The world of Slovenian craft beer is a fast moving one, and to help you follow the latest developments we’re hoping this will be the first in a series on what’s new, put together with aid of Damir Galijaš, the multi-lingual, multi-talented man behind the Lajbah Pub (Grudnovo nabrežje 15, Ljubljana) and the Že V Redu, Primož beer store and tap room (44 Trubarjeva cesta, Ljubljana), both offering a huge, varied and evolving selection of the best local and imported craft beers.
"When I go out I drink a pale ale, then an IPA, a sour, double IPA and finish with an imperial stout."
Here are four recent Slovenian craft beers, and one cider, that Damir has been enjoying, in the words of the man himself.
"Dr Orel is back. It was one of the first craft breweries in Slovenia, and it was totally focused on gluten free beer, which was good but ahead of its time. Now Hopsbrew (Domžale) have bought the licence and they’ve relaunched it, which I think is going to become more and more popular."
"This cider is from Karlovček, a small farm in Šentjernej with lots of apples, and so they started to make a craft cider. Of course it was very popular over the summer, but it’s gluten free and so on, so it’s something you can enjoy all the time."
"This is a coffee porter from Pivovarna Kralj, a very small brewery with very nice beers, based on the outskirts of Ljubljana. They have an old farm that’s now a brewery. This porter is fantastic, which we also have on tap at Lajbah, with a very good price and performance. Going into autumn and winter the dark beers will be more popular, and this is a great one to sit on the couch in the evening and enjoy alone or with a friend."
"This is the new Kromberger pilsner from Reservoir Dogs, in Nova Gorica. It’s a fresh beer, maybe just one month old, and a craft beer for people who don’t like craft beer."
"Pregl is new beer from the experimental range of Kamnik’s Maister Brewery. A very nice sour with passionfruit and mango."
All our stories on craft beer in Slovenia are here
This summer, and until October 13, visitors have been able to experience a very unusual show held in the basement of the Slovenian National Gallery. The exhibition Alan Ford Runs a Victory Lap (Alan Ford teče častni krog) marks 50 years of the Italian comic book named Alan Ford and consists of 162 original boards created by a writer Luciano Secchi – aka Bunker – and artist Roberto Raviola – Magnus – in the years between 1969 and 1975. As the gallery proudly announced, this is the largest exhibition of Alan Ford boards so far, much bigger than the one in Rome which only displayed 30 of such originals.
So how come an Italian comic book has found its way to the Slovenian National Gallery, a place reserved for classic paintings, olds statues and even the original Robba Fountain, that was removed from the Town Square to protect it from rain and other damaging environmental influences?
One of the reasons for this lies in the fact that the comic was much bigger in Yugoslavia than it was in the land of its origin. Not that Alan Ford wasn’t popular in Italy, it’s just that in Yugoslavia it became a cultural phenomenon spread across the entire federation. As Izar Lunaček, a comic book artist commented on Alan Ford in an interview for a national broadcaster, artists from the former Yugoslavia are a bit of fed up with it, since every time they tell someone what they do for a living, the response is always the same, “Oh, I read Alan Ford!”
According to its writer, Bunker, Alan Ford draws on an old art form called commedia dell’arte set in a Cold War situation. The plot consists of a group of anti-Bond characters, who under the official name TNT group run secret government operations from a flower shop in Brooklyn, New York, a cover for their headquarters.
The characters, just like actors of commedia dell’arte, represent fixed social types. To name few of the group’s members:
Alan Ford is a naïve and handsome young man with a troubled love life, drawn to look like the British actor Peter O’Toole.
Number One is a cunning old man in a wheelchair, who is in charge of their secret operations. He is in possession a little black book full of compromising information on pretty much everyone, so it seems. He is also very miserly and keeps his agents in a state of constant poverty. He likes to tell them his life story, such as the role he played in Ancient Rome or the American Civil War.
Sir Oliver is an English nobleman and a kleptomaniac, who manages to steal something in every episode, then calls his friend to sell the goods, repeating the line: “Price? A bargain.”
Bob Rock, from a family of criminals, is a very short agent with a quick temper and a large nose, which is the subject of many jokes (which then cause him to lose his temper). Bob Rock is also the most outspoken of the group when complaining about the poor working conditions they have to endure.
This is the decisive moment: better to live one hundred years as a millionaire, than one week in poverty!
Otto von Grunf is a German-born inventor, now a naturalised American, who fought in WWI and, as suggested on many occasions, in WWII as well. A coward full of false bravado he is in charge of the group’s gadget development, although these devices are mostly useless or make little sense.
On the side of the villains the one worth mentioning is Superciuk (in Yugoslavia known as Superhik), or Superdrunk, a man who “steals from the poor to give to the rich”, a super anti-hero whose main weapon is his deadly breath, alimented with poor quality Barbera (wine) and onions. In ordinary life, Superhik is a street-sweeper.
There have been numerous attempts at explanations of why this comic book was so big in Yugoslavia while other translations fared poorly. On reason why the comic didn’t succeed in other countries could certainly be found in the market. It could also be argued that perhaps other translations weren’t as masterfully done as Nenad Brixy’s, under the pseudonym Timothy Toucher. Brixy was also the person mostly responsible for introducing of the comic to the Yugoslav market in 1970, as the man not only found the comic in a shop in Trieste, but translated it into Croatian and as an entertainment editor of Vjesnik secured its publication. When a Slovenian translation emerged in 1993, it was accepted with mixed reviews, some people still continued to prefer the “original” Croatian version.
But this doesn’t explain why Alan Ford gained such a cult status among the Yugoslavs, who en masse identified with the absurdism of the comic.
In part the question was answered by the author, Bunker, himself, who has linked the comic with the tradition of commedia dell’arte.
In this 16th century theatrical form, actors play characters who represent fixed social types and as such improvise on a pre-set plot. Interestingly enough, such improvisation takes much more work than a fully scripted play would, as it involves a lot of practice using various contingency based on reactions from the audience and other actors.
Several scholarly articles have noted that such practice is in fact required from players of every democratic regime. However, “Whereas in English theatre the drama was built around personalities, in commedia dell'arte the characters were subordinate to the plot, as is also the case in democratic politics.”
Commedia dell’arte evades the modern notion of identity as a quest for authenticity in which a “true” self, distorted by a social role-playing, needs to be discovered and exhibited. Instead, role-playing is what constitutes the creation and re-creation of the reality, or “the truth”.
In an interview for the national broadcaster, Marcel Štefančič thus explains: “Why would you have a feeling that all of this was taking place in Yugoslavia? To be a Yugoslavian, that was a role. A Yugoslavian was constantly aware of the fact that they were playing a character. A Yugoslavian was always aware that they were playing a role and they accepted to play that role. They were aware of the gap between their mask, between their acting and the social reality. But they continued to act … These characters in Alan Ford, someone might think, were some sort of Yugoslav dissidents. No way, it was the other way around. A Yugoslavian dissident was certain that behind the mask, there exists some genuine truth. No, these Alan Ford characters lived in no illusion with regard to the fact that even the truth is only a mask.”
Or, to conclude with another quote, from Lazar Džamić, a researcher of the Balkan Alan Ford phenomenon, “Our natural environment, our system of social organisation is not socialism or communism, it is surrealism. This isn’t an art form, it’s what we’ve lived.”
And thus Alan Ford remains, in newsstands, secondhand bookstores and homes across the former Yugoslavia, a window into a world that once was and in many ways continnues to be.
STA, 9 October 2019 - The public health insurance fund ZZZS marked today the 130th anniversary of health insurance in Slovenia. The concept was formally introduced on 1 August 1889 with the launch of the first sickness fund involving compulsory health insurance in Ljubljana.
The local fund was modelled on Bismarck's social insurance for workers, while it was based on legislation issued in the Austro-Hungarian Empire on 6 April 1888.
The solidarity-based fund provided access to healthcare to all workers and their families. The right is enjoyed today by everybody in Slovenia and individual benefits have been expanded, but the basic features were already there in 1889.
The first sickness funds provided workers with a sickness allowance amounting to 60% of their usual pay, however for a maximum of 20 weeks. They were also entitled to a doctor, to medication as well hospital treatment, but for four weeks at the most.
Moreover, women were entitled to 60% of the average pay the first month after giving birth and the purse also paid out a funeral allowance to the family of the deceased amounting to the average pay for 20 days of work.
Addressing the anniversary ceremony, ZZZS director general Marjan Sušelj urged securing the health system's sustainability in the long run, also by increasing state budget finding.
The ZZZS gets 96% of its funds from mandatory health insurance and "when the economy dose worse, there will be less in contributions. Excessive dependence on a single source of contributions poses a major risk," Sušelj told reporters.
He favours abolishing top-up insurance in its current form, although he does not think this will solve the issue of the system's sustainability.
Due to the population's ageing and introduction of new medical technologies, Šušelj believes private funding should be included in the system and the basket of health insurance rights should be reassessed.
Health Minister Aleš Šabeder also noted the need to shift to a financing system that would be more resilient to potential fiscal crises, and to ensure suitable access to health services.
The ceremony was also addressed by parliament Speaker Dejan Židan, who said that universal access to public health services should not be just a catchphrase.
NOTE: This advice was accurate as of 9 October 2019, but may be subject to changE. For the very latest information you can read the GOV.UK Living in Slovenia Guide (http://bit.ly/2W6cwQb) and sign up for updates (http://bit.ly/LiG-SLO-SignUp); and subscribe to British Embassy in Ljubljana's newsletter: (http://bit.ly/UKNinSLO-News)
The British Embassy recently hosted a Q&A on Brexit on its Facebook page, but this is difficult to search and not much of a permanent record. So with the permission of the Embassy and questions edited to remove personal details, here’s what people asked and what the Embassy replied - scroll down for everything or click on the following headings.
How will becoming a temporary resident be affected by no deal?
You will still be able to apply for temporary residence, set up a business and buy property as a non-EU national. The criteria for doing this is different for EU and non-EU nationals. If you are planning on staying in Slovenia we advise that you register for temporary residency as soon as possible at a local Upravna Enota (Office for Foreigners) and acquire an EU status 5 year temporary residency permit.
With this permit you will be entitled to remain in Slovenia and have the same rights and benefits as an EU national would with a few exceptions such as onward movement (eg relocating to another EU member state). You can then apply to become a permanent resident in Slovenia after 5 continuous years of residency.
If you apply for residency after Brexit then you can still apply for residency on the basis of an EU national within 6 months from Exit day. You would however only receive a 1 year permit. After 1 year you would need to apply as a third country national and there are different criteria for doing this such as being self-employed, pensioner, family reasons or property.
If Britain drops out of the EU on 31 October, what will be the process for permanent residents to ensure they retain their residency status? If a deal is done then what will be the process and will the transition period be 20 months as per the proposed deal or will it be until December 2020 (13 months)?
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, your residency status will continue until its current expiry. You will need to exchange your current residence permit for a new one, noting that the UK is no longer part of the EU. You must do this within one year of exit day. The UK government would prefer to leave with a deal and it is working in a determined way to get one. Under the current Withdrawal Agreement the Implementation Period will last until 31 December 2020. If a deal is reached, we will further provide information on the process required in that scenario to maintain legal residence in Slovenia.
I currently have temporary residence in Slovenia. Would there be any advantage in switching this to permanent before Brexit?
Ultimately this is a personal choice, but if you have legally lived in Slovenia for a continuous period of 5 years then you may wish to do obtain a permanent residency document. A permanent residence document can be useful when dealing with the authorities or for administrative formalities. To learn how to register as a permanent resident, please visit our Living in Slovenia Guide (www.gov.uk/living-in-slovenia).
In its page on residency and Brexit the EU refers to “EU long-term resident status”, and states:
"This permit will grant you a permanent status, and allow you to enjoy the same treatment as nationals regarding access to employment, education, and core social benefits. This will also allow you, under certain conditions, to acquire the right to reside in another EU Member State."
Does this still apply under no deal, and where can we learn more about applying for this status in Slovenia?
The 'EU long-term residence permit' is equivalent to the permanent residence permit issued to EU nationals in Slovenia. In the event of a no deal Brexit, Slovenia's parliament has passed legislation to enable UK nationals who are permanent residents in Slovenia to maintain most rights enjoyed by EU citizens. Slovenia's no deal legislation can be found through the link below: http://pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO8007#
In the event of no deal, will professional qualifications gained in the UK continue to be recognized in Slovenia, and vice versa?
Both the UK and Slovenia will continue to recognize professional qualifications previously accredited before Brexit. The UK and Slovenia will also evaluate applications made before Brexit under pre-exit rules, even if review takes place after Brexit. In the event of a no deal Brexit, we understand that Slovenia will evaluate UK professional qualifications under the rules it currently applies to third country nationals.
How will no deal affect setting up a business in Slovenia?
For setting up a business in Slovenia you may wish to contact the British Slovenian Chamber of Commerce who will be able to provide information about doing this as a non-EU national. For more information on this please visit www.bscc.si or the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce at https://eng.gzs.si/.
Can you tell us what will happen to any goods imported from the UK, in the event of no deal? Will goods, even small orders for UK products be subject to additional taxes and duty?
The EU will apply tariffs to UK goods in case of a no deal exit. Details of these tariffs can be found here https://ec.europa.eu/.../import-and.../import-into-eu/
Under the UK’s proposals for a deal, the UK and Ireland will collect their own customs duties according to their respective customs legislation. The vast majority of consignments will be cleared within seconds by HMRC without any documentation of physical checks needed.
In case the UK leaves without a deal, it will continue in this vain with no border checks at Dover. The EU importer will need to liaise with the UK exporter and the electronic paperwork will need to be completed on the UK side. The UK exporter will need to be registered for an Economic Operators Identity. More details are here https://ec.europa.eu/trade/import-and-export-rules/import-into-eu
Please also see the attached handout for businesses (http://bit.ly/2IkLvUE) which outlines the preparations businesses should be making in case the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
How should service providers to / from the UK prepare for Brexit?
If you are a UK service provider in Slovenia you can continue to provide services in Slovenia until the end of your contract (regardless of how the UK exits the EU). After this time you will become a third country national Service provider and will need to check with the relevant regulatory body on continuation of providing services.
If you are a Slovene Service provider in the UK you will be able to continue to provide services and renew your contracts as a third country national once the UK has exited the EU but additional paperwork may be required. Further information on this can be found on www.gov.uk
Will I still be able to buy property in Slovenia?
Regarding the purchase of property as a non-EU national, UK nationals will still fall under OECD rules on property rights and will therefore be able to acquire property in Slovenia under these rules after Brexit.
If No Deal, what effect is it likely to have on those of us who own a holiday home in Slovenia?
Property rights will not be affected by Brexit. If there is a no deal Brexit, UK nationals will be able to visit the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within a 180 day period. If you want to spend more time in Slovenia, you will need to apply for a visa and/or residence. Slovenia has outlined its residency regulations for a no deal Brexit in its no deal contingency regulation, which can be found below: http://www.pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO8007.
What will happen to the EHIC with or without a deal? Is it true that British expats will no longer be entitled to any healthcare in the UK, in the event of a deal or no deal?
If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, you will be able to continue using your EHIC as you do now for the duration of the Implementation Period.
In the event of a no deal Brexit, the UK is seeking in parallel an EU-wide approach or bilateral arrangements with Member States to transitionally continue the current social security coordination rules, including reciprocal healthcare, in full until the end of December 2020. Current reciprocal healthcare arrangements also include EHIC rights. This will protect the rights of individuals who live in, move to, visit or work in the UK or EU until 31 December 2020.
If an agreement is not reached, UK-issued EHICs will no longer be valid in Slovenia. If you are resident in Slovenia, you should seek healthcare coverage through the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia (ZZZS). To ensure continuity of cover, the UK Government has committed to continue to pay for state-funded healthcare for UKNs currently in Slovenia, for a period of 6 months while you transfer to ZZZS. (http://bit.ly/2o9KmIk).
After the UK leaves the EU, UK insureds will continue to have the right to free NHS care when temporarily visiting England, Scotland and Wales. They will also be eligible for NHS care if they move permanently back to the UK (including Northern Ireland).
What advice would you give to British pensioners on fixed incomes who are unable to afford additional insurance in Slovenia? Will there be funds available to help repatriate them for NHS treatment, if needed?
It is important people think about their own needs and circumstances and look at their options carefully by checking the Living in Slovenia guide, NHS Slovenia country page and speaking to ZZZS.
After the UK leaves the EU, those who have an S1 form will continue to have the right to free NHS care when temporarily visiting England, Scotland and Wales. They will also be eligible for NHS care if they move permanently back to the UK (including Northern Ireland).
In the first 6 months the UK Government has put in place emergency provisions to provide bespoke support to people who find themselves in a challenging healthcare situation (i.e. requiring urgent treatment) due to a change in their healthcare cover after Brexit (http://bit.ly/2o9KmIk).
What will happen to the EEA Family permit in the event of deal or no deal?
Your spouse will be able to visit the UK after 31 October, provided they comply with UK immigration policy. Under the current Withdrawal Agreement nothing will change until the end of the Implementation Period, which will last until 31 December 2020.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, it is possible that the EEA Family Permit route to visiting the UK will cease, because the UK national will no longer be an EU national. In this case, your spouse would need to apply for a visit visa (or settlement visa if you plan to stay).
For more information please visit: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families
Will UK citizens who are married to Slovenes be able to move with their families to the UK without conditions, or will there be a minimum earnings threshold?
UK Nationals can return to the UK at any time. Existing close family members of UK Nationals (spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, children, grandchildren and dependent parents and grandparents) who return from living in the EU by 29 March 2022 can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
Future spouses and partners of UK Nationals who return from living in the EU by 31 December 2020 can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Dependent relatives of UK Nationals who previously lived in the EU with that family member can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme until 31 December 2020.
After these dates UK Immigration Rules will apply as it does for other UK Nationals returning from abroad.
Will elderly parents of UK citizens who live in Slovenia be able to move here to live with their children, or will there be restrictions?
While the UK remains in the EU, elderly parents of UK nationals resident in Slovenia should be able to live in Slovenia, provided they comply with relevant regulations (depending on whether the parent is an EU national or third country national). In the event of a no deal Brexit, provisions for family reunification are outlined in Slovenia's no deal contingency legislation.
Our understanding of the legislation suggests that close family members are entitled to the same rights as a resident, whatever time they join them, and have permission to reside. You may need to demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support an individual's parents.
My son plans to go to university next year. He has permanent residency in Slovenia and has lived here since he was five years old. He would like to study in The Netherlands. Currently the course fee's for EU students are €2,200 Euro, but €12,000 Euro for a non-EU student. How will he be classed? I was also told that he if goes to the UK, because he has been out of the UK for more than 10 years, he will be classed as an international student there too.
If your son is planning to attend university in the UK next year (academic year 2020/2021) and is either a UK or EU national he will qualify for home fee status for the duration of his course. If your son has lived outside the UK for more than 10 years this should not affect his status if he holds EU citizenship for the duration of his study.
If your son is planning to work in the UK after his studies he may also consider the 'graduate immigration route’. (Available to undergraduates and upwards - primarily aimed at furthering post-grad/work experience for new graduates.) This allows for overseas/EU students to stay and work in the UK at any skill level for 2 years. After the 2 years ex-students will be able to switch onto the skilled work route if they find a relevant job for their skills.
For further information on student finance please visit https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-calculator to find out what your son can qualify for.
In regards to studying in the Netherlands, the Netherlands government have published information here:
Should you require more information, please contact British Embassy The Hague:
Is it still possible to apply for Slovenian citizenship and keep my UK passport?
The Slovene Ministry of Interior have confirmed to us that UK nationals are able to apply for dual citizenship while the UK remains part of the EU. Applications lodged prior to Brexit will treat the applicant on the same terms as an EU national, even if the review process takes place after exit.
Will Slovenes still be able to get dual nationality in the UK through marriage (and thus vice versa, since it seems to be reciprocal)?
Dual citizenship is permitted in the UK. The Slovene nationals who are married/in civil partnership with a UK national will be able to obtain UK citizenship if they meet the criteria outlined below: https://www.gov.uk/british-citizenship
I am a dual national of Slovenia and the United Kingdom. Will there be any changes for dual nationals after a possible No deal Brexit?
Your dual national status will not be affected in case the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
The last gov.uk publication on UK driving licence said that Slovenia would accept UK driving licence. You will just require an International Driving Permit for visits over 90 days.
You are correct that visitors to Slovenia for 90 days or less will not need an International Driving Permit (IDP). However we advise all Brits living here to read carefully the Slovene government's guidance on driving licences here (http://bit.ly/2u8gNX2).
The Living in Slovenia Guide continues to advise all UK nationals living in Slovenia to exchange their UK driving licence for a Slovene driving licence before the UK leaves the EU (www.gov.uk/living-in-slovenia).
My UK driving licence has the EU flag on it – will I need to change it in the UK before swapping it for a Slovene licence?
As long as it remains valid, UK-issued driving licences will continue to be valid, including those with EU images. You should exchange your UK driving license for a Slovene one if you meet the residency criteria. Residents will be required to do so within 12 months of Brexit. More information can be found on our Living in Slovenia guide (www.gov.uk/living-in-slovenia).
We have a holiday home in Slovenia. Am I correct in thinking that we need to get our UK will translated into Slovene and a copy deposited with a notary in Slovenia in order for our wishes to be upheld rather than defaulting to Slovene law regarding wills?
You are correct - you do need to translate your will into Slovene and deposit this with a solicitor.
We get child benefit for our two grandchildren who we are raising under a UK special guardianship order. Will this benefit be effected?
Should the UK depart the EU with the Withdrawal Agreement (Deal) your rights as UK nationals in the EU will continue as before and you will have full access to the rights you currently enjoy (e.g. child benefit) for as long as you remain a resident in Slovenia. If the UK departs the EU without a deal then the Slovene government has put in place legislation to protect the rights of UK residents until the end of 2020 when they expect an EU wide agreement to be reached.
If you are a permanent resident your access to Slovene social security benefit should continue as before and you will automatically continue to qualify for child benefit from the Slovene authorities. If you are a temporary resident you will be entitled to the same benefits until expiry of your permit when you will need to either roll over to permanent residence or apply for a temporary residence as a third-country national.
Our current understanding is that the payment mechanism between the UK and Slovenia will remain in place for payment of UK child benefits in all scenarios and are confirming this with our UK tax advisers. We will get back to you as soon as we have confirmation.
Since Brexit, deal or no deal, will be a complex, multi-year process, is the Embassy planning on employing someone to deal full time with the related issues, as well as those that arise if/when the UK finally becomes a third country?
As you may know HMG has allocated a significant number of additional staff to work on the wide variety of Brexit-related issues - both in London and overseas. That includes a number of full-time staff at the Embassy in Ljubljana, as well as additional staff in London and Europe who directly support our work and UK nationals living here.
If you have specific questions that are not covered by the Living in Slovenia guide you can contact us via our contact form (www.gov.uk/contact-consulate-ljubljana) or by telephone (01) 200 39 10.
I attended the second edition of the Slovene Cheese Festival 2019 last Tuesday, 1 October, at the Brdo Congress Centre in Kranj. Naturally, I was rather cheese pleased, having had a total of 84 different cheeses laid out before my eyes. For the sake of my belly's contentment, I had to make an effort to not try all that was in sight, as cheese overload is a hard one to digest.
So I went about selecting the most eye-catching and curious cheeses from among 33 enticing cheese displays (each cheesemaker could exhibit as many as three cheeses). The 33 cheesemakers present at the festival consisted mainly of boutique dairies, except for Slovenia's three large producers: Pomurske Mlekarne, Mlekarna Planina, and Mlekarna Celeia.
A lot of the boutique cheesemakers that I spoke to emphasised that they don't feed silage to their animals. Silage is a type of fodder produced from green foliage crops that have been preserved by acidification, which is achieved through fermentation. The milk or cheese produced by animals fed on silage is known to have a different taste that is not as pleasant as that produced from animals that feed on pasture.
Many boutique cheemakers in Slovenia are proud to say that their animals feed on pasture rather than silage (Photo: Denise Rejec)
I tasted a variety of cheeses ranging from fresh to aged, and soft to hard cheeses, some with mould, and others seasoned. Here are some cheeses that really stood out:
Kmetija Žerjal's Tropinc has a Teran grape aroma and flavour
Chef Jože Godec of Resje restaurant in Bohinj delighted festival-goers with seven different cheese-based finger foods. These included baked potato with the very particular cheese from Bohinj known as Mohant, cheese burgers, ravioli stuffed with skuta, and buckwheat pancake with goat cheese mousse and buckwheat popcorn.
Buckwheat pancake with goat cheese mousse and buckwheat popcorn prepared by Jože Godec of Resje restaurant (Photo: Denise Rejec)
Here's something that I'd never tried before: a cheese and chocolate combo. Kmetija Podpečan had trayfulls of chocolate-covered cheese cubes, some with chilli on top, others with seeds. These proved to be a hit with chocolate and cheese lovers, but I still think I prefer to eat the two separately. In my opinion, chocolate is too good to eat with cheese, and vice versa.
Last year's Slovene Cheese Festival was the very first of its kind in Slovenia. The Association of Rural Cheesemakers of Slovenia (ZKSS) organised the event to commemorate the 20th anniversary since its inception. Originally, the ZKSS thought up the festival as a one-time event to celebrate the occasion. However, due to last year's success, the association has established it as a yearly event.
Sirarstvo Orešnik’s eco-ripened soft goat cheese with thyme, and goat and sheep cheese with blue mould (Photo: Denise Rejec)
Some 20 years ago, a group of farmers and dairy producers decided to join forces and form the cheese association (ZKSS). Slovenia back then didn't have the small private cheesemaking dairies that it has today, having only major corporations doing mass production. So cheesemakers felt that they had to come together as an association to develop the cheese aspect of Slovenia's gastronomy.
Since its inception, the association has been based at KGZS – Ptuj Institute. Its 118 members are from all over Slovenia and are active in the field of education, promotion of cheesemaking on farms, and raising the quality of products. The association is an active member of the Farmhouse and Artisan Cheese and Dairy Producer’s European Network (FACE).
Irena Orešnik (member of the FACE management board) and her husband Dejan of Sirarstvo Orešnik (Photo: Denise Rejec)
The Slovene Cheese Festival is taking place on the same day, every year. So all you cheese lovers out there, be sure to mark October 1, 2020, in your diaries. At the third edition, you will definitely come across a few cheeses that you've never had the opportunity to taste. Till then, all we can say is “More cheese, please!”
You can find a more in-depth feature about the Slovene Cheese Festival 2019 on Wine Dine Slovenia.
The two Slovene Rural Cheesemakers Association mascots: “See you next year!” (Photo: Denise Rejec)
STA, 8 October 2019 - The Month of Design (Mesec Oblikovanja) event, bringing together around 300 participants from 19 countries in Southeast Europe, got under way in Ljubljana on Tuesday with the Design Expo fair and presentation of a number of awards.
Organised by the Zavod Big centre for creative business, the 17th Month of Design will bring together lecturers and debaters at a number of events on architecture, wood design and creative tourism, among others.
Also to be conferred are awards for product design and fashion, interior design, innovative carpentry and creative tourism, according to the festival's website.
The main event of the festival will be the international exhibition BigSEE, which will feature award-winning projects in four categories in national pavilions set up in Design City in Dunajska Street.
A special Big SEE Visionary Award will go to four "visionaries who have inspired and moved the boundaries of design and architecture with their oeuvre, developing the creative environment of Southeast Europe."
Several awards were already conferred today, including the Design of the Year award, which want to Gigodesign for Bokashi Organko 2, a minimalist kitchen compost bin made from recycled materials, the jury wrote.
Moreover, the Private Interior award went to Dan Adlešič, Gregor Bucika and co. for the Ansambel flat, which counters the trend of hyperaesthetic flat designs by using a more personal touch, and the Public Interior award to Nuša Jelenec for the pizzeria Trappa project that experiments with new spacial relations, materials, textures and colours.
Also conferred was the Timeless award, going to glass designer Tihomir Tomić for a glass coffee cup which he designed in 1980 and which was produced in a limited edition by the Steklarna Boris Kidrič glassworks in v Rogaška Slatina.
The jury wrote that the relatively long glass-working tradition in Slovenia had attracted various artists who primarily worked in other fields. Tomić, a graphic designer by training, worked at Steklarna Boris Kidrič and created a number of daily use products, decorative items and glass sculptures, many of which unfortunately remained limited to a test edition.
The coffee cup, made from hand-blown glass in a translucent and etched version combines pure form and experiment - etching with acid - along with an excellent and precise execution. Simple, essential, timeless, the jury wrote.
Design City also hosted today a design conference featuring presentations of award-winning projects and of successful companies promoting progress empowered by design.
The Month of Design will run until 8 November, featuring another 60 partner events all around the Slovenian capital.
STA, 6 October 2019 - Retired Celje Bishop Stanislav Lipovšek stressed at the annual Teharje ceremony remembering an estimated 5,000 victims of war and post-war summary executions the need "for true reconciliation with the past" if Slovenia wants to build a safe and happy future.
Addressing the ceremony in the Teharje Memorial Park (Spominski park Teharje) near Celje on Sunday, Lipovšek said 74 years were passing this year since the end of World War 2, 50 of which passed in forced silence and an guided concealing of the truth about events during and following the war.
While speaking of 600 execution sites around the country as proof of that, Lipovšek expressed gratitude to all who made sure that these sites are finally being tended to and that Slovenia is approaching the basic civilisational norm of giving the dead the right to a name and a grave and the living the right to remember.
"For a lasting an true peace and a future of our nation, a reconciliation of with the past is vital, since we cannot build a safe and happy present time and future without making sure true reconciliation with the past occurs.
"Reconciliation is only possible if we're willing to forgive. And forgiveness is only possible when we're ready to admit the truth, no matter how painful, difficult and burdensome it may be. Only the truth sets you free," Lipovšek said.
The ceremony was also addressed by researcher Slavko Žižek, who said "no nation can survive with a burden that began with the murder of several hundred victims in the autumn of 1941 and spring of 1942 and ended with the executions of thousands at the end of the war".
He rejected the continuing accusations of treason, collaboration etc, saying that the "only sin of these people was to resist the terror of the red star".
Many had to leave Slovenia because of their "love of God, of the nation, homeland and life" and they managed to preserve the Slovenian language and love of the homeland and transfer them to their offspring, which "simply does not square with the definition of treason", he said.
Among the victims the Teharje Memorial Park pays respects to were members of the Home Guard, a militia that collaborated with the Nazis; soldiers; civilians; and refugees from Croatia and Serbia apprehended by the Allies in May 1945 in the northern Koroško region as they were fleeing north.
The Allies turned them over to the Partisans, who brought them to the Teharje barracks, a facility formerly used by the Nazi Germany military.
In the subsequent two months, some 5,000 people were killed without a trial on several locations nearby Teharje, including the notorious Huda Jama mine shaft near Laško.
It took a long time until the locals dared to speak about what had happened. Many mustered the courage to speak up only after Slovenia gained independence in the early 1990s.
A memorial park was inaugurated at the site of the former barracks in 2004 but it still not fully finished.
Keep up with the daily news in Slovenia by checking the morning headlines here
The follow schedule was prepared by the STA:
MONDAY, 7 October
LJUBLJANA - The National Assembly will convene a special session at which the government will present budget documents for 2020 and 2021 before debate starts at the level of committees.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary inquiry into alleged abuse at the Bank Assets Management Company will interview several officials as witnesses.
LJUBLJANA - A Slovenia-Jordan business forum will be held as part of a visit by a 22-strong Jordanian business delegation.
LJUBLJANA - The women's section of the Slovenian PEN centre will give out the Mira Prize.
TUESDAY, 8 October
LJUBLJANA - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec will join a session of the Economic and Social Council in a bid to restore social dialogue.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Finance Committee will debate amendments to the property appraisal act, amendments to the fiscal balance act, and a bill on Swiss franc loans.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Justice Committee will debate amendments to the integrity and prevention of corruption act.
HALOZE - The Slovenian Rural Parliament will start a two-day session at which 250 participants from Slovenia and other EU countries will debate challenges of farming and the countryside.
LJUBLJANA - The Month of Design will get under way with Design Expo, until 8 Nov.
WEDNESDAY, 9 October
LJUBLJANA - Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok will pay a visit to Slovenia.
MARIBOR - A ceremony will be held as a new rotation of Slovenian troops leaves for Kosovo to serve in the international K-for mission there.
GENEVA, Switzerland - Day of Slovenian Industry at the headquarters of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Privileges and Credentials Commission will debate amendments to the deputies act.
LJUBLJANA - A ceremony will mark the 130th anniversary of health insurance in Slovenia.
THURSDAY, 10 October
SKOPJE, North Macedonia - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec will meet his counterpart Zoran Zaev and Speaker Talat Xhaferi on his first visit to North Macedonia.
CELJE - An international conference on inclusion of Roma and migrants in schools.
LJUBLJANA - The Statistics Office will release foreign trade and industrial output data for August.
PORTOROŽ - A ceremony will mark the 50th anniversary of the Marine Biology Station Piran.
LJUBLJANA - A new production of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute will open at SNG Opera Ljubljana.
SKOPJE, North Macedonia - Slovenia will take on North Macedonia in the qualifying for for the UEFA Euro 2020.
FRIDAY, 11 October
ATHENS, Greece - President Borut Pahor will take part in a two-day meeting with the heads of state of 12 other EU countries as part of the initiative dubbed the Arraiolos meeting. He will also take part in the Athens Democracy Forum organised by the New York Times.
LJUBLJANA - The parliamentary Finance Committee will debate the impact of Adria Airways's privatisation at the request of the opposition Left.
LJUBLJANA - MEPs Irena Joveva, Milan Zver, Milan Brglez and Ljudmila Novak will meet representatives of youth organisations at EU House.
LJUBLJANA - An exhibition will open on Miroslav Cerar, a two-time Olympic gymnastics champion, on his 80th birthday.
SATURDAY, 12 October
GORNJA RADGONA - A ceremony will mark the 50th anniversary of the bridge linking Gornja Radgona in Slovenia and Bad Radkersburg in Austria, to be attended by Foreign Minister Miro Cerar and Governor of the Austrian State of Styria Hermann Schützenhöfer.
SUNDAY, 13 October
LJUBLJANA - European Art Cinema Day will be held in more than 700 cinemas in 39 countries, including Slovenia.
LJUBLJANA - Slovenia will play Austria in the qualifications for the UEFA Euro 2020.
If you're not in town for the week of this guide (7 - 13 October, 2019) 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.
In town and want to follow the news? Check out our regular morning headlines for Slovenia here.
The City of Women Festival continues until 13 October, with many events around town – more details are here.
Wednesday Gemini Man opens at Kolesej, out at the BTC shopping mega-complex, offering two Will Smiths for the price of one.
Thursday to Saturday Kino Šiška is hosting Festival Stripa, a must for fans of comics and graphic novels. Other events also take place elsewhere, with all the details here.
Thursday, 18:15, the group France Marolt Academic Folklore Group performs traditional dances from all the regions inhabited by Slovenians. Nearly all the dances are performed in traditional costumes worn in the regions of the dances’ origin. It’s open air and free, and takes place right in the centre, in Dvorni trg, by the river (map).
Friday Open Kitchen is still bringing stalls selling hot food and cold drinks in the Central Market from some of the leading restaurants in town. As popular with locals as it is with tourists, and on from 10:00 to 21:00.
Krautrock is the best rock, and on Friday you can head to Kino Šiška, where at 20:00 the “hypnotic Chilean krautrock duo Föllakzoid will weave us into a musical trance of ambient soundscapes, suffused with the ancient mysticism of the Andes”.
Saturday night, 23:00 to 05:00, you can join the kool kids at Klub K4 for the season opener of SOLVD, with DJ Michael James, plus others. Friday the same venue is promising jesusonecstasy Live! (sic) which sounds…sick.
On Saturday you’ll see some organ grinders, but no monkeys, wearing vintage clothes and making music around town.
Sunday, 19:30, Kino Šiška hosts the Ljubljana Vocal Festival, an a cappella event. The featured group are Acoustricks, A-kamela, Bassless, Cantemus, Carmen manet, Jazzva, and Voxon.
Sunday a voice of a different kind comes to Cankarjev dom, with The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices , featuring the legendary Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance (and other) fame.
If you're in town Monday to Saturday you really should visit Ljubljana Market - it's small, varied and offers fresh fruit, vegetables, local specialities, snacks and souvenirs, while being next to many other sights. Learn more about it here. Here's how you use the Ljubljana’s milk vending machine.
Learn Slovene with memes, 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.
Photo: JL Flanner
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.
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).
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.
DJs at the top of the Castle (more)
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 Bar– 80s and 90s throwback nights can often be found here, along with rock-based DJ sets.
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.
Cvetličarna – Regional 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.
Ljubljana Castle – Jazz, funk and pop every Friday night.
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 filharmonija– Classical 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.
See more pictures of Old Ljubljana here
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.
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.
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.
Photo: Igor Andjelič. See more of his work here
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.
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.
Screenshot from Google Maps, showing the location of the Castle vineyard
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 Castle” here, and “Ten Ways to Enjoy Ljubljana Castle” here.
Most public galleries and museums are closed on Mondays, although not the National Museum.
Looking to buy some high end, big name local art from a trusted gallery? Check out our look at Sloart.
Bežigrajska galerija 2 – Take a trip to Vodovodna cesta 3 between 3 October and 13 November you can see “selected works by the Prešeren awards recipients originating from Slovenian Istria, coming from the collections of the Piran Coastal Galleries and the Prešeren Award Winners of Fine Arts Gallery Kranj.” The free to enter show includes the following work.
Živko Marušič, Ujetniki dima III, 1986, oil on canvas, 130 x 148 cm © Marko Tušek
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. This month there's also an exhibition with more works like the one shown below for a show described as follows: “The concept of the exhibition “Awkwardly Close” in Balassi Institute is exactly the self-conscious unease coming from artistic and content similarities between the works of Kata Bereczki, and the Slovenian artistic collective Son:DA."
City Gallery - Until 10 November you can see After the Canal, there was only "our" world: “The exhibition is an invitation to explore a variety of historical and geographical connections between Europe, especially its Easts, and the Middle East, particularly Egypt, with the Suez Canal as the trigger, while contemplating their reflections in the mirror of the present.”
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
The Faces of Ljubljana in the City Museum. Photo: JL Flanner
Galerija Kresija – Until 9 October there’s a free exhibition of ceramics at this gallery between Triple Bridge and Town Hall , titled Polona Demšar & Mojca Smerdu: A Touch Of Memory. It’s being promoted as follows: “How do you put yourself in the flow of time, how your own creativity involved in the present and in the future of the past, are some of the questions to which Polona Demšar and Mojca Smerdu respond with exhibited ceramic objects.”
Galerijia Y – Walk along to Trubarjeva cesta 79 and until 19 October you can see some contemporary art from four Slovenian painters, with all the works for sale. See some of them here.
Drink like a pro - find gallery openings. Photo: JL Flanner
MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, along with some temporary shows and a good cafe.
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.
Rafikun Nabi: Poet, 1980, print, 96.5 x 110 cm. Courtesy of the Contemporary Art Center of Montenegro. On display at the Metelova branch of the Moderna galerija
Alan Ford at the National Gallery
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 here. There’s also a big show on Alan Ford, one of the great comic books of the Yugoslav era, on until 13 October. Art for the Brave New World runs until 5 January 2020: “The exhibition will present the beginnings and development of an early government art collection in Slovenia, which, despite the economic and political crisis, was created in the 1930s by artistic and professional personalities gathered around Dr Marko Natlačen, the last ban of the Drava Banovina.”
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.
Photo: JL Flanner
National Museum of Slovenia – There’s plenty to see in the permanent collection here, from Roman times, Egypt and more. Running until 3 November is Roma Aeterna: Masterpieces of Classical Sculpture. With sculptures from the collection of the Santarelli family in Rome, ranging from the age of the Roman Empire to that of neoclassicism. 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 December 2019 is Our Little Big Sea, which takes a look at the oceans.
Roma Aeterna: Masterpieces of Classical Sculpture - see below
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). From April 18 until October 19 (2019) you can also see a show calledShamanism of the Peoples of Siberia, from the Russian Museum of Ethnography, Saint Petersburg. The place is located near the newer branch of the Moderna galerija and Metelkova. You can read about this fascinating show here.
Union is "the Ljubljana beer", but now both it and Laško are owned by Heineken. There are many local brews on offer around town, though, if you want to explore IPAs, stouts, wheatbeers, sours and so on Photo: JL Flanner
Town Hall – On until 6 October is A Hundred Years of the School for the Blind and Partially Sighted in Slovenia. Until 10 October the same venue has a show on Contemporary architecture in Ljubljana.
Vžigalica Gallery – Until 27 October you can explore a spatial installation from the Berlin-based artist Sinta Werner.
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.
Vžigalica Gallery – If you’re curious about the man who commissioned that Melania Trump sculpture, then you can see more of activities here, in a show called Brad Downey: This Echo.
Volčji Potok Arboretum - Running until 3 November you can see a large collection of cacti 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.
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.
Photo: JL Flanner
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.
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.
Open Kitchen brings market stalls selling food and drink from some of the best restaurants in town every Friday, from 11am to 11pm, in the square between the cathedral and the river - just follow your nose and the crowds. Read more about it here.
Photo: Open Kitchen
Ljubljana has some beautiful buildings from the early 20th century, in the Secessionist style, like the one below. Learn where to find them here.
Photo: Neža Loštrek
For something a little more brual, check out Republika trg / Republic Square, in the heart of the political quarter.
Photo: JL Flanner
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 prefer to get in the water rather than on it, then here's a guide to the various open air pools in Ljubljana. Note that it was written last year and so the prices and times may have changed, so do click the links and check.
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,
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.
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.
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.
Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain
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.
Photo: Google Image Search
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.
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.
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.
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.
Melania Trump, born Melanija Knavs in Novo Mesto in 1970, grew up in Sevnica, completed high school in Ljubljana, enrolled to the University in Ljubljana and then abandoned her studies for a modelling career. In 1996 she moved to Manhattan, where she eventually met her future husband, Donald Trump. In 2006 she received American citizenship. In 2016, due to her husband’s successful bid for the Presidency, she became the First Lady of the United States of America. In 2018 she also became a daughter of American parents, since the authorities granted her mom and dad, Amalia and Victor Knavs, American citizenship too.
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Luka Lan Gabriel is a young programmer from Maribor, who gained prominence by developing Snapchat filters and Instagram lenses. Visit his website and learn more about what he does and how that got him such an admirable following on his social media platforms.
Jan Oblak is a professional goalkeeper who plays for Atletico Madrid. Jan begun his football career in his hometown of Škofja Loka, then transferred to Olimpija Ljubljana at the age of 10. In 2010 he signed a contract with FC Benfico, Portugal and helped them to become national champions in 2014. After this successful season with Benfico, Jan Oblak signed a six year contract with Atletico Madrid, Spain. For the 2015-16 season he won a Ricardo Zamora Trophy for best goalkeeper in the Spanish league, which he won again in the following three seasons. Unsurprisingly, he is considered a one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
What we know about Maja Malnar mostly comes from her blog. She began her career as a small time local entertainer. She then got herself into some trouble with an eating disorder, a challenge she eventually overcome. However, “Now I am grateful that it happened as it changed me completely,” we read on her website. “I became extremely healthy and conscious about nature. Read a lot of books and grew on a spiritual level.” Apparently, Maja Malnar also succeeded in becoming ONE OF Slovenia’s most successful influencerS, whatever work this might actually entail.
STA, 3 October 2019 - The government adopted on Thursday a set of changes to the pension insurance act equalising the base for pensions for men and women to 63.5% of the salary and regulating the status of pensioners who continue to work.
Under the changes, the pension will no longer depend on whether the pensioner is a man or a woman but only on the pensionable years.
This means that men who have worked for a full 40 years will have their pension set at 63.5% of their wages as of 2025, up from the current 57.25%.
In this way male pensioners will be equal with female retirees, for whom the 63.5% is already in place.
Another change is that a pensioner will get by 1.36% higher pension for every child they have, yet this benefit could not be claimed for more than three children.
"We anticipate higher pensions and thus a higher degree of social security for future pensioners," Labour Ministry State Secretary Tilen Božič said after the government session.
He indicated that the long transition period until 2025 was a means of encouraging workers, especially those aged 59 to 64, to work longer.
Božič explained Slovenia fared worse than other countries in this age group, as many retire rather early, which he said was a major issue of Slovenia's pension system.
"We're focussing on prolonging working, so those who decide to work longer will be better rewarded," the state secretary said.
As for the pensioners who continue to work, they will initially get, alongside the salary, 40% of the pension they are entitled to.
After the first three years of being a working pensioner, their pension will drop to only 20%, as is the case now.
Božič said the government also expected a positive effect from this additional benefit for pensioners who opted for the dual, worker-pensioner status.
Before today's government session, the changes were endorsed by coalition parties, which however indicated some changes could still be made in parliament.
The Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) said the transition period to equalize men and women pensioners in 2025 was too long and should be shortened.
"We've agreed the ministry will make another round of calculations to see the actual financial impacts," deputy group leader Franc Jurša said after the coalition meeting.
He could not say for sure whether DeSUS would file any amendments, noting they would see if some corrections were needed once the legislation was in parliament.
The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities outlined the changes in March, whereupon they were subject to intense talks with employers and trade unions.
The Economic and Social Council, the country's industrial relations forum, gave them its seal of approval last week, at the same time calling for more extensive changes.
All our stories on pensions in Slovenia are here