Lifestyle

13 Dec 2018, 11:50 AM

STA, 12 December 2018 - Rihemberk Castle, a monument of national importance in the west of Slovenia, is to be renovated with the help of the Restaura project, which aims at encouraging private investment into public historical cities and buildings in Central Europe.

The castle opened to the public in June 2017, and was visited by some 8,400 people in some 100 days before being closed again.

The municipality of Nova Gorica would like to turn it into a tourist site accessible to a broad audience and a kind of development centre for the area.

Restaura project manager at the municipality Nataša Kolenc told the STA the castle should also present its story and premises in an innovative and creative manner.

When the municipality became the owner of the castle in 2014, renovation costs were estimated at EUR 8-10m.

Since it did not have the needed money nor was it possible to obtain funds from the EU's 2014-2020 budget, an opportunity opened up with Restaura, she said.

Neva Makuc from the Milko Kos History Institute explained that several Central European countries were faced with a lack of public funds to renovate cultural heritage sites.

Restaura, which started in 2016 and is to end in May 2019, encourages private investment into public historical buildings through a public-private partnership.

With a budget of around EUR 2.1m, it is part of the Central Europe 2014-2020 programme and co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

But Restaura does not provide funds for direct investments into the castle, it only facilitates that funds are secured from other sources.

Nova Gorica has some EUR 205,000 at disposal as part of Restaura for three years, of which some 31,000 comes from the municipal budget.

So far, all relevant documents for Rihemberk have been collected and studied and ideas discussed with stakeholders from the village of Branik, where the castle is situated.

Technical plans and documents needed for a public-private partnership are also in the making, while an option to host start-ups will also be checked.

The castle is currently in a state of "a secured construction site" with restoration works designed in the period from the 1960s to 1980s not completed yet.

Restaura brings together partners from Slovenia, Croatia, Slovakia and Poland, with the Polish city of Nowy Dwor Mazowiecki the lead partner.

10 Dec 2018, 13:00 PM

STA, 8 December 2018 - As 45 years pass this year since the lynx was reintroduced to Slovenia, preparations are under way for the first new animal to be brought to Slovenia early next year as part of the Life Lynx international project.

The wildcat will come to Slovenia from Romania or Slovakia, depending on which country manages to catch it first, the Life Lynx project group has told the STA.

The Eurasian lynx was reintroduced to Slovenia in 1973 upon the Slovenian hunters' initiative.

There are perhaps between 15 and 20 lynx in Slovenia

The current population, estimated at 15 to 20 animals, are descendants of six animals brought to Slovenia then from Slovakia.

The Life Lynx project group also launched this year a systematic monitoring of lynxes with automatic cameras, but results have not yet been fully analysed.

The largest wildcat in Europe is at the verge of extinction; it is believed that it could die out in a few years' time unless action is taken.

The Life Lynx project aims to save the lynx population in the Dinaric Alps and in south-eastern Alps.

It brings together eleven organisations from five countries, with Slovenia's partner being the national Forestry Service.

The first lynx will be released in the area of Loški Potok in the region of Kočevska in the south on the border with Croatia.

Before it is released, it will spend some time in a quarantine in the area, also to get used to the new environment.

"We expect an animal to spend some three weeks in quarantine," the group said.

Ten more animals due to arrive in the country

As part of the project, ten animals are expected to be brought to Slovenia, five to the regions of Kočevska and Notranjska and five to Gorenjska, north-west.

"The lynx released in Gorenjska will help connect Dinaric lynx populations with those in the Alps, which is vital for their long-term existence in Slovenia and in the Alps."

As part of the reintroduction, the Slovenian Hunters' Association will help train some 20 police officers who will investigate illegal lynx hunting, in what the project group said was unique in Europe.

You can learn more about the Life Lynx project in Slovenia here

09 Dec 2018, 13:00 PM

The streets are starting to fill up, and it’s not always easy to ride a bike across Prešeren or the Triple Bridge, with groups of visitors from near and far stopping to look at the lights, take a few dozen pictures, and choose a direction to head off in. Wherever they go they’ll be ensured a lively walk accompanied by a growing number of street performers, as well as stalls selling seasonal items and food, with the latter being mostly sausages and burgers.

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The market that runs along one side of the Cathedral has Christmas wreaths, decorations and centrepieces for sale. Photo: JL Flanner

A month-long festival that continues this week is the Decembrrr Festival at the former Tobačna factory complex, with 36 free music, entertainment, culinary and social events by Slovenian and international artists. The Facebook for that is here, but otherwise there’s not much online about it.

As ever, clicking on the venue names in the list below should get you more details with regard to the time, price and location, as well as other events on this week in the same place. Finally, if there's something 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

Getting around Ljubljana

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

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.

Cinemas and films playing in Ljubljana this week

You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kid’s movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, so do check before driving out to a multiplex and dropping off the young ones if they can't understand Slovene. That said, parents should 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. (And if you like watching trailers with subtitles as a way of learning Slovene, then catch up on some from earlier this year here).

Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station, which has a nice café with books and magazines, is showing The Children’s Act, The House that Jack Built, Shoplifters and the remake of Suspira.

Kinoteka – The revival house at one end of Miklošičeva, a street that’s worth walking up for the architecture alone, is showing, among other features: Fellini’s Amacord, Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows, Leone’s Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo aka Dober, grd, hudoben aka The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.

Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include Robin Hood, The Grinch (with both subbed and dubbed versions), WidowsFantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldEl mayor regalo, Little ItalyBohemian RhapsodyHalloweenJohnny English 3A Star is BornGajin svetFahrenheit 11/9, Michael Moore’s Trump movie, Pat in Mat znova v akcijiMortal Engines, Overlord, Posledice and a dubbed version of Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse. New this week are Kursk and Suspira, while on Thursday there’s Aquaman. Note that some of these are only playing once a day.

Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Bohemian Rhapsody and the The Grinch (dubbed).

Clubbing in Ljubljana

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 consideable variety to found within the various clubs there, from death metal to electropop, gay caberet to art noise. You can read "the rules" of the place here.

Božidar - Friday, December 14th, there's a set from Josey Rebelle, as heard below.

Channel Zero – Monday night is Dub Lab, and this week the show’s a live one from Pablo Raster, with a video for that shown in Live Music, below. Recorded music comes back with vengeance on Saturday with Kung Fu Techno!, featuring DJs STUPA, LXS, and ADAMM, with the visuals provided by Dimension and Nibera. Sadly, I wasn’t able to finds sets from any of these online.

Klub Gromka – Friday night is a celebration of 90s Eurodance.

Gala Hala –  Saturday (15th) Underground Pulse are presenting a drum’n’bass all-nighter headlined by Kyrist with support from Theejay, Fornax b2b Dominus Diaboli, Wubsonik b2b Danaja and Etrove.

Klub Cirkus – The more commercial end of clubland begins the week on Tuesday with a student-led Threesome Christmas party. Wednesday continues the fun with an all-nighter called I AM party presents: New Age Special with Senidah x COBY, which looks like a rap’n’trap affair. Friday it’s time to choose your clothes wisely for BLACK MOON – UV Gathering #4, with dance, future house, EDM, house, r&b, hip hop, and trap being spun under the magic of black light. Saturday then ends the week with another all-night party, this one being fuelled by the best of r’n’b.

Klub K4 – the legendary klub 4 kool kids that isn’t in Metelkova has two all-nighters this week. On Friday the sounds will be provided by Roman Flügel, with support from some names signed to Synaptic. Saturday there’s an event being promoted with nice retro poster, one I’d like to home – Tetkine zimske radosti. This promises “yugo funk beat” with DJs Bakto, Woo-D and Borka, and video magic from FŠK.

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, andout story on the group is here. One thing they recently warned of were pink Pharaoh pills with around twice the normal MDMA content (measured at 261 mg). See pictures and learn more here, but do remember that all the usual drugs remain illegal in Slovenia, while our in-depth profile of the group is here. We've also heard increasing reports - albeit anecdotal - of women's drinks being spiked in the city, so take care and let friends know where you're going.

Things to do with children in Ljubljana

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, ice cream and pizza.

Mini Teater Ljubljana – December sees a lot of puppet performances for children, in Slovene, at this theatrr not far from Križanke, including: The Frog King, Puss in Boots, Carrot Dwarf and The Little Match Girl. 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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Photo: JL Flanner

December at Ljubljana Castle

The city’s main attraction, the Castle, has a lot planned for December, including an innovative projection on the walls at 17:00 each day. Learn more about what’s going on up on the hill this month here.

Live music in Ljubljana

Starting on the 14th (Friday) and continuing until the end of the month is a programme of free festive concerts in Novi trg.

Cankerjev dom – Tuesday, 19:30, the pianist Natasha Paremky will be performing Rachmaninov, Shostakovich and Strahonik with the RTV Slovenian Symphony Orchestra. The same night, at 20:00, the progressive art rock of Moonlight Sky will be playing elsewhere in the building. Thursday and Friday evenings the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra will be joined by Franc Kosem on the trumpet, playing Borodin, Rojko and Rimsky-Korsakov.

Križanke – The Young Virtuosi series of free concerts continues with violin and piano music from Beethoven, Brahms, Saint-Saens and more.

Gala HalaHaiku Garden had their equipment stolen in Spain. On Thursday they’ll be playing a benefit concert to raise money for new things, with live support from The Canyon Observer and Svermirko, along with DJs Nitz, Shekuza, Nulla and R36.

Kino Šiška – Monday The Tiger Lillies are back in town after two years away, with the focus being on their latest album Devil’s Fairground. Friday you can see and hear Matter, YGT Live! and Acty. Saturday evening the stage is taken over by My Baby, being promoted as “Dutch trance/blues shamans”, with support from Serbia’s Igralom.

Ljubljana Castle – Friday night is jazz at the castle, with the music often veering into Latin, funk and other genres, and this week it’s the collective Get on Board, playing “cosmic jazz”, with the saxophone held and blown by Lovro Ravbar.

Orto Bar – Thursday night you get by with the Kokr Joe Band, a Joe Cocker Tribute Band. Friday Seven Days In May are playing live, and on the same day there’s a show from Riffeater: Amalgam, Usil, and Đezm. Saturday then sees a show from Extaza.

Španski borci – Thursday, 19:30, you can thrill to the varied sounds of Orkester Mandolina Ljubljana.

Slovenian Philharmonic Hall – The choir will be joined by folk on violin, organ and harp for a programme featuring Bach, Part, Rachmaninov, Strauss and more.

Tobačna – 20:00 Saturday there’s what’s billed as a live show by Soul Tribute Mixtape.

LGBT+ Ljubljana

If you want to learn more about Ljubljana Pride, then take a look at our interview with its president here. 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 night, and then on Saturday, 23:00, you can enjoy sounds from Deena Abdelwahed.

Klub Tiffany – The gay bar next door to Monokel is also open every Friday, and every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. Deena Abdelwahed will also be heard here on Saturday

 

Pritličje – This is the closest Ljubljana comes to a "gay bar" so it's a good thing this LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space is such a good one, and open from morning to night. 

Museums and galleries in Ljubljana

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

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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. Read about our guided tour here. Something on for a limited time is Plečnik and the Sacred, showing here until January 20, 2019.

Cankerjev dom – Running until the end of February 2019 is an exhibition titled Ivan Cankar and Europe: Between Shakespeare and Kafka. This is “An examination of Cankar’s art through an analysis of influences and interpretations, and juxtaposition with contemporary European writers. The visually elaborate architectural and graphic layout, supported by audio-visual media, installation art and diverse visual highlights, offers a vivid account of Cankar’s excellence, his comprehensively exquisite aesthetic and artistic vision.”

City Art GalleryDrago Tršar recently had a show at the main Moderna looking at his monumental works, and now this smaller gallery in the Old Town, not far from Town Hall, is showing some the sculpture’s erotic works, on until January 20, 2019. It’s being promoted with the following example.

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City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square has an exhibition on the writer Ivan Cankar that’s on until the end of February 2019, with pictures, books and manuscripts, all presented in Slovene and English. It also has a very 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. Until March 2019 there's a show highlighting the work Elza Kastl Obereigner (1884-1973), a pioneer Slovenian sculptress, with an example of her work shown below.

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Photo: M Paternoster

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

Galerija VžigalicaSaša Spačal has a show here until January 6, 2019 called Earthlink, “working at the intersection of intermedia art, exploration of living systems and audio frequencies, links Earth to the post-human present, that includes both a seed of the future as well as a shadow of the past.” A promotional image is what's shown below.

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Simbiom – ekonomija simbioze, 2016 © Dejan HabichtArhiv Moderne galerije

Galerija Kresija – Showing in the City Hall’s right atrium until December 13 is an installation, Gorazd Krnc: Tod in Ondod (Worth Not Knowing Where Knowington Is), which includes video projections

Galerija Jakopič – On until March 3 is Over My Eyes (Na moje oči), an exhibition of photographs from Iraq taken by Iraqi photographers.

International Centre of Graphic Arts – Running from Friday until March 3 2019 there will be a show of posters from Milton Glaser, while until March 3 2019 you can enjoy paintings, drawings, prints and murals from Nathalie Du Pasquier in a show called Fair Game.  The latter is being promoted with the following image.

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Ljubljana Exhibition & Convention Centre – Just outside the centre of town, at Dunajska cesta 18, you can see a lot of plasticized bodies at the Body Worlds Vital show, running from October 20 until January 20 2019.

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Photo: Body Works Vital

MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design is showcasing Slovenian designers in a show called Made in Slovenia, lasting until the end of 2018: “The selling exhibition aims to present good practices of Slovenian designers and companies in the creative sector.”

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Sam, 1966, fotografija na srebroželatinskem papirju. ©Stojan Kerbler

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, and it's latest exhibition focuses on the photographer Stojan Kerbler, which runs until January 13, 2019, and shows rural live in Slovenia for the recent past.

Museum of Contemporary History – The museum in Tivoli Park has two new shows. One is called Museum's (R)evolution 1948-2018, marking the place's 70th anniversary with an exhibition tracing its evolution through artefacts, photographs and personal stories and running until January 6 2019 (details here). There's also In Search of Freedom: 1968-2018, looking at the 1968 student protests.

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. Running until February 10 2019 is a show called Ivana Kobilca (1861-1926): But Of Course, Painting Is Something Beautiful!, featuring works like the one below. You can read about our visit to the room containing scared art from the Middle Ages here, and see a picture from our trip after the two girls.

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JL Flanner

National Museum of Slovenia – There’s plenty to see in the permanent collection here, from Roman times, Egypt and more, with the big draw this season being the exhibition of over 140 items of gold from Ming Dyntasy China, as reported here, and with an example below. This runs until February 15th.

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Photo: Wang Wei Chang

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.

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

Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, on until June 16 2019, as well 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). This place is located near the newer branch of the Moderna galerija and Metelkova.

Vodnikova Domačija Šiška – Until December 29 you can see works by a few dozen Slovenian illustrators at the December Illustration Fair, and also buy some for yourself or as a unique gift.

 

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Union is "the Ljubljana beer", but now both it and Laško are owned by Heineken. There are many local brews on offer, though, if you want to explore IPAs, stouts, wheatbeers, sours and so on Photo: JL Flanner

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

Opera, theatre and dance in Ljubljana

Dance Theatre Ljubljana (Plesni Teater Ljubljana) – Thursday and Friday, the 13th and 14th, there’s a dance theatre performance called Razgaljeno (Exposed), with the choreography and concept from Rosana Hribar.

 

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.

Klub Gromka – Saturday night, 21:00, the techno burlesque of Tatovi podob (Image Snatchers) is back on stage for music, dance, comedy and light nudity.

SNG Opera and Ballet – This week’s operas are Madame Butterfly on Tuesday, Macbeth on Wednesday and Friday, Carmen on Thursday and Saturday.

Španski borci – Saturday night there’s a performance by Via Negativa called Sorry.

 

Other things to do in Ljubljana...

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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Want to stretch and breath? Then check out our list of drop-in yoga classes for tourists, visitors and the uncommitted. If you're heading to the coast, check out our interview with a yoga teacher who offers breakfast sessions there, while if you're staying in town (or nearby) and want to try some "family yoga" then you can learn more about that here and maybe get your kids to calm down a moment or two.

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. Note that these close when the snow starts.

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Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain

Daytrips from Ljubljana

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

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Photo: Google Image Search

Finally...

You can see all our stories tagged Ljubljana here, while if you're interested in seeing the city in decades past, and black and white, then enjoy the following clips

08 Dec 2018, 10:20 AM

STA, 7 December 2018 - The prosecution has withdrawn charges of negligence against a former Ljubljana primary school headteacher who banned two male final year students from school grounds after they allegedly sexually harassed a pair of their female classmates.

In a press release, the Ljubljana Supreme Prosecution Office said on Friday that the district prosecution took the decision after examining the defendant's written and oral arguments and documents in the file.

"In his plea, Dušan Merc shed light on the matter by presenting relevant circumstances material for the assessment of his conduct," the release said.

The prosecution concluded that Merc cannot be accused that he caused grave violation of human rights of the two students because their constitutional right to education was not violated.

According to media reports, Merc, the former headteacher of the Prule primary, was put on trial on charges of negligence at work for allegedly violating the two boys' right to education.

The case goes back five and a half years when two year 9 Prule students harassed their classmates in a swimming pool during a sports day.

After pushing them under water several times to the point of exhaustion, they sexually attacked the girls and later even made fun of them on school premises.

Five days later, after the marking period was over, Merc banned the boys from school grounds in order to protect the victims, but a schools inspector found him in the wrong and the case was later taken up by the prosecution.

07 Dec 2018, 16:46 PM

STA, 6 December 2018 - The government has adopted a disaster risk assessment report for the past four years and a new national disaster risk assessment which finds that floods are the only top-level risk to the country.

The report sets out scenarios for various types of accidents or disasters and their effects on the population, business, the environment and cultural heritage. It also assesses probability levels.

Considering the scope of political and social impacts and the likelihood of disaster, the only top-level risk to the country is represented by floods.

An earthquake, ice storm or the risks of biological, chemical, environmental or of unknown nature for people's health are assessed as entailing high-level risk.

Related: Floods in Slovenia, Especially Along Drava (Videos)

Meanwhile, a nuclear accident is assessed as mid-level risk because of the very small likelihood of such an accident happening.

Also assessed as middle-level risks are cyber threats and large wildfires, despite being assessed as the likeliest of all types of accident.

The lowest level of risk represent radiological or train accidents.

Related: Slovenia’s 38th Earthquake of the Years Strikes Near Postojna

The biggest impact from the aspect of the effect on people is attributed to a major nuclear incident at the Krško Nuclear Power Plant.

In the worst-case scenario and providing inadequate protection measures, up to one thousand people could die and up to several thousand could be injured or exposed to radioactivity. Between 40,000 and 100,000 would have to be moved from the area permanently.

The country would also face grave consequences in case of a flu pandemic, which falls in the category of a danger of risks of biological, chemical, environmental or unknown nature on people's health.

Such a pandemic could claim some 1,850 lives with up to 45% of the country's population taken ill, although not within days but in a space of between several months and up to almost a year.

A major earthquake in central Slovenia would claim 60 casualties, 600 injured and the evacuation of more than 5,000 people.

The map at the top of this story is from the Institute of Water for the Republic of Slovenia

07 Dec 2018, 11:51 AM

STA, 6 December 2018 - The British business newspaper Financial Times has placed the Ljubljana Faculty of Economics among the best 95 business schools in Europe in its latest rankings. This places Slovenia on the map of the quality business education, the faculty said on Thursday.

This is already the second time Financial Times honoured the Ljubljana faculty this year, having ranked its International Master in Business and Organisation (IMB) programme among the 100 top Master in Management programmes in the world in September.

The Ljubljana Faculty of Economics said in a release that international accreditations EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA places the faculty among 1% of the best business and economics schools in the world. There are more than 15,000 institutions providing this education.

Financial Times's rankings of business schools is one of the most acclaimed lists in the international business public. This means that getting on the list is a sign of the faculty's quality, the Faculty of Economics also said.

According to the release, Financial Times highlighted the fact that the Ljubljana faculty was the second on the rankings with regards to the share of female professors.

The first three spots on the rankings belong to London Business School, HEC from Paris and Insead from Fontainbleau, with Slovenia the only new country on the list this year.

05 Dec 2018, 19:08 PM

December 5, 2018

All the Dedek Mraz lovers out there are kindly reminded that although most Dedek Mraz arrivals take place sometime after Christmas, this is not so in Maribor, where one of the best – and perhaps the best – of his arrivals takes place.

In short, Dedek Mraz will prove he’s real by coming down from Pohorje in a horse drawn carriage on December 8th at 17:00. Do not miss it!

 

And for all the other opportunities to meet the man himself across the country, Maribor included, we’ll report when the time gets closer.

05 Dec 2018, 17:42 PM

Slovenia has experienced 38 earthquakes so far in 2018, with most below 3 on the Richter (ML) scale, that figure being exceeded only twice.

First on January 17th, when a 3.8 quake hit the north west of the county, not far from Čezsoča, at a depth of 5 km. Second today, December 5, when at 17:23 a 3.4 magnitude quake struck just outside of Knežak, near Postojna, at a depth of 14 km, and felt at least 44 km away, in Ljubljana.

Related: Old Photos - Ljubljana After the 1895 Earthquake

By coincidence, Dnvenik reported today that a study has concluded more than 41,000 homes in Ljubljana, with around 86,000 residents, were developed before the 1963 Skopje earthquake (6.1 ML) that led to the introduction of tougher standards, and thus could be at risk of significant damage if a similar quake occurred.

If you’d like to keep up-to-date with the latest in seismic activity as it relates to Slovenia, there’s the government website (in Slovene) here, while an international site, in English and searchable by location, is here.

05 Dec 2018, 20:00 PM

December 5, 2018

For all the fashionistas in search of original pieces out there, Zoofa is the place to visit.

Established in 2013 as an arts and crafts co-operative, Zoofa has slowly transformed into the main Slovenian fashion design station, with 11 local designers selling their garments, bags, shoes and other accessories in a shop where they also rotate as shop assistants.

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Coat by Tina Pavlin

 

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Left: Bodysuit by Patricia Pie, Right: Thigh high boots by Peppermint Street
 
 
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“Witches sisterhood” by Janja Videc

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Cotton knitwear by Mila.Vert
 
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Scarves by NI (nikoli isto)
 
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Shoulder detail by Julija Kaja Hrovat
 
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Bracelets by Margaret88
 

The garments are mostly unique and come in one size. Since the shop is operated entirely by the designers themselves it also works as an atelier, meaning that customers can also arrange clothes to be made according to their fitting, if the fabric is still available.

You can visit Zoofa every weekday between 10:00 and 19:00, while it closes at 16:00 on Saturdays and is closed on Sundays.

 

04 Dec 2018, 19:00 PM

December 4, 2018

Although Ljubljana is quite a snobbish city, there are only a few stores where conspicuous consumers can shop for the signifiers of their social status. Although relatively small in size, Pentlja, a store with a concept that’s between Town Hall and the Triple Bridge, just next to Vigo, aims to address this issue with its varied selection of what some might consider “the best”.

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In terms of style you will find everything from neon feathered purses to classic monochrome coats, while brands on offer stem from Louis Vuitton bags to local stars such as Sania Reja Aske, whose recent Perunkasvarunka   collection can be found in Pentlja in pretty much its entirety.

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Prices? For Aske’s faux fur coat you’ll pay EUR 999. However, as it goes for most of the pieces you’ll find in the shop, you’ll be the only person on the planet to rock it. Hence the price.

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Apart from unique pieces and easily recognisable brands, such as LV, Pentlja also offers some other safe luxury purchases, notably Moët & Chandon champagne in bottles of all sizes and scents and fragrant candles from Ladurée, a French patisserie shop.

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For some reason, next to fashion magazines, you can also find books in Pentlja. As the selection of titles appeared rather random, we learned that they all originate from Vale Novak publishing house. Perhaps so that even those too broke or too fashion averse to purchase any other items can go home with a collection of Slavoj Žižek’s jokes.  

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04 Dec 2018, 16:10 PM

Tanja Jerman and Matej Klemen are teachers of Slovene at the Centre for Slovene as a Second and Foreign Language, and have taught for quite some time in Slovenia and around the world. They are also authors of several textbooks and other publications for learning Slovene. We got in touch with them asked some questions about their experiences teaching this often challenging language.

1. People say that Slovenian is one of the hardest languages to learn. What are your thoughts?

Matej: This is a common thing to say. However, I think Slovene is just as easy or just as difficult – if you want – as any other language. Starting learning any language with the mental set ‘this is so difficult’ is definitely not helpful. If you speak another Slavonic language, learning Slovene is not difficult at all, as far as I can judge from my experience teaching Slavonic speakers. As for English speakers, it might be that they experience some difficulties when starting learning Slovene as the languages are quite different. Once they grasp the structure of Slovene, they are fine. Some of my students who speak English as their first language now work as translators from Slovene into other languages, researchers etc.

Tanja: I agree with Matej and of course disagree with the stereotype of Slovene being a difficult language. To add a couple of things, Slovene uses Latin script, has quite a few borrowed words and all this helps the language learners. At the beginning of the course, I like to tell my students that Slovene only has three tenses: only one past, only one present and one future tense. This cheers them up a bit. There might be quite a lot of endings regarding nouns and adjectives. However, if you compare Slovene to let’s say Finnish or Hungarian with their 15 or 18 cases, respectively, Slovene is a piece of cake with only six of them.

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Photo: JL Flanner

Related: New Courses & Nationality Exam Prep at the Centre for Slovene as a Second & Foreign Language

2. Tell us about the typical experiences of foreigners who come to you to learn Slovenian as total beginners – the problems they face, the things they find easy, when people stop learning, etc.

Matej: Our philosophy at the Centre for Slovene is that there are practically no beginners in Slovene. Everyone knows at least something. I only once met a person who wanted to join our courses and she said she knew absolutely nothing. It turned out that she knew three Slovene words (and really only three!): sol (salt), mleko (milk), kosmiči (cereal). She picked them up from packages in the store. As a teacher, I have to see this potential and use it to facilitate learning, acquiring new vocabulary.

Tanja: Once the students grasp the phonetics of Slovene, they realise how easy it is actually to read and write in the language. However, they have to invest some time in learning vocabulary and above all they need to practice speaking. This quite often presents a problem for our students. People in Slovenia tend to switch from Slovene into the foreign language they speak, so the students of Slovene struggle to find a partner to talk to in Slovene. Thus, one of the first phrases I teach them is Učim se slovenščino. Prosim, govorite slovensko.

At the Centre for Slovene, we try to make the learning process as comfortable as possible, on the other hand also as useful and authentic as possible. At the very beginning, we teach the most frequent phrases and vocabulary, basic and useful grammar structures. We do not overburden students with exceptions, irregular verbs etc. if it is not absolutely necessary.

Matej: When do our students stop learning? I believe that when they reach the level they need, once they run out of time, money… Some of them return to our Centre again and again as the learning process is a never-ending story.

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Learn about the Centre's Ivan Cankar boardgame here

3. So many foreigners seem to have a mental block about learning Slovenian, especially if they can live and work here without learning the language. How do you 'unblock' that mentality?

Tanja: As person decides to learn a new language, they are usually already ‘unblocked’ and have already made the first step. My task as a teacher is to motivate this person to make progress, to support them on their way. Every little success in communication, in comprehension (e.g. being successful in buying some fresh vegetables at the Ljubljana market in Slovene, giving a compliment to your mother-in-law, etc.) shows their progress in language learning and brings satisfaction.

Matej: There might be sometimes a person who really concentrates on speaking perfectly and not making any mistakes rather than speaking fluently or speaking at all. I try to explain that knowing all of the details of the grammar will not get them anywhere if they do not relax and speak. By creating a relaxed and supportive atmosphere in the classroom, I am usually successful in this.

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Learn Slovene with memes, with more for you here

4. Language errors can be funny. Are there any common one’s that make native speakers laugh?

Tanja: A very useful phrase, especially in summer is ‘I’m hot’. Please, do not translate it word by word! You will end up with Vroč sem! or Vroča sem! It would sound inappropriate or you might give a person the wrong impression – advertising yourself as a hot babe. The adjective vroč (hot) is normally used with weather (vroče vreme – hot weather, vroč dan – hot day). When feeling hot, use a phrase Vroče mi je. Also, I would not swear by the Google translate. I once came across a sentence Vabim te na datum., literally: I’m inviting you for a date. where the word date stands for ‘a particular day’. Google translate was not able to realise the person wanted to invite me to a different thing, i.e. zmenek.

Matej: One of the most frequent verbs is iti (to go), which is irregular. It’s really important to learn its specific forms. If you simply follow the standard rules, you might end up with a sentence like Včeraj sem grel plavat. (Yesterday, I warmed swimming.) instead of Včeraj sem šel plavat. (Yesterday, I went swimming.).

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Learn more about the course for learning Slovenian online here

5. What do you find difficult about speaking English?

Matej: For me, finding the right expression can be tricky. Regarding grammar, I have always struggled with if clauses. If (!) I begin a sentence and manage not to remember it’s an if-clause, then I am OK. However, if my brain senses the sentence is an if-clause it just melts, and the result can be barely intelligible.

Tanja: Oh, don’t be silly! I told you so many times that grammar is not the most important bit of the language. However, it is true that some Slovenes tend to ignore some English grammar rules. Just listen to our English and you will hear all the difficulties we encounter in using tenses (perfect tenses specifically), definite and indefinite articles, in ignoring the difference between long and short vowels. Guess what a sheet becomes in Slovene pronunciation. We are sometimes close to the Italian guy from the following joke.

6. Learning Slovene is a serious business. Why should people sign up for a course at the Centre, and what is on offer with your language school?

Matej: The courses at Centre for Slovene have been around for more than 30 years. We are a part of the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana. The Centre has an expertise in researching and developing the field of Slovene as a second and foreign language, teaching, testing and certifying language proficiency. We also publish textbooks and handbooks for teachers, organise teacher trainings. We’ve recently developed an on-line course www.slonline.si which has proved very popular around the globe as it is available in seven language combinations free of charge. In short, we really are the centre regarding Slovene as a foreign language.

Tanja: I would also like to point out our experienced teachers and quality materials. As already mentioned, we create a stimulating environment where our students reach the best results. We offer courses all year round for adults as well as for young learners, on different levels from A1 to C2, for professionals as well as language lovers. Our offer is always updated on our web site. So there are no excuses not to join us.

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Learn some false friends in English and Slovene here

 

7. What’s your best advice for people learning Slovenian and thinking about giving up?

Matej: Find a minute or two every day to do something relaxing related to Slovene: listen to a pop song, watch a YouTube video, cook a recipe from a Slovene cook book, check a Slovene blog post, scroll through some news site… Something you like to do. It does not need to be a lot of time but it is important to keep the contact with the language. You have to take the initiative. You might as well follow us on our Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Tanja: Slovenes are very happy to hear a foreigner speaking even the basic words in Slovene. We do appreciate the effort. It is good to keep this in mind!

8. What are some Slovenian cultural products that foreigners who learn the language should be aware of?

Matej: I like to play quite a few Slovene songs in my classes. As the festive time is getting closer, my recommendation is a classic Bela snežinka. It might be a bit old fashioned but if you listen to it, you will learn some basic vocabulary and get to know a Slovene evergreen which will get you into the festive mood.

Tanja: Also, do not forget about potica – the famous festive walnut yeast-dough cake.

You can learn more about the work of the work of the Centre for Slovene as a Foreign Language, and perhaps sign up for a course, free online or in person here

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Photo: JL Flanner

Want someone to hold your hand while you're reading Slovene? Check out our weekly Slovene-English dual texts.

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