped by a Turkish Sultan, so Matjaž goes and sets her free by dressing up as a Turk.

Every year, and this will be the 28th time, the municipality of Črna na Koroškem organizes a King Matjaž inspired weekend event, with a snow castle building competition as the focus. Since the website is only in Slovenian and German, we provide some basic information in English below.

The three-day event begins on Friday night, with a night slalom between torches for the King Matjaž Cup at the ski resort in Črna, Carinthia.

The main event, which will take place on Matevžavi Travniki uder Stadion in the Centre of Črna na Koroškem, is a Saturday competition of teams in the construction of snow castles and snow sculptures thematically related to the legend of King Matjaž. Each year's construction is accompanied by an entertaining cultural program (presentation of teams, selection of Alenčica, lighting of torches and candles, fiery performance, solemn arrival of King Matjaž, best team awards, musical performances, etc.). The all day fairytale happenings will culminate with the lighting of the snow castle torches in the evening.

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Photo: crna.si
 
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Photo: crna.si
 

Sunday is the day reserved for children, with activity programs, puppet shows, songs, a search for hidden treasure, horseback riding and more. On Sunday, awards are presented for the best fine art and literary works on the subject of King Matjaž, created by pupils of Slovenian elementary schools.

Entrance fees for visitors on Saturday:

Children under 8 – free of charge, children aged 8 – 15: €2.5, adults: €5.

Entrance fee for visitors on Sunday:

Children under 15: free of charge, older than 15: €5.

Registration and fees for castle building teams (5-8 members):

The registration fee is €11 per group member

Registration is possible until January 25, 2002 until 9AM at the place of the event or with an online form.

At the registration point every team collects their lunch vouchers and trash bags, and places a plan of their castle on the pole with the number of their building plot. Only natural materials are allowed to be used (snow water, ice and rods) and people should bring their own construction tools.

 

15 Jan 2020, 12:36 PM

STA, 15 January 2020 - Slovenia's average net pay for November was EUR 1,235, up by 10% in nominal terms and 9.9% in real terms compared to October and by 4.1% nominally year-on-year. The surge was due to extra payments at the end of year, such as Christmas and performance bonuses, shows the Statistics Office data released on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the average gross pay rose by 9% nominally to EUR 1,898, up 8.9% in real terms compared to October.

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The average gross extra payment in November amounted to EUR 724, with around 23% of employees receiving the sum, mostly level with 2018.

The November average net salary increased by 2.7% in real terms year-on-year. At a monthly level, the figure grew both in the private sector (+13%) and public sector (+5%), increasing the most in financial and insurance business (+24%).

Moreover, the average net pay for November grew in the electricity, gas and steam sector (+24%), where it was the highest (EUR 1,975), and in manufacturing (+17%).

You can learn more about the images on Slovenia’s euro coins here: Slovenia in your pocket – coins that celebrate the culture

14 Jan 2020, 17:59 PM

Ever wondered where all the second homes are in Slovenia, the vikendi and those defined by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (Statistični urad Republike Slovenije – SURS) as “dwellings reserved for seasonal and secondary use”? If so, wonder no more as we zoom in the data for 2018, the most recent year for which it’s available.

According to SURS, in 2018 there were a total of 19,896 such dwellings in Slovenia. Of these, 9,766 (49%) were in the west, and 10,130 (51%) in the east.

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But that scale, the two “cohesion regions”, hides a lot of detail, and if we look at the 12 statistical regions then something become clear: that Gorenjska (AKA Upper Carniola) seems to be the most desired location, with 3,376 holiday homes, or just under 17% of the total, as seen in the following map and table.

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Slovene English # %
Gorenjska Upper Carniola          3,376           5.22
Osrednjeslovenska Central Slovenia          2,489         12.51
Obalno-Kraška Coastal–Karst          2,333         11.73
Jugovzhodna Slovenija Southeast Slovenia          2,324         11.68
Podravska Drava          2,168         10.90
Savinjska Savinja          2,078         10.44
Goriška Gorizia          1,568           7.88
Posavska Lower Sava          1,037           5.21
Pomurksa Mura             988           4.97
Koroška Carinthia             650           3.27
Zasavska Central Sava             446           2.24
Primorsko-Notranjska Littoral–Inner Carniola             439           2.21

 

And the most popular place to buy a holiday home in Slovenia is...

Now zooming in to the highest level of detail that SURS offers – the 212 municipalities – we can see that there are six areas where there are more than 500 holiday homes: Piran (1,038), Kranjska gora (961), Bohinj (843), Bovec (608), Brežice (526), Ljubljana (523), and Izola (512). You can visit an internactive version of the map below here and learn more, if wanted, while if you’re interested in more statistics about Slovenia then all our related stories are here.

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If you’re curious about some of the homes on the market, then check our real estate section, while all our stories on property are here.

13 Jan 2020, 17:00 PM

The skiing season is here, and with the lack of snow at lower altitudes it’s easy to forget that, once upon a time, skiing, sledding and the like could be reliably enjoyed outside the big resorts and off the mountains in Slovenia, a common part of winter life.

Related - Is there snow on the slopes in Slovenia?

Now with climate change the snow line is receding and cannons are often needed to keep the slopes in business, a trend that’s only likely to increase in the years ahead – provided the slopes and resorts stay open at all.

But all that’s rather depressing, so let’s take a break from the climate worries of today and look back at some postcards from Kranjska gora, with snow and without, and see what’s changed and what’s stayed the same over the last 120 years.

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1900

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1910

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1913

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Undated

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Undated

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Undated

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1933

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1938

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1960

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1960

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1960

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1962

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1964

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1964

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1964

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1969

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1969

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1969

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1969

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1969

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1969

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1969

You can see all our old photos stories here

13 Jan 2020, 11:28 AM

Orthodox communities in Slovenia are getting ready for the New Year's celebrations, which will take place on Monday night, January 13th.

 

In 1582 a switch to the Gregorian calendar started to take place in the Western Christian world due to increasing divergence between the Julian calendar and certain religious holidays based on astronomical events, such as Easter. The change to a shorter Gregorian year in the 16th century required 10 days to be skipped. The difference has since increased to 13 days.

Although most Eastern Orthodox countries had adopted the Gregorian calendar by 1924, the national Churches had not, which is why most of the shared Christian holidays are not synchronised and the New Year’s Eve seems to be celebrated twice.  

Another interesting fact has been brought to our attention by one of our readers. In 1923 a Serbian geophysicist, climatologist and astronomer Milutin Milanković (1879–1958) presented the following suggestions for the Julian calendar reform:

The beginning of the year would have be changed for 13 days to offset the astronomical difference which accumulated since the first Council of Nicaea in 325, the same thing that needed to be done when the Gregorian calendar was introduced.

Most importantly, the rule for adding leap days would be corrected so that the calendar would no longer lag behind astronomical phenomena. The adjustment would apply to years ending with 00. Such a year is, according to Milanković, a leap year only when the division by 900 bears the remainder of 200 or 600.

In comparison, the Gregorian calendar introduced leap year omissions every year that is divided by 100 but not if it can also be divided by 400.

As a result, the non-leap years according to Milanković are: 2100, 2200, 2300, 2500, 2600, 2700, 2800, 3000, 3100, 3200, 3400, 3500, 3600, 3700, etc., while the non-leap years according to Gregorian calendar are 2100, 2200, 2300, 2500, 2600, 2700, 2900, 3000, 3100, 3300, 3400, 3500, 3700, etc.

As you can see, the Gregorian and Milanković’s calendar begin to diverge in 2799, the year when Gregorian calendar fails and Milanković’s doesn’t.

The revised Julian Calendar was adopted by most of the Orthodox churches except for the Orthodox churches of Jerusalem, Russia, Serbia, North Macedonia, Georgia, and Ukraine. In these countries the new calendar was refused for mostly political reasons – the calendar seemed to have resembled obedience to the Catholic papal decree to closely.

12 Jan 2020, 15:00 PM

Keep up with the daily news in Slovenia by checking the morning headlines here. What to find out what happened last week in Slovenia? Look no further.

The following schedule was prepared by the STA:

 MONDAY, 13 January

        ABU DHABI, UAE - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar will attend Sustainability Week, an international conference on sustainable development.
        KRŠKO - GEN Energija, the state-owned enterprise that manages the Krško Nuclear Power Plant, will present its business results for 2019 and plans.

TUESDAY, 14 January
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Finance Committee will debate a report on an audit of the Bank Assets Management Company.
        LJUBLJANA - Publisher Mladinska Knjiga will confer its Blue Bird Prize for best as yet unpublished youth novel. The prize is conferred biennially for different genres.

WEDNESDAY, 15 January
        BRUSSELS, Belgium - An event will mark the centenary of the University of Ljubljana, to be addressed by the head of the Slovenian Business and Research Association, Draško Veselinovič, and featuring the university chancellor, Slovenia's ambassadors to to the EU and Belgium and European Commission official Jean-Eric Paquet.
        LJUBLJANA - The Environment Ministry will unveil a new national spatial development strategy, launching a period of public consultation.
        LJUBLJANA - Asset manager NLB Skladi will speak about trends in capital markets in 2020 and comment on developments in the mutual funds market.
        LJUBLJANA - The recipients of this year's Prešeren Prizes for lifetime achievements in culture will be announced.
        LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office will release wage data for November 2019.

THURSDAY, 16 January
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee will convene at the behest of the Left to debate what it calls US imperialist policies in the Middle East and policy of aggression against Iran.
        LJUBLJANA - Preparations for a business conference called Texas feels Slovenia and details of a partnership between Slovenia and the NBA club Dallas Mavericks will be presented.
        LJUBLJANA - A regular weekly government session.

FRIDAY, 17 January
        LJUBLJANA - European Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson will pay a visit to Slovenia.
        LJUBLJANA - Croatian Ambassador Boris Grigić will present priorities of Croatia's presidency of the Council of the EU until 30 June at the National Assembly.
        LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Intelligence Oversight Commission will be in session behind closed doors.

SATURDAY, 18 January
        LJUBLJANA - The coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) will hold leadership election, choosing between incumbent leader Karl Erjavec, Agriculture Minister Aleksandra Pivec and local councillor Borut Stražišar.

SUNDAY, 20 January
        No major events are scheduled.

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