Articles by Dr. Jožko Šavli:

Slovenian Masks And  their Social and Mythological Meaning
Speerspitze 45 000 Jahre alt
Slovenians are Masters in handcrafted wooden goods, the locally popular Suha Roba
The Triglav rose
National Geographic: Slovenia River Excavation by courtesy of Richard Jamsek
Rare Slovenia 5 Tolar Note
Zoisova vijolica - Viola zoysii
Kravji sled - Cow's footstep
Prehistoric flute in Germany is oldest known
50,000 year old Neanderthal flute
Zlato jabolko - Carniolian Lily
Zois' Bellflower
The Yodeler
Možnica Abbey  

The Russian Chapel
Russian chapel in the Julian Alps celebrates 90-anniversary (1916 - 2006),
Russian Road

The Monastery of Melec - The First Monastery in Carantania
Schiavonia - Beneška Slovenija - Slavia Veneta
The Bourbons  - "Little St. Denis" at  Kostanjevica
Grad (Castle) of Goricko
The Situla  
Planica - (Cradle of Ski Flying)
Mount Triglav

Slovenians are Masters in handcrafted wooden goods,
the local popular Suha Roba

For centuries the people of Ribnica and the surrounding area maintained the tradition of creating wooden products for everyday use in kitchen and homes. These goods, called suha roba in Slovenian, were a very popular trade commodity as early as the 14th century. The year 1492 was important for the economy of Ribnica. At that time the town faced the threat that, because of endless Turkish raids and pillaging, the entire population would leave. For this reason Emperor Frederick III awarded its inhabitants the right to perform untaxed trade with their products throughout the Austrian lands. The following emperors confirmed the patent.

It was at that time, that the »krošnjarji« (the traveling salesman) became famous. They carried their goods in baskets and sold them throughout Slovenia, the Alpine countries and Dalmatia. They traded with Germany, Greece, Spain and even with Africa and India. Their healthy sense of humour and good will made the Ribnica's krošnjarji the keeper of jokes, ideas and stories through the centuries. This also explains the origin of the local song “I am Urban from Ribnica, known throughout the world...”
Sample of the original song sung by the krošnjarji

Sem Ribnican Urban, po celem svetu znan. Pa bistre sem glave, pa lice imam nove. Zlice, zlice, zlice. Poglejte, zlice. Velike in majhne in še manjše in najmanjše. Male, male, male. Slišite? Cingl, congl, ropotale. Zlice so stare skoraj toliko kot usta. Ja, skozi usta se hrano hrusta. V usta se jo pa z lico nosi. Arabela, kaj pa ti? Ti pa ne? Ja, nic ne morem pomagat. Ti mi kar verjemi, kar ti povem.
Povem ti pa in vam tudi, da so zlice lesene, tale je lesena, poglejte jo. Tako lepo je okrašena. So plasticne in kovinske.
So tudi srebrne in celo zlate.
Zlice so jušne, za juho, so kavne, so cajne.

The »krošnjarji« (traveling salesman) now and then

In the permanent exhibition of the Technical Museum of Slovenia curators and researchers enable their stories to be told - the rich array of purposes for which their predecessors made objects, used them, and through time improved and changed their forms.

It was a craft that was particularly strong in the forested regions of Lower Carniola, and it survived to this day in the areas around Ribnica and Kocevje in the Kocevski Rog district.

the capital of
Suha Roba
(handmade wooden crafts)

In the Ribnica castle one can admire the exhibition of the traditional tools used for the making of various wood objects.

The home industry of suha roba - small and medium sized everyday kitchen and household items from wood - has a long tradition in Slovenian lands. In the dark winter evenings of days gone by, peasant folk took a well-deserved break from working in the fields. This was the time when family members gathered and formed a domestic production line for making wooden goods.

Family members gather for the production of hand-crafted wooden goods

Sieve making

This craft included an enormous variety of products, from toothpicks, through spatulas, spoons and ladles, to rims and bases, sieves and bolters, as well as a whole host of vessels and tools. Turned and lathed items were also produced, as were wickerwork ones. Although, for the most part confined to useful everyday items for the home and farmstead, production also extended to children’s toys, decorative articles and souvenirs.

Hand-madeTote bags from Ribnica

In addition to beech - by far the most common material used in the production of such wooden items - spruce, fir, beech, maple, oak, ash and willow (wicker) were also employed, depending on the particular product, its purpose, and thus the properties that the construction materials needed to exhibit.

The Slovenian tradition is expressed in the way of making, which is manual and preserves all the procedures of the traditional making of wooden vessels. Our grandfather used them for water, grapes and for storing various kinds of produce. These wooden products are nowadays adapted to the modern usage.

Slovenian tradition is exhibited in each product

The value of these vessels lies in their naturalness. Dry food products, cereals and herbs stored in these vessels keep their flavour, complete value and quality. Nowadays we are bombarded with products made of artificial materials. Wooden vessels are the product of the future in which ecological awareness and high-quality products will be necessary.
Today, the tradition of suha roba and the krošnjarji (wood-smith) has slowly faded into history. However, the customs and traditions connected to the trade are revived every year at the traditional fair in Ribnica, and the suho-robar from Ribnicia can be met at every country fair and farmers' market in Slovenia. (May 17, 2008)

Excerpts from:
Culture of Ribnica
Technical Museum of Slovenia
Old City Ribnica (Slovenia info)
Speerspitze 45 000 Jahre alt

Berliner Morgenpost
Freitag, 8. Mai 2009

Eine in der Nähe der slowenischen Hauptstadt Ljubljana gefundene Speerspitze aus Holz ist nach Angaben von Archäologen bis zu 45 000 Jahre alt. Wie slowenische Medien gestern berichteten, ist der Fund für die Altsteinzeit äußerst ungewöhnlich. Die einzigen bislang in Zentraleuropa bekannten Speerspitzen aus dieser Zeit seien aus Stein. Die Speerspitze wurde bei Sinja Gorica nahe Ljubljana entdeckt. Wissenschaftler im britischen Oxford und in Miami in den USA datierten das Alter auf 38 000 bis 45 000 Jahre.
The Triglav rose

Dr. Jožko Šavli

The one who walks the mountains in Slovenia, will also find the legendary Triglav rose (Potentilla nitida), triglavska roža in Slovenian, which has been named after the Triglav, the highest peak in the country. This endemic species is frequently found in the Julian Alps. It is also thriving in the Karavanke Mountain Ridge and on Grintovec in the Kamnik Alps. - The legend says, that a wild hunter fired at the white steinbock with golden horns to gain access to treasures. Blood gushed out of the steinbock's wounds, and wherever it touched the earth a flower sprang up, the roža mogota (magic flower). When Zlatorog, the steinbock with the golden horns, ate the flowers he was healed instantly. This flower was the Triglav rose. Then, in his anger, he has thrown the wild hunter into a precipice. - The somewhat pale flower does not remind us of the blood of Zlatorog, it did not stick in people's memory. Much more important was the admonition: Man has to respect nature, which otherwise will revenge on him.

Slovenian Collectors item:


Zoisova vijolica (Viola zoysii), this high mountain species is relatively endemic in the Karavanke mountain ridge, which is situated between Carniola (Slovenia) and Carinthia (Austria). In around 1785 it attracted the attention of Carl Zois, brother of Sigismund or Žiga Zois, the well-known Slovenian culture worker. Carl Zois sent it to the Jesuit Franz Xaver Wulfen, a naturalist based in Celovec (Klagenfurt), who described it and named it after its founder: Viola zoyisii. He called the flower  "the most beautiful child of our mountains". It blooms in May and June. On the rare plant list the Zoisova vijoica is enumerated among the species of endangered flowers.
(Dr. Jožko Šavli, April 2, 2007)


Kravji sled (Wulfenia Carinthiaca), or Kuhtritt in German (literally: cow's footstep), is a very rare endemic flower, which grows in the Carnic Alps (Karnijske Alpe, Karnische Alpen). This mountain group rises in the southern part of the Zila/Gail Valley, between Carinthia and Friuli. It was named in honour of Franz Xaver Frh. von Wulfen, who described it in detail. This rare flower can be found in particular on the slopes of peak Gorniške skale (Gartnerkogel, 2198 m) in the above mentioned mountain chain, where it grows at an altitude of 1300 to 2000 m. (Dr. Jožko Šavli, March 19, 2007)

Prehistoric flute in Germany is oldest known

Professor Nicholas Conard of the University in Tuebingen shows a flute during a press conference in Tuebingen, southern Germany, on Wednesday, June 24, 2009. The thin bird-bone flute carved some 35,000 years ago and unearthed in a German cave is the oldest handcrafted musical instrument yet discovered, archeologists say, and offers the latest evidence that early modern humans in Europe had established a complex and creative culture. A team led by Conard assembled the flute from 12 pieces of griffon vulture bone scattered in a small plot of the Hohle Fels cave in southern Germany.  (AP Photo/Daniel Maurer)


BERLIN – A bird-bone flute unearthed in a German cave was carved some 35,000 years ago and is the oldest handcrafted musical instrument yet discovered, archaeologists say, offering the latest evidence that early modern humans in Europe had established a complex and creative culture.

A team led by University of Tuebingen archaeologist Nicholas Conard assembled the flute from 12 pieces of griffon vulture bone scattered in a small plot of the Hohle Fels cave in southern Germany.

Together, the pieces comprise a 8.6-inch (22-centimeter) instrument with five holes and a notched end. Conard said the flute was 35,000 years old.

"It's unambiguously the oldest instrument in the world," Conard told The Associated Press this week. His findings were published online Wednesday by the journal Nature.

Other archaeologists agreed with Conard's assessment.

April Nowell, a Paleolithic archaeologist at the University of Victoria in Canada, said the flute predates previously discovered instruments "but the dates are not so much older that it's surprising or controversial." Nowell was not involved in Conard's research.

The Hohle Fels flute is more complete and appears slightly older than bone and ivory fragments from seven other flutes recovered in southern German caves and documented by Conard and his colleagues in recent years.

Another flute excavated in Austria is believed to be 19,000 years old, and a group of 22 flutes found in the French Pyrenees mountains has been dated at up to 30,000 years ago.

Conard's team excavated the flute in September 2008, the same month they recovered six ivory fragments from the Hohle Fels cave that form a female figurine they believe is the oldest known sculpture of the human form.

Together, the flute and the figure — found in the same layer of sediment — suggest that modern humans had established an advanced culture in Europe 35,000 years ago, said Wil Roebroeks, an archaeologist at Leiden University in the Netherlands who didn't participate in Conard's study.

The hole Divje babe (Wild Women's Cave) near Cerkno, Slovenia

Roebroeks said it's difficult to say how cognitively and socially advanced these people were. But the physical trappings of their lives — including musical instruments, personal decorations and figurative art — match the objects we associate with modern human behavior, Roebroeks said.

"It shows that from the moment that modern humans enter Europe ... it is as modern in terms of material culture as it can get," Roebroeks told The AP. He agreed with Conard's assertion that the flute appears to be the earliest known musical instrument in the world.

Neanderthals also lived in Europe around the time the flute and sculpture were made, and frequented the Hohle Fels cave. Both Conard and Roebroeks believe, however, that layered deposits left by both species over thousands of years suggest the artifacts were crafted by early modern humans.

"The material record is so completely different from what happened in these hundreds of thousands of years before with the Neanderthals," Roebroeks said. "I would put my money on modern humans having created and played these flutes."

In 1995, archaeologist Ivan Turk excavated a bear bone artifact from a cave in Slovenia, known as the Divje Babe flute, that he has dated at around 43,000 years ago and suggested was made by Neanderthals.

Dr. Ivan Turk
Found in 1995 by Ivan Turk in Slovenia, at the Divje Babe site, the juvenile cave bear femur bone, known as the Divje Babe flute, was a major find of recent times. But soon after it was found, in 1998, the theory was put forward, most notably by taphonomist Francesco d'Errico et al,  as well as Philip Chase and April Nowell, that the bone, with four holes in a line, was not a flute, but was a natural object fashioned by random bites from ancient carnivores.

But other archaeologists, including Nowell, have challenged that theory, suggesting instead that the twin holes on the 4.3-inch-long (11-centimeter-long) bone were made by a carnivore's bite. - Turk did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Nowell said other researchers have hypothesized that early humans may have used spear points as wind chimes and that markings on some cave stalactites suggest they were used as percussive instruments. But there is no proof, she said, and the Hohle Fels flute is much more credible because it's the oldest specimen from an established style of bone and ivory flutes in Europe.

"There's a distinction between sporadic appearances and the true development of, in this case, a musical culture," Nowell said. "The importance of something like this flute is it shows a well-established technique and tradition."

Conard said it's likely that early modern humans — and perhaps Neanderthals, too — were making music longer than 35,000 years ago. But he added the Hohle Fels flute and the others found across Europe strengthen evidence that modern humans in Europe were establishing cultural behavior similar to our own.

The 50,000 year old Neanderthal
"flute" is a multiply pierced cave
bear bone found associated with
Neanderthal remains in Divje
Baba, Slovenia, and considered by
its discoverers to be a flute.

Velikonocnica (Pulsatilla grandis)

Dr. Jožko Šavli

is a very rare flower in Slovenia. It is named after Easter (Velika noc, in Slovenian), because it blossoms in early spring when Easter celebrations are set to begin. It grows on the panoramic Boc mountain (980 m), pron. botch, south of Poljcane, in Lower Styria. This flower is the most important characteristic species on the mountain, but it is also the most threatened flower in Slovenia. With regards to its environmental surroundings, the flower is very delicate and therefore rare and endangered. In the proximity of the mountaineers' refuge on Boc, nature friends sometimes place a memorial at the site of the flower. Apart from Boc mountain in Slovenia, it is also found on Šentviška gora in the surroundings of Tolmin. (March 13, 2007)
Zlato jabolko

Dr. Jožko Šavli

Zlato jabolko (literally: golden apple) is the Slovenian name for the Carniolian lily (Lilium carniolicum). It is really not so rare and not so very special, but it is a beautiful flower. It can be found in abundance among the rich flora of the Julian Alps, where a truly natural botanical garden was first discovered by Hacquet at the end of the 18th century.

Dr. Jožko Šavli

Potonika, the peony (Paeonia officinalis), is a characteristic and not terribly rare specimen of the Karst plant life in Slovenia, although its beautiful blossoms are exposed to human predators. In May it blooms in abundance on remote sunny stone slopes- a delight for the eye.
Zois' Bellflower

Zois' Bellflower (Campanula zoysii). Around 3000 highland plants (ferns and seed-bearing plants) grow in Slovenia, and approximately 70 of them are endemic. Zois' bellflower was found more than 200 years ago in the Bohinj Alps and on Storžic; it grows in the Julian and Kamnik Alps and in the Karavanke. (Ciril Mlinar)
Cupa (pron. tchupa) a characteristic Slovenian fishing-boat

Dr. Jožko Šavli

Slovenian fishing villages are found along the Adriatic coast, extending from Trieste  ("Trst") westwards to the port of Monfalcone - Tržic. Since the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of the First World War, this area has belonged to Italy. These villages include: Devin (Duino), Nabrežina (Aurisina), Sv. Križ (S. Croce), Prosek (Prosecco), Kontovel (Contovello), and Barkovle (Barcola).  Each village had its own territorial water, except the last one, which is located close to the coast and is today a suburb of Trieste. The villages are clustered on the Karst Plain high above the sea.

The Karst plateau offers a beautiful panorama of the Gulf of Trieste and its idyllic coast which extends deep under the Karst edge. The coast is covered with pine trees and Mediterranean plants. On a small promontory there is the romantic castle, Miramar, with its white outer walls. It can be seen from far away. The structure was built in the second half of the 19th century and it has the following story:

Cesare dell'Acqua: Archduke Maximilian is leaving Miramar for Mexico, in 1864. - At the bottom of the picutre one can see cupa-boats.

One of the above cupa boats has been cut out and presented here in a separate picture

In 1856, Archduke Maximilian of Habsburg (a younger brother of Emperor Francis Joseph), was sailing on a warship in the Gulf of Trieste. Bad weather forced him to seek shelter in a small bay near the point of Grlan (Grignano). He spent the night in a cottage on a small farm that belonged to a Slovenian fisherman, named Danev. The following morning, when the weather cleared up, he enjoyed a breath-taking view of the Karst slopes and the sea. Inspired by such natural beauty, he purchased the land on Grlan Point and had the fairytale castle Miramar (1860) built on it, where eventually, he and his consort Charlotte spent a few happy years. However in 1864 he was nominated to be the Emperor of Mexico and had to leave the beautiful castle for Vera Cruz. After some years, the republican revolutionaries shot him to death in the city of Queretaro († 1867).

There were other events, which lingered in the public's imagination for some time, for example: In 1865, a shark got caught in a net which belonged to the fishermen from Sv. Križ. It was a sensation in those times. The monster could not be brought under control. But because he was beating with his head and tail, he killed himself. Hundreds of people came from Trieste to see the monster.  This included the Empress Elisabeth who came from Miramar to see the animal with her own eyes. The shark was thereafter prepared for the Museum of Natural Sciences in Trieste, where he still today can be seen.

The Cupa Boat

On the coast of Trieste, Slovenian fishermen used several types of boats. Among them, the cupa is the most characteristic one. In Slovenia, a boat made from a single tree trunk, hollowed out by hand, is generally called a "drevak". It is also known under the less familiar name "kopanja" (pron. copanya). But this expression derives from the same root as "kupola" (cupola). I think, the older and more original name of cupa was even cupola (pronounced "tchupola").  The name cupa must be considered as an abbreviation of cupola. This palatalised word (k > c, tch) seems to be identical with the cupola (dome) perhaps because the cupa or cupola has such a shape when it is overturned.

The cupa is narrow and relatively long and, hence a very unstable boat. In the event of  a storm the fishermen had to find shelter soon somewhere along the coast. Storms, however, came from the continent so those who were in the Gulf under the Karst plateau needed to be notified in time.  Family members warned the fishers of the peril that approached by making very loud noises from the edge of the plateau.  Despite these warnings it still happened from time to time that some boats would sink in heavy rains and wind.

In this connection, as Vladimir Gruden from Nabrežina remembers, they had a saying, which went like this, "The one who does not know how to pray, shall not set out on sea." He also remembers that the first fish, which could be caught as early as February, were called jeraj (it. agon). Other fish species arrived in March, April and May, after which the fish migration ended.  Hence people used to say, "The month of May is asking, how much do you have in the pocket" (i.e., from the sale of fish).

One of the rare examples of cupa-boats, which has been preserved and is now on exhibition in the Ethnographic Museum of Lubljana (Slovenia).

The fishing with cupa boats could only be done in waters close to the coast.  To fish on the open sea larger fishing boats had to be used. The traditional way of fishing using the cupa boat, as well as the fishing itself, lasted until the World War I. Thereafter, its use went into gradual decline. The end of the Second World War preserved only two examples of the cupa. One of them, called "Maria", was transferred to the Ethnographic Museum of Lubljana (Slovenia). The other one is on display in Trieste.

The fishing boat, called a "cupa", was hewn from a single trunk, generally a fir tree or marine pine tree (Pinus marittima). The life span of the boat was about 50 years. It was 7 meters long, but only 0.7 meters wide and about 0.7 meters deep. Given its narrowness, the boat was relatively speedy: it could reach up to 5 knots over short distances.  It could have a long traversal pole which was 5.3 meters long, one end of which was fixed a meter and a half meter ahead of the stern.  It was called a teslir. Both ends of the teslir were connected with an arch of dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) called brcagla (pron. brtchagla), which passed across the bow.  The sculls were leaned against one end of the teslir,  while a very solid dogwood arch hindered the break of the same teslir during rowing.

Normally, a cupa crew consisted of two men. While rowing this boat, the vessel endured  potentially perilous flank waves because the boat was so narrow. In order to keep the boat stable, the cupa had to have very long sculls: one scull was six meters long. The sculls were hewed from beech wood. Apart from this, the sculls had to be bound very firmly to the ends of the teslir so that it would not been thrown out of the rowlock, else the cupa could have easily overturned.

The scheme of the cupa-boat with »teslir« and »brcagla«.

The discovery and the spread of the cupa boat

Its origin must have been very ancient. Its structure, it is true, recalls a pre-historic way of construction, which has been adapted to local sailing conditions. Capt. Bruno Lisjak, who made the best study concerning this boat, recently discovered that the name cupa is also known in the area around Ilmen Lake in the St. Petersburg region, in Russia. It is very interesting that Nestor, the Russian chronicler from the 11th century AD, adduces the Slovieni, i.e., as one of the early Russian peoples, who settled right in this area.

In his work Capt. Lisjak offers an ample survey, regarding the locations of dugouts similar to the cupa. He notes several examples which were used on the lakes of Northern Europe from Pomerania to Carelia. The dugouts which were used in lakes Rybinsk and Ilmen (in Russia), were called "cupas".

In the Slovenian area, the oldest example was found in the one-time swampy ground around Lubljana ( around the 8th century BC). In the castle Snežnik, however, there is an example on display which was used as late as the 20th century AD  on Cerknica Lake (east of Postojna). The dugouts which were most similar to the Slovenian cupa were those used in Dalmatia.

Indeed, the Dalmatians knew it under the name landva (evidently from "ladja" - ship). As several documents bear witness, the name "cupola" (tchupola) must have also been known there. In 1272, for example, in the statute of the city of Kotor (Cattaro) the following quotation in Latin is found: "gondola vel barca aut zolla". This is, a boat similar to a gondola or a barge called a "zolla".  The name "cola" (tchola), in Latin, is an abreviation of "cupola" (today's "cupa").  Another quotation is found in the statute of Trogir (Trau) from 1322, that reads: "barce et copuli". Similarly, in the statute of Hvar (Lesina) of 1331 we find: "pro quolibet zopulo sive barca". The statute of the Pag commune of 1433 reads: "barcam zopulum vel batellum", and that of the Krk (Cherso) commune of 16th century says: "cymba vel barca". Here, the quotation "cymba" (pron. very probably as tchumba) must have been the Latin word "cumpa"(tchumpa), from which the form "cupa" derives.

The first document concerning Slovenian fishing in the Trieste area, and in which the cupa is mentioned, is a charter which goes back to 1621. In that year Count Mathias, son of Count Raymond of Devin, noticed several fishers who went astray in the territorial waters of Devin while returning from fishing. They were from Sv. Križ, a village in the commune of Trieste. Therefore, he confiscated their cupa boats and fishing equipment. In this charter the cupa is called zoppol. This Latin form can only be a non-abbreviated word of cupola (tchupola), which it seems, was still used alongside that of cupa.

A painting has be preserved from 1841 which depicts the cupa with one rower. In the background we see the village of Barkovle with the St. Bartholomeus church. G. Rieger made the painting.

G. Rieger: Barkovle (Barcola) in 1841 with the cupa-boat in the foreground

Rowing Regatta

In 1871, Trieste hosted the International Exposition of Agriculture, Industry and Arts. The organizers prepared several shows, among which was a Rowing Regatta. The regatta's organizing committee established five categories of boats for the contest, i.e., boats with six, five, four, three, two and one rower. The category with one rower used the cupa boats. The winners were awarded with five golden coins for a first place finish, three for a second place finish and one for third place.

The regatta stretched from Barkovle (now a suburb of Trieste) to Miramare castle.  The competition began on the 27th of September and it was well attended. They were spread out along the coast and in numerous boats.  A steamer of the Austrian Lloyd, full of inquisitive people, was anchored near the regatta area.

This contest might be considered a predecessor to the well-known regatta called Barcolana (after Barkovle, it. Barcola). It is one of the most important competitions at the international level.

Rowing regatta with cupa-boats in 1871,
when Trieste hosted the International Exposition of Agriculture, Industry and Arts.

Selected bibliography:

   Bruno Volpi Lisjak: Slovensko pomorsko ribištvo skozi stoletja, od Trsta do Timave/Slovenian Sea Fishing through the Centuries, from Trieste until the Timava River/, Trst - Trieste 1995
   Zorko Jelincic: Cupa, njeno življenje, razvoj in smrt /Cupa, its life, development and death/, reprint from the paper Primorski dnevnik, Trst - Trieste 1967
   Rado L. Lencek: Cupa - Cupus a hollowed out boat in Russian and Slovene, in: Studies in Slavic linguistics and Poetics in honour of Boris Unbegaun (University of London press), N.Y. 1968
(cf: Slovenian Arts and Crafts, article: Albert Sirk)

The Yodeler
It is not true, that the tune of shouting with joy exists only inTyrol.
In Styria, Carinthia... and also in Slovenia it has been used as a form of communication since ancient times.

Julian Alps in Slovenia with their beautiful panorama. Hardly any one is aware of the fact, that at one-time the shouting with joy, also in form of the yodel, has been wide spread in these mountains.

Dr. Jožko Šavli

People all over the world know that the art of yodelling is a typical Tyrolian shouting with joy. Therefore, I was surprised to read, that the older yodel originated in Styria (cf. W. Scheingraber; ABC alpenländischer Volkskultur, Dachau 1988, p. 108). The author says, this yodel appears to be the most characteristic one in the area of Schneeberg (north of Semmering, between Styria and Lower Austria). He also says, this yodel distinguishes itself from the one in Carinthia, which is of a particular soft melodic sound. He further explains that it also distinguishes itself from the one, which is practized in the Alpine areas of Upper Austria, Salzburg, Upper Bavaria and Tyrol.

According to W. Scheingraber, in the Austrian Alpine world, boys quasi make their own yodel "concerts". In Styria and in Tyrol, for example, when a group of young fellows comes together to yodel, the low chest notes are considered the main melody. It is a type of singing in which high falsetto and low chest notes are rapidly alternated; its production is helped by the enunciation of open and closed vowels on the low and high notes of wide intervals. What makes yodeling different from singing is the direct transition from the chest voice to the head voice and vice versa by the larynx. Yodeling started out with a single voice melody. That's why it's still very typical that a single voice starts the piece. Then a second voice was added, then a third, and sometimes a bass line. In Upper and Lower Austria the middle voice of the three is the main melody which makes it especially interesting.

It is true, that until recently, the yodel was also widely spread in the Alpine world of neighbouring Slovenia. Nevertheless, the recorders of Slovenian popular songs and tunes never paid any attention to this fact. They always thought, the tunes were not of Slovenian origin, but rather taken over from Tyrol. Until recently, the Slovenian people were considered to be a part of the Southern Slavs, who are not knowledgeable in any kind of yodelling, therefore, the recorders ignored the Slovenian melodic yodeling style, because they were convinced that it was a typical "German" habit. A charlatanry, they commited one more time in good faith.

In the Alpine world, the older yodel tune was an array of short yells, produced in an instant delightful humour. I myself remember from my childhood the days after WW2, when a cry of joy meant to greet other herdsmen, who pastured their cows high in the Alpine meadows. This was their way of communication from one mountain peak to another. In this way they greeted each other early in the morning, when they caught sight of each other from afar. Also the haymakers, who were cutting grass on the meadows in the lower hills, greeted each other with a yodel, when they arrived early in the morning on the fields.

The idyllic Alpine landscapes in Austria, where the most genuine yodel survived until nowadays.

To yodel on the idyllic mountains surrounded by peace and freedom, was an expression of joy and also of personal sentiments. If a person had the reputation to be the best shouter and yodeler, he proudly presented himself in front of the whole village community. I still remember the most general habits of yodelling, which sounded like: you you you youuuu how how (ju ju ju juuuu hu hu). In my native country, in the Alpine world around Tolmin, above the upper Soca (Isonzo) Valley, this simple tune of shouting was the most widely spread. But each boy invented his own melody, which also changed according to his humour and the environs. The male force expressed himself in the sound of youuu... which had to be very quickly higher and longer. Yes, high on the hills, enjoying the panorama of the beautiful world all around, one also yodelled alone, because this sound came from his heart as an expression of happiness.

The original Alpine yodel must have a very ancient origin. Very probably the pre-historical herdsmen yodelled high up in the mountains, where they had peace and freedom. They might have been of Venetic or even of pre-Venetic origin. But it is very interesting, that the yodel is limited to the Alpine area. In the southern part of the same Slovenia, in the Dinaric hills, which continue to extend into the Balkans alongside the Adriatic Sea, the yodel and cry of joy are not known. In this area, opposite to cattle-breeding in the Alps, sheep-farming is the historical tradition. Why the cow herdsmen yodel and why the shepherds don't, is not known. It also never came to my attention, that herdsmen from any other mountain ranges, like the Carpathians or Pyrenees, have the knowledge of yodeling.

Since immemorial times the yodel has been a response, which, at the sight of the Alpine mountains, came from the inside of a man's soul. An expression of happiness and felicity, when one found himself high in the mountains, in the centre of the divine world.
(cf: Slovenian Literature - article Dr. Julius Kugy)
Možnica Abbey
in northern Friuli
It was founded as a legacy of Kocel, the Count Palatine of Carantania

The present-day view of Možnica (Moggio) Monastery in northern Friuli, which in 1115 was founded as a legacy of Count Kocel, Palgrafe of Carantania. The arms with the cock remember St. Gallus.
Dr. Jožko Šavli
In the 12th century AD, the valley of the Bela (Fella) River and its tributaries, a part of Friuli, pertained to the noble Kocel (Chezil, Chazilo), who was the Count Palatine of Carantania, and the major-domo at the court of Emperor Henry IV the Salian (1056 - 1106). His estates were stretching from the creek Grigno at the entrance to the Bela Valley up to the village of Pontebba. Kocel owned also real estate in Carinthia, and donated ca. 1065 properties to Bishop Altwin of Brixen (Tyrol).
Kocel's centre and residence was castle Možnica (Mozo, Moggo) in Friuli, built on a mound above the Bela River, soon after its entrance into the valley. The castle has been mentioned for the first time in a document from 1072, which reads: castrum quod Mosniz nuncupatur (the castle called Možnica). The name has its root in the ancient Slovenian etymon mogila (today gomila), meaning a mound. The palatalized form možnica, with the suffix - ica, even denotes a settlement on the mound. Thus, the site must have been a fort in very early times.
In 1084, while preparing for his first Crusade, Kocel donated the castle and several estates to Svatobor, the Patriarch of Aquileia (1084 - 1086). The donation was conditional, that on the castle's grounds a Benedictine abbey, dedicated to St. Mary and St. Gallus, should be founded. The territory that was donated to the monastery should occupy the valley of Bela (Fella) as well as those of Rezija and, in present-day Slovenia, the valleys of Bovec (Pletium) and of Breginj (Woriano). It was not until 1115, that Kocel's bequest began to take shape under Patriarch Ulric I Eppenstein (1086 - 1121), and in 1119 the abbey was consecrated.
The monastery of Dobrla vas (Eberndorf) in southern Carinthia, a founding of Kocelin, Kocel's son, in 1106. The arms are not those of the founder as usually, but of the monastery itself.
About Kocel we have no further knowledge, except that he had a son called Kocelin (Chacelinus, Kazzelin). Like his father, he also donated properties to Patriarch Ulric I, who in 1106 founded a provost ship in Dobrla vas (Dobrendorf, Eberndorf) in the Juna Valley, Carinthia.  Under Patriarch Peregrin (1132 - 1161) a monastery of Canons Regular was founded, which in 1154 adopted the rules of the Augustinians.
Who was Count Kocel?  He pertained to the family of Aribonians, who had several lines. They are known to be of Bavarian origin, but it seems, in reality they were Carantanians. Abbot Ekkehart of St. Gallen (10th century AD) said among other things:... paterno de sanguine Noricae gentis antiquissimam nobilitatem trahebant, illius nimirum famosi Aerbonis posteri... (Uragiensis Chronica). This means: Noricans after the father's blood were the very ancient nobles, the issues of the famous Aribo... In the Middle Ages, not the Bavarians, but the Carantanians were frequently called Noricans.
The Countess Wichburg, who in ca. 1010 founded the Monastery of St. George (in today's Carinthia) and her sister Countess Adala, the foundress of the Monastery of Göß (in today's Styria), pertained to the Hartwiks, a family line of the Aribonians. Both sisters, being ladies, had the right to make donations and establish foundations only in sense of the Carantanian "institutio Sclavenica", and not in sense of any other German law. Thus, the Aribonians were Carantanians. Further on, around 1070, the Aribonians founded the abbey in Millstatt (Carinthia) as a family vault. Due to several accidents, it was later transferred to Seeon in Bavaria. Why would the vault not have been built directly in Bavaria, if the family really was of Bavarian origin?
The Carantanian name forms Chazilo and Chazelin also speak of Carantanian (Slovenian) origin. In the Bavarian or Swabian version the same name appears in the form of Kadalhoch or Kadolah. Nevertheless, already in 1104 the line of the Aribonian Count Palatines died out. One of the Aribonian lines, the Peilsteins, had their properties in the area of the Danube (present-day Lower and Upper Austria). This line survived still in the heraldic period, and died out with Count Frederick III († 1218). This family bore in their coat of arms the Carantanian black panther.
The Russian Chapel
A memorial chapel under the Vršic Pass in the Julian Alps

Dr. Jožko Šavli

In 1914 at the break-out of the WW1, at the eastern front, where the Austrian - Hungarian forces encountered Russian troops, there were thousands of war prisoners on both sides. In 1915, a new war front was deployed between Austria - Hungary and Italy, in which the most ardent front battles were fought in the mountains above the upper Soca (Isonzo) Valley. There, in the basin of Bovec (Flitsch, Plezzo), in the middle of the Julian Alps, both armies faced each other. But the Austrian - Hungarian army could receive supply only by ways of the lateral Trenta Valley (620 - 792 m), which was accessible through the Vršic Pass (1156 m) from Kranjska gora in the northern Sava Valley.

For this purpose, a road had to be built over the Vršic Pass, and in 1915, the commando of the Austrian army, stationed in Villach/Beljak in Carinthia, engaged more of 10,000 Russian prisoners to carry out the aforesaid project. They laboured during the winter months, clearing the new road piece by piece from deep snow. However, on March 12, 1916, the Russian camp at the Vršic Pass was destroyed by an enormous snow avalanche charging down the nearby Mojstrovka mountain, and more then 300 prisoners including their guards lost their lives under the snow. The surviving comrades built in their memory a small chapel below the pass. In 1937 all victims were buried in a common grave marked with a little pyramid.

During the period of the Yugoslav regime, i.e., after the WW1 and the WW2, nobody paid attention to the memorial chapel, which served only as a tourist attraction for by-passers, who travelled the Vršic Pass.

After the declaration of Slovenia's independence, in 1991, and after the downfall of the Communist regime in Russia, the diplomatic relations between two Slav nations were restored. Thereafter, the Russian Chapel below the Vršic Pass became an important memorial object that connected the Russian and Slovenian nations. For example, on July 29, 2001, the metropolitan Kyril of the Russian Orthodox Church honoured in memory the dead Russian soldiers at the Vršic Pass from WW1. Many Russians, who tourist Slovenia, do not forget to pay the Russian Chapel a visit.

Unofficially, the road over the Vršic Pass is called Ruska cesta (Russian road). On May 25, 2002, the Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dimitrij Rupel, traditionally celebrated the 10th anniversary of Slovenian - Russian diplomatic relations at the Russian Chapel under the Vršic Pass. There, he also planted a birch tree, the Russian national symbol, which should indicate the development of new relations between the two nations. Indeed, until the WW1 they were very lovely on the cultural field, but, in the period of Yugoslavia they ceased completely for more than half a century.

This Russian chapel under the Vršic Pass (Slovenia) is very small in structure. Nevertheless, it is a reminder of the Russian victims and all common people in general. This small monument took on a very great meaning symbolically. It became a monument to the simple men, who were victimised by the plays of great interest forces and their regimes.

The regimes declined, but the little Christian monument of the chapel survived. It is like an admonition to the present-day living people and future generations.
Russian chapel in the Julian Alps
celebrates 90-anniversary (1916 - 2006),
Russian Road

Celebrations at Russian Chapel under the Vršic Pass, Julian Alps (Slovenia)

High representative of the Russian Church is celebrating Orthodox Mass
and Prime Minister Janez Janša is addressing the crowd.

In the Julian Alps below the Vršic mountain pass there is a modest wooden chapel, called Ruska kapelica (Russian Chapel). It was erected in memory of some 300 Russian prisoners of war who were used to build a mountain road over the Vršic Pass during the WW1 in 1916. An avalanche buried many of them under feet of snow. In commemoration of the 90th anniversary of this tragic event, celebrations were held on July 30, 2006, with a solemn mass and with the participation of a Russian delegation: Sergej Mirnov, President of the Federal Council of Russia, and Vice-president Dimitrij Meznecev, Mihail Vanin, Russian Ambassador in Slovenia, and many other important Russian personalities. A group of Russian guards was also present. Orthodox Mass was celebrated by Father Filaret, a high representative of the Russian Church synod, who also gave a very meaningful homily. Card. Tomaš Špidlik, of Czech origin, as representative of the summit of the Catholic Church, and Anton Jamnik, Auxiliary Bishop of Lublana, participated in the solemnities of the occasion.

On the Slovenian part, commemorations were attended by PM Janez Janša, France Cukjati, Chairman of the Parliament, and Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel. PM Janez Janša took over the sponsorship of the celebrations. Another distinguished guest was Josep Borrell, President of the European Parliament. He declared that he sees his visit as a first link to all Europe in remembrance of the WW1, and even though Russia is not a part of the EU, the memory of the fallen prisoners of war is important for Europe. The Slovenian Transport Minister, Janez Božic, cut the ribbon to open the road passing the chapel. It is now officially called Ruska cesta (Russian Road). - Carantha Editorial is delighted to report this event, which will help to strengthen the relations between Slovenia and Russia.
A Memorial Church from WW1 built in a Sunshine Post

Dr. Jožko Šavli

The picture draws our attention to the mountain area north of Tolmin (Slovenia), in the vicinity of the upper Soca (Isonzo) Valley. In the middle of the picture we see a mountain-ridge, extending between the Soca Valley and its affluent Tolminka. In the ridge appear the summits of Vodel (1053), of Gace (1196 m), of Mrzli vrh (1359 m), and of Visoc vrh (1482 m), which lead us to the Alpine meadow Sleme. Behind these summits rises majestically the snow-bound peak of Krn (2245 m). In the background of the picture can be seen the mountain group of Kanin (2592 m), likewise covered with snow.

After the outburst of the WW1 in 1915, this part of the Soca Valley soon became occupied by the Italian army, whereas the Tolminka Valley and the ridge between both valleys were in the hands of the Austrian and Hungarian troops. The Italian army was under command of Gen. Luigi Cadorna, whereas the Hungarian and Austrian troops were led by Gen. Svetozar Borojevic. Heavy fights called "offensives" took place to conquer the strategic summits, and the lives of thousands and thousands of soldiers were lost on both sides.

It is late autumn, and the picture depicts the panorama in an afternoon light. Snow has already fallen on the higher peaks. On the left, the Tolminka Valley appears almost holy in the shadow, but still partly interwoven with sunlight. The place is called Javorca (571 m), (pronounce: yavortsa), and sits above the ground of the valley, called Polog (457 m). Therefore it is evident, that the name Javorca did not derive from the word "javor" (in Slovenian "maple-tree"), but from the very ancient etymon aur (sun), which after linguistic changes became iotacism, then jaur, and finally "javor" (identical with the Slovenian word for maple-tree).

In sunny Javorca, in 1916, a little wooden church was built and dedicated in memory to the dead soldiers. The church, which was designed in an Ukrainian architectural style by architect Lieutenant Remigius Geyling , is somewhat particular. Its outside walls present the coat of arms of all provinces of the Austrian Empire and the Hungarian Kingdom, with the arms of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy displayed in front.  -  Inside, around the walls we see wooden tables with burnt in names of dead soldiers. Two glass-containers have been placed in the middle of the church exhibiting some war relics. Two great Angles are painted on both sides in front of the presbytery, in the background of which, above the altar, appears the symbol of the Holy Spirit. Over the altar there is a wooden sculpture representing a Crucifix and two angles.

This memorial church has been built in an unusual style for this area, and is consecrated to the Holy Spirit as a supplication to enlighten nations and mankind to prevent further wars and world wars.
The Monastery of Melec
The First Monastery in Carantania
8th - 10th century
Dr. Jožko Šavli

In 1985 excavations began in the parish-church of Molzbichl (Melec, in Slovenian), situated on the hills at the western side of the Lake in Millstatt near Spittal in Carinthia (Austria). The archeologists discovered to their great surprise the foundation of a monastery or an abbey, which is not exactly quoted in the records. Until then there were only two monasteries known from that period, both of them built closely to the Carantanian border, but still on Bavarian lands. One of them was founded by the Bavarian Duke Tassilo III in Kremsmünster (near Linz, in today's Upper Austria), in 772. The same duke was also the founder of another monastery in Innichen in 769, with the intention to lead the unfaithful Slovenians to the path of Faithpropter incredulam generationem Sclauanorum ad transitem ueritas deducendam…as it is alleged in remembrance of the founding.

The fact, that both monasteries were built on Bavarian soil, although they were destined to christen Slovenians in Carantania, bears witness that the Bavarian duke had no competence in this duchy. Thus, Duke Tassilo III could not have been the founder of Melec. It must have been the work of a Carantanian duke. But who?

The christening of Slovenians began to be carried out intensively during the reign of Duke Hotimir (752 - † 770 AD) under the watchful eyes of the Provincial Bishop St. Modestus, an Irish monk, and his followers. When St. Modestus died in 767, the pagan Carantanians instigated two rebellions. The third rebellion broke out after the death of Duke Hotimir in 770, when the pagans gained victory over the forces of the new Duke Valhun and banished all foreign missionaries from the country. In 772, however, the Bavarian Duke Tassilo III invaded Carantania with his army and instated anew the reign of the Christian Duke Valhun.

The Bavarian duke was a vassal of the Frankish king, the protector of Christian Europe, and he acted accordingly in sense of the agreement between Carantania and his kingly lord. Indeed, already in 745, with permission of the Franks, Valhun's father Duke Odilo, came with military support to assist the Slovenians, who were threatened by the powerful Avars from Pannonia. In return the Slovenians gave their assurance to accept the Christian Faith.

It is possible that the monastery in Melec was founded by Duke Valhun himself, or more likely by his successor Duke Domitian (ca. 780/785 - ca. † 802), a Saint, who became the protector of Carantania.

The parish-church of Melec is still today dedicated to St. Tiburtius (fate-day 11th August), and so is the church of the one-time Irish monastery in Münster near Straubing (Bavaria). No other churches are known in worshipping him. Therefore, one can assume that the Irish monks came to Melec from there. However, this evidence is not strong enough to affirm that the Bavarian duke was its founder. A conviction, which is prevailing in today's Carinthia, obviously in sense of the ancient Germanizing ideology.

The reconstructed transenna and entrance to the presbytery of the one-time monastery church of Molzbichl (Melec) close to  Spittal, Carinthia (Austria). At the transenna we see Carolingian guilloches. The Carinthian archaeologists discovered the rests of the monastery as early as in the 80s of the past century. The monastery was established in 8th century AD and was the first in Carantania, although it has not been mentioned in the historical records. The conventual family could only have been formed by the Columbanic Irish monks, at that time the missionaries of Carantania. The find of an inscription dedicated to the diaconus Nonnosus († 532), which very probably was buried in the church, is a proof, that several Christians of the medieval Carantania were preserved from the Roman period. A fact, which bears witness of the autochthonism of the Carantanians (Slovenians). The quotations made by Austrian historians, that the monastery was established by Tassilo III, the Bavarian duke, are misleading.  In that period Carantania was independent. Thus, it is well-known, that only the sovereign, in this case the Carantanian duke, had the competence to establish the monasteries in his country.

(cf: The Installation of the Dukes of Carantania)

In the church of Melec there is a well preserved stone plate in the altar, which bears an inscription in memory of the deacon Nonnosus, a servant of Christ, who was buried here in 532 AD. The inscription stands witness, that a Christian community survived here in pagan Carantania since Roman times.

Some of these churches in this very community must have been still alive, when St. Modestus founded three ecclesiastical centres: Gospa Sveta (Maria in Solio, Maria Saal), Liburnia (Teurnia) and "ad Undrimas" (close to Knittelfeld) plus other churches, as "Conversio Bagoariorum et Carantanorum" quotes:ecclesiam Sanctae Mariae et aliam Liburnia civitate, seu ad Undrimas et in allis plurimas locis… The city of Teurnia near Spittal, today St. Peter in Holz, was during the Roman Empire the last chief town of the former Noricum Province in this territory. Due to the fact, that the towns' inhabitants were already christened at that time, it is possible, that a certain number of Christians from this area were preserved during the Carantanian period, and collaborated with St. Modestus and his Irish monks in the new Christianization.

The Irish monastery of Melec must have been the centre of Chistianization after the death of St. Modestus and after the defeat of the pagans by the Bavarian duke, in 772. But the Bavarian incursion left a great deal of mistrust respectively to Christianization among the Carantanians in general. A mistrust that disappeared again with the new saintly Duke Domitian and his good example. And by all means, maybe he was the founder of the monastery.

Thus, there are the ruins of a great castle not far from the monastery, on a site called Golišje (Hochgosch, in German). According to ancient tradition, it apparently was the home of Duke Domitian. He is buried in Millstatt (Milje) on the eastern shore of the lake, in a monastery founded in 1070 AD. It is abandoned today.

   Reconstruction of the monastery church (the inside) with fence and anvil in front of the altar.
   To the right: the figure of an orator or prayer, and a stone with plaited ornamentation of the one-time fence.

The monastery of Melec must have been an important foundation. Its church was 10 m wide and 21 m long, with the embossed apsis 5 m longer. Half of the church was separated by a stone fence, with an anvil in the middle. The stones are engraved with a rich plaited ornamentation, characteristic for the Carolingian period. The space inside the fence in front of the altar was destined for the monks, the space outside the fence was for the people. Among the findings there is a broach, which depicts a panther, a very typical symbol of Resurrection and the sign of Carantania as a Christian State.

The broach showing a panther, which was found in the ruins of the monastery church.

In the middle of the 10th century the monastery was abandoned. Its church was mentioned in the records for the first time in 1065, when Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg granted to Markvart Eppenstein, a member of the ducal dynasty and leader of Carantanians, the full rights of a parish: ... ius ecclesie sue ad Munstiure quod et Mulzpuhil dicitur... (Monumenta Ducatus Carinthiae III/328). From then on it was adopted as the proper church (eigene Kirche) of the Carantanian dukes. This fact has also to be taken into consideration, that the duke of Carantania could have been the founder and owner of the monastery in Melec.

It may be interesting to mention here, that in Slovenia the discovery of this monastery was suppressed by the mass-media, even the Catholic weekly Druzina ignored this precious treasure.

Selected Bibliography:
   Fr. Glaser: Das Kloster Molzbichl, das älteste Kloster Kärntens, Carinthia I, No. 79, Klagenfurt 1989
   K. Karpf: Das Kloster Molzbichl - ein Missionszentrum des 8. Jahrhunderts in Kärnten, Carinthia I, No 79, Klagenfurt 1989
Beneška Slovenija
Slavia Veneta

Coat of arms of Schiavonia: Divided per fess Argent and Gules, in chief the sun between two hills Vert.
Its meaning: the upper half represents the mountains of Schiavonia with the rising sun, as observed from the plains of Friuli and Veneto - the lower half.

Dr. Jožko Šavli

The north-eastern part of the province Friuli (Italy), i.e., the hinterland of the city of Cividale, is a mountainous region in comparison with the Friulian plain which extends toward the Adriatic Sea. The inhabitants of the aforesaid territory are speaking Slovenian from times immemorial, whereas in the plains the Friulian and, further toward the West, the Venetian languages are spoken. Such is the usage of present day categorized languages under the domineering official spoken Italian language.

The Slovenian speaking region received therefore the attributed historical name Schiavonia, and was later called Slavia Veneta (Beneška Slovenija, in Slovenian). This region, which back in history was always separated from other Slovenian provinces, came first under the Patriarchal of Aquileia (Friuli), and since 1420 AD it belonged together with Friuli to the Republic of Venice. When after 1500 AD the nearby County of Goerz passed over to the dominion of the Habsburgs and their Austrian empire, Schiavonia obtained a very strategic position. As to assure the loyalty of its inhabitants, the Republic of Venice granted them an extensive autonomy.

The autonomy was based on the ancient Slovenian law (jus gentium), in sense of which the inhabitants of the villages elected through the assembly (sosednja) their mayor (zupan) and his assessors (prisedniki). The representatives of villages elected then a grand mayor (veliki zupan), who became the head of the region, as well as his board (banka) composed of 12 assessors. The powers of authority over administration and justice was in the hands of the mayors. - The coat of arms of Schiavonia was until  very recently not known to the public. But it was in its fullest existence all that time, and can be found in the manuscript of Vincenzo Jacopi (1672 - 1726), kept in the library of Udine.

One of the assemblies (sosednja) of Schiavonia held at the stone table under the linden, close to the village church. The chairperson was the mayor (zupan) of the village. Illustration by M. Tomasetig, taken from Slavia (Cividale, 1997).
The role of the autonomous Schiavonia was to guard the frontier toward Austria. The inhabitants were holding their assemblies under the linden, the ancient Slovenian tree of life. And they were still doing so until after 1797, when the Republic of Venice was invaded by Napoleon and ceased, they continued even after 1814, when this territory came under the occupation of Austria. But since 1866, when this region was annexed to the new constituted country of Italy, the assemblies of the people there were suppressed.

Italy was hostile to Slovenian people of Schiavonia and did not recognize the Slovenian language. The Italian nationalists asserted with "scientific" arguments that the people did not speak Slovenian, but a Slav dialect. In schools only Italian was to be spoken, while the Slovenian language was proclaimed as an inferior speech. And so it remained until today. Moreover, after WW1 the Fascist regime in Italy put an enormous pressure on local churches. In 1933 it reached its peak, when even the Archbishop of Udine, who was also competent for Schiavonia, issued a new prohibition: In the parishes of Schiavonia it was from now on neither allowed to pray in Slovenian nor was it permitted to preach sermons in their Slovenian language. The divine services had to be held in Italian. A fact, which was sanctioned by the Vatican in order to connive with the Italian regime of that time.

However, the prohibition continued for an entire decade even after WW2, until democracy was installed in Italy. Already in the seventies the Slovenian language was permitted again in churches, but by that time Schiavonia was economically already a ruined area.
The Bourbons
"Little St. Denis" at  Kostanjevica (Nova Gorica) -  Slovenia

Coat of arms of the Bourbons, the royal family of France (King Louis XIV)

Dr. Jožko Šavli

The House of Bourbons reigned in France from 1589 to 1792, and then came into power again in 1814 until 1830. One branch of the family ruled in Spain from 1701 to 1808, from 1814 to 1868, and from 1874 to 1931. They also exercised their sovereignty over Naples, Sicily, and the Duchy of Parma from 1735 to 1860.

Charles X, the French king, was the ruler over France from 1824 until 1830. - Charles and his brother Louis XVIII escaped France after 1789, when their country suffered from unrest and disturbances in those times, and they did not return before Napoleon was defeated in 1814. First the elder brother Louis ascended the throne and was followed by his younger brother Charles. The latter ruled, it is said, in quite an absolute fashion. However, this fact did certainly not kick-off the July Revolution in 1830, but it was rather instigated by various interest groups. Charles X preferred to abdicate, as to obviate the dimensions of an unforeseen bloodshed, and went into exile, first to Scotland and then to Prague.

The monastery of Kostanjevica, Nova Gorica.
The Bourbons vault and their coat of arms (above), and Sveta Gora (left).

Six years went by, when he and his court took lodgings in Goerz (Gorica, in Slovenian; Gorizia, in Italian), at that time an idyllic town under the wings of the Austrian Monarchy. Unfortunately, Charles X died of cholera soon after his arrival, while residing as a guest in the palace of the Counts of Coronini, in 1836. His remains were buried in the Franciscan monastery in Kostanjevica, founded on a hill in the eastern part of Goerz. His body lies in a stone sepulcher in the vault under the church dedicated to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

His French royal court, also being in exile, remained in Goerz after his death. Its members took residence in the palace of the Counts of Strassoldo for quite some time until they left Goerz for Frohsdorf near Vienna in the years to come. However, the royal members eventually also passed away one by one, and their remains were transferred to the monastery of Kostanjevica, where they found their last resting place in the vault next to their king. In the vault, which is also called "Little St. Denis", repose now:

   Charles X, King of France († 1836, in Goerz);
   Louis XIX (Louis Anthony), his son and heir to the throne, Duke of Angoulême († 1844, in Goerz), and  Mary Theresa Charlotte († 1851, in Frohsdorf), his consort;
   Henry V, the following heir to the throne, nephew of Louis XIX, Count of Chambord († 1883, in Frohsdorf), and his consort Mary Theresa, Archduchess of Austria-Este († 1886, in Goerz), as well as his sister Louise Mary Theresa († 1864, in Venice), Duchess of Parma.

The Bourbons vault, a part,  in the middle the stone coffin of Charles X
with engraved initials C X.

During  WW1 the monastery of Kostanjevica was dangerously close to the front line at the Isonzo. The grenades damaged heavily its church and the sepulchers with its precious Bourbons family members in the vault were no longer safe. Zita, the Empress of Austria, by birth a Bourbon-Parma, was very anxious about this hopeless situation and she took remedial measures into her own hands. She sided by her great grandmother, a direct descendant of Charles X, to whom she firmly expressed her desire to transfer her Bourbons ancestors to Vienna, in order to save them from destruction by cannonading. The military command complied with the Empress' wishes, and in 1917 the stone sepulchers were charged onto railroad cars and led away.

After WW1 the province of Goerz became part of Italy. Numerous necessary diplomatic passes had to be issued before the Bourbons of Kostanjevica finally could return home, in 1932. After WW2, the eastern part of the province belonged to Slovenia (Yugoslavia), and the border, which passes very closely by the monastery, was traced in 1947. Because the city of Goerz (Gorizia, Gorica) remained in Italy, a new centre called Nova Gorica (New Goerz) began to be built on the Slovenian side, and the monastery of Kostanjevica became a historical part of the new town.

In 1986, when the 150th anniversary of Charles X was celebrated, Alphonse de Bourbon, a member of the Bourbon dynasty from Madrid, attended the church memorial in Kostanjevica, and took this opportunity to officially inform the Franciscans there, that the Bourbons family intended to transfer the remains of their ancestors to France. It also came to their ears, that the French President Mitterrand had requested the transfer, and that the actual procedures should take place in October of that same year.

But the Franciscans replied quietly that the transfer of the Bourbons remains was simply not possible because of a certain testament, that was safeguarded in the monastery. The testament of Henry V (grandson of Charles X), whom the royalists still considered as their king, although he never ruled, states: "If we die outside of France, we want to be buried at Kostanjevica."
Grad (Castle) of Goricko
The Mysterious Fort of Goricko (Slovenia)

   Grad (Castle) of Goricko (Slovenia) from bird's eye view (in the middle)
   The Knight-Templar in his equipment on horsebback (left)
   The Templars cross and coat of arms (right). The last symbolizes the vow of poverty depicting two Templar members on one horse.

Dr. Jožko Šavli

In Slovenian language the word Grad simply means "Castle", and a castle of this very name exists in the Northeastern part of the city of Radgona  (Radkersburg, in German), in the countryside of Goricko (pronounced Goritchko). Castle Grad has definitely earned  its name and reputation in every sense of the word because of its architectural mysteries. It is the greatest structure of a castle in the present-day Slovenia, having its foundation laid at the edge of the one-time Roman province Pannonia. In the Early Middle Ages, Pannonia was occupied by ferocious Avars for a very long time , who were finally defeated by Franks under Charlemagne, the protector of Christian Europe. In the following years, in one part of Pannonia, between the rivers Danube and Drava, flourished a Slovenian principality called Lower Pannonia under the administration of Prince Pribina (ca. 840), followed by his son, Prince Kocel (ca. 863).

Prince Kocel sustained the work of the Byzantine missionaries Cyril and Methodius, who first in Great Moravia and then in Lower Pannonia introduced the Old Slav liturgy. This was the reason why the Bavarian bishops removed him from his throne in 874, and suppressed the Old Slav liturgy. Later on, Hungarians occupied the entire territory of Pannonia in 900 AD, and in a short while they managed to Hungarianize the ancient Slovenian population that was settled there. However, alongside the boundary with Carantania (Slovenia), the Hungarians left an area of 100 km breadth as a security belt, which did not belong to their civil administration. In this area, called the Slovenian March (Totsàg, in Hungarian), extending from the River Raba in the North to the Rivers Mura and Drava in the South, the Slovenian language was conserved throughout the centuries, and after WW1 the largest part of the March was annexed to Slovenia. The scenic Goricko with its famous castle was part of this transition.

Because of its position on the ancient boundary, it is very probable that the Castle Grad served already as a post under the reign of Prince Kocel, later it was taken over by the Hungarians. It is certain that such a castle had been built at this place already in the 12th century by Knight-Templars. Bella III, King of Hungary, donated in 1183 this area to the Cistercian monastery in St. Gotthard (Monošter, in Slovenian). But the castle, as it seems, remained in the possession of the Templars, albeit not for a long time. It was mentioned first in 1208, and in 1214 it appears in the records as castrum Lindua. Thereafter many well-known Hungarian feudal families became its owners: The earliest ones were the Széchy, from 1365 to 1685, followed by the Batthyàny, Nàdasdy, Szécheny and Szapàry, and others followed in shorter intervals.

The image, that the castle reflects today dates back to the Renaissance. Proof of this gives the courtyard with its beautiful arcades. However, its foundation still shows something mysterious. A fact, which could be ascribed only to its first builders, the Templars. It was their stronghold on the way to the crusades that led from Vienna toward the Adriatic Sea and across the sea to Palestine. More in the South another post is a reminder of the crusades, the prebend of Velika Nedelja, which until the end of the WW2 pertained to the Teutonic Knights. In its proximity is to be found the locality called Jerusalem, which today is known for its very good wines only.

The exterior of castle Grad shows nothing peculiar to the superficial observer. But its architectural plan is puzzling. It presents a mixture of antique and medieval speculation of numbers and their transcendent  meaning which, as it seems, give us a mysterious message. But let us first see those secret numbers.

The castle as a unity must be considered as number 1. It is said, however, that in the castle at one time were 365 chambers, like the numbers of days in a year. The construction plan is pentagonal, which means number 5. If we divide 365 by 5, we get the number 73. This number has no meaning, but it is composed of number 3 and number 7, and these are very significant. If the last numbers are summed up we get the number 10 and this must be the last message. - We find the Christian symbolism of numbers in various publications, one of the best is in every respect the work of "Die Welt der christlichen Symbole" /The World of Christian Symbols/ written by Dorothea Forstner OSB (Innsbruck 1982). >From this work, in which the Christian number symbolism is described in much ample manner, we assume the essential lines only.

Number 1 composes all other numbers and is a symbol of the Being , the power of whom created the Universe. It is then the symbol of God and the sacred of all the numbers. The year with 365 days represents a degree in the human life. The man is with every year older. Number 5 symbolizes the Wedding. The fact that Jesus came to the wedding in Kana with five Disciples means that he was the very celestial Bridegroom. The vow of a Knight-Templar to his Order and Church was considered as a Wedding, and so it is still today. The number 3 represents the three dimensional space, the Universe. In Christianity it is referred rather to the Holy Trinity, and is sacred like the number 1.

The number 7 is composed of 4 and 3. The man's body composes four elements and its development conditions four seasons (4). The command of the Old Testament concerns above all the exterior service to God, which is referred to the man's body. The New Testament, however, concerns the man's soul, because it is something of God (Trinity). One has to love God with all the heart, soul and mind (3). Once, when the world time, which covers the Old and the New testament, will pass, then will be accomplished the number 7, and the eighth day, the Day of Judgment, arrives. - The sum of 7 and 3, i.e., the number 10, represents the Ten Commandments which depict also two tables of Moses, one  with 3 and the other with 7.  Evidently, the number 10 and its signification is the final spiritual message of this building in Christian sense. But there could be also another meaning.

It is certain that castle Grad, which is founded at the edge of ancient Pannonia,  represents a precious historical and spiritual  monument, important for all Slovenia. And it is also probable that some of its mysteries must still be discovered.

The Situla
An Example of Prehistoric Art

The Situla of Kuffern (Lower Austria), 5th century AD,
exhibited in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Dr. Jožko Šavli
The Augustan, An International Journal
of Things Historical, Heraldic et Genealogical
Volume XXV, Number 1
Torrance (California) 1995

In the middle of the Early Iron Age (800 - 400 B.C.), fine arts of great beauty suddenly began to flourish in the central and eastern Alps, including the nearby Venetian plains which extend to the northern part of the Adriatic Sea. Indeed, the archaeological findings of earlier periods coming from this area show, like those in other parts of Europe, merely various signs and markings on the vessels and implements; among these the sun and symbols of life, like the circle with a point, the swastika, or wavy line, are in abundance. So why in the midst of the so-called Hallstatt period did such beautifully depicted figures and life scenes appear on artifacts in this region? Where they the forerunners of a new artistic creation? This phenomenon remains a mystery The impulse could have arrived from the neighbouring Etruscans and their culture, but the Hallstatt period art shows many of its own unique characteristics.

Situla Vace (pronounce: vatche), 6th century B.C., is the most important remnant of the Hallstatt culture and its Situla arts in Slovenia. It is kept in the National Museum in Ljubljana.

Examples of this style and period are described by art historians and archaeologists as Situla art, because the most beautiful objects found in this area have been situlas. What is the situla? It is a decorated bronze vessel similar to a bucket, a feasting and religious vessel destined for solemn libations in festive celebrations. The creators of Situla art and the Hallstatt civilization were not the Illyrians, as it was first assumed shortly after WWII, but they were in fact the Veneti, a people who came from the so-called Lusatian culture flourishing in Lusatia and in Poland (1300 - 1100 B.C.). After 1200 B.C., in the course of many excursions they penetrated into various parts of Europe and establed there the Urnenfeld culture, so called after their tradition of cremating the dead, placing the ashes into urns, and burying them on large cemeteries or urnfields. The main focal points and sites of Venetic artifacts in particular situla productions are to be found in Villanova (Bologna) and Este in northern Italy, in Sanzeno and Melaun, in Tyrol, and in Vace in Slovenia. This form of art flourished only between the 6th and 4th centuries B.C., then it vanished forever.

When, at the turn of this century, the first examples of situlas were unearthed, they soon gained worldwide attention because of the beautiful pictography of their friezes. These friezes are like mirrors of both, every day and religious life, as it was led by the Veneti. Usually the sets are divided by a wavy line, which is here not a life-symbol but an ornament, formed in the most imaginative ways, e.g., as a sequence of repeated signs, an interlaced plait, and so on.

The scenes show the Venetic social classes and spiritual world: Their aristocracy, military class, and religion. The aristocrats are mostly shown in celebratory scenes, the military as marching warriors with war chariots, while the sacred animals serve to symbolize religion. We would not be far off in assuming that these pictures, especially when divided into more sets, represent the social structure of the Venetic people.

The situlas excavated in the above mentioned regions were named according to the sites where they were found. In respect of style and scenes depicted, they can be ranked in two groups, firstly that of northern Italy, comprising situlas pertaining to the cultures of Villanova (Bologna) and of Este, and secondly that of the Alpine region, belonging to the culture of Melaun (South Tyrol) and the Eastern Hallstatt culture (Austria and Slovenia).

Archaeologists are of divided opinions on the subject of situlas. In northern Italy their production could have begun half a century earlier than in the Alpine region. The former, however, shows considerable Etruscan cultural and especially spiritual influence, which had its origin in the southern part of the Apennine mountain chain, i.e., in present day Tuscany. This accords well with archaeological theories, confirming that the Etruscans gradually took over the Po river valley in northern Italy. By comparison, the Alpine situlas show in their pictography a unique sense of form with scenes of a very similar social and cultural world, reflecting a society in which the leading aristocrats already held much of the power. There is no rex or dux, which means that in the Venetic community the leader, although belonging to the aristocracy was only a »primus inter pares«. This will be noted also in later Roman sources.

The scenes on the friezes of the situlas are like a prehistoric movie. At present their entire message is not completely understood, but they are still recounting a dear story. It is evident that the situla pictures originating in the area of northern Italy,  reflect the interaction of the Mediterranean and Central European cultural and spiritual world. At one time it was maintained that the production of the situlas started first in the Villanova culture, or rather, in its focal center (Felsina, in Etruscan). Today, art historians believe the situlas appeared first in Este, although two beautiful situlas of Villanova seem to reflect scenes more true to Venetic life than those of Este.

Situla Certosa, kept in the Museum of Bologna (Italy), origins from the beginning of 5 century B.C. It  shows clearly Etruscan influences not only in its form but also in the figures, like winged animals for instance, that were typical for the Etruscan and other Mediterranean mythologies.

The first of these situlas, the Situla of Arnoaldi, shows a typical scene of a conquering people represented by a row of war chariots, marching warriors in the second scene, and a row of deer in the third. Here we can also see the tree of life, and the omnipresent depiction of boxers fist fighting. By comparison, the Situla of Certosa is obviously of later origin. It shows scenes in four sets: Marching warriors in the first, servants predominating in the second, peasants in the third, and sacred animals in the fourth. Some male figures wearing broad-brimmed hats and long coats apparently belong to the aristocracy. A typical scene in the third set is the figure of a man carrying a plough. The influence is recognizable by the "soft-heart" shape of the vessel as well as by figures of winged animals deriving from Mediterranean spiritual conception.

Situla Benvenuti, 6th century B.C., kept in the Museum of Este (Italy) is one of the most beautiful example of the situlas carried out by the ancient Veneti in the area of the present-day North Italy.

In the region of the Este culture the situlas were almost all found at Este; among them, the Situlas of Benvenuti and Randi can be dated back to around 550 B.C. Somewhat later are the Situlas of Bodlu Dolfin and Capodaglio, demonstrating just as clear an Etruscan influence. Among these examples the Situla of Benvenuti deserves special attention. It depicts scenes divided into three sets also, but without clear social distinction. Figures of winged animals appear here and there. The vignettes are lovely: one shows a seller of vessels, another a farrier or shoer of horses. One peculiarity of this situla is the pictures of stylized flowers representing a highly floral mythology. They must have been of miraculous properties, as several animals are shown eating them.

The situlas originating from the Alpine area show a rather uniform style. Among them, the Situla of Providence must be the most beautiful example, it originated probably in southern Tyrol and is now exhibited at the Museum of Arts in Providence, Rhode Island.

In the first set, i.e., in the "aristocratic set", we see some men playing the panpipe (syrinx); one of them performs on a Lyre. The boxing scene is also to be found.

The parade review of warriors in the second set seems almost alive.

The row of marching animals in the third set is comprised of horned beasts and their female counterparts - deer, rams, and chamoises. The exact site of the find is unknown.

The unwounded frieze of the situla of Vace shows hammered reliefs depicting cult feasts, competitions etc. from the life of the Venetic princes, in the lower set a row of the (mythological) animals.

Another fine example found in this area is the Situla of Vace, preserved in Ljubljana (Slovenia). It does not bear the ranks of warriors, but

in the first set we see some horses and men sitting horseback and in chariots.

The second set is composed of several enthroned dignitaries or princes. The lower part of these thrones resembles the much later Prince's Stone in Carantania (1). The princes are assisted by servants. The boxing matches appear again, and a scene of a man leading a prisoner. A ram follows, bearing a bird on its back; in its beak the bird holds a leaf showing a wavy line: a symbolic bird of peace. Some of the princes wear head-coverings resembling the so-called Phrygian cap.

In the third set, a wild beast (perhaps a panther) is following horned animals.

From the area around Ljubljana comes the Situla of Magdalenska gora, now preserved in Vienna, which shows a whole row of enthroned princes in the middle set, home animals and men in the upper set, and at the bottom marching rams and their females with ducks and predatory birds on their backs. The predatory bird probably symbolized, like the eagle in later times, victory and strong rule. The duck, because it moves in three elements (water, earth, and air) was a symbol of the universe and therefore of otherworldly significance (2).

Situla of Novo mesto (Slovenia), 4th century B.C., is characteristic by its uncommon form. This region, south of Ljubljana, is in general the richest archaeological area concerning the finding of situlas.

A specific feature of Situla art is the figure of the horse. Although it is not shown as a sacred animal, its image appears pervasively on situla friezes. It is always depicted in a stylized form, walking with its characteristic step. Its pictures are preserved in numerous ex-votos, on amulets, in many scenes of peaceful labour, ploughing, or in war. Such was the Venetic horse: protected, looked after, bred with great love and dedication. It is believed that the Venetic horses were bred in a half wild state, living free in herds that pastured in controlled areas. In the life of Venetic people the horse was very important in every way. It was the closest animal friend of man.

In historical records, Venetic horses are mentioned as early as Homer's Iliad (II 851-2) in the 9th century B.C. Homer reports, how the Veneti of Paphlagonia came to the aid of the besieged Throy: "they came from the land of the Veneti (Enetoi), where the breed of wild mules finds its origin." Homer further says that, when Philemon fell in the fight, the new leader Antenor ruled the Paphlagonians in the area of the northern Adriatic.

This was rewritten by all classical era writers when they talked about the ancient Veneti. In the 7th century BC, the Venetic "purebreds" were cited by Alcmene, a Spartan poet (Parthenion, fragment l, 50-1). In 440 BC, at the 85th Olympic Games, several Venetic mares led by a certain Spartan called Leo came in first at the Olympian finish-line. In Rome, Venetic horses were greatly in demand as well, particularly for horse races. One of the game factions in the imperial circus was even called the veneta factio, distinguished by blue racing colors. And in the Roman army there existed a powerful detachment of Venetic cavalry, who in the battle with Hannibal acquitted themselves very well.

The Veneti, the creators of the Situla art, dominated central Europe during the entire Hallstatt or Early Iron Age period. Then, after 400 BC, the Celts, proceeding from western Switzerland and nearby France, invaded and colonized a great part of the Venetic territory. To them belongs the period of the Late Iron Age and another type of civilization known as the La Téne Culture. Around 180 BC the territory of the Este Culture, the so-called angulus Venetorum was already occupied by Romans, while the neighbouring Alps were conquered much later, the central part (Rhaetia) around 30 BC, the eastern sector (Noricum) in 15 BC.

This was the time, when the Roman and Greco-Roman writers began to report the Veneti lifestyle in the "angulus" world, among which Strabo and Livy were particularly important. In fact the latter originated from Padua, a onetime eminent Venetic town. After the Roman occupation, the Venetic upper and middle classes, or townsfolk, were gradually Romanized - according to the lex Pompeia of 89 BC and to Caesar's lex Roscia of 49 BC, the Veneti became respectively Latin and Roman citizens, their towns municipia. The country folk, however, preserved their culture, which survived even the Roman period and beyond to the Middle Ages, particularly in farming and methods of cultivation. Many labour techniques have been preserved till the present day - for instance, sickles and scythes like those found at pre-Roman sites were still in use after WWII.

Moreover, in tales and customs of Central European people, the spiritual life of the Veneti was preserved widely. Their symbols, represented mostly in animal and floral images, were often depicted in art and even entered the realm of heraldry. These appear, for instance, as the imperial eagle, the deer as badge of the Swabian arms, the bull of Mecklenburg, and probably the griffin of Pomerania, the panther of Carantania, the ram of Graubünden (Switzerland), and so on. These symbols were preserved throughout the Greco-Roman world, in medieval narrative, painting and heraldry till the present day, and now, shaped in a variety of images, they remain the basis of many modern emblems, perpetuating the rich legacy of creative imagery still vibrantly alive in the situla of the Veneti.

Bibliography (partial):
   Ghirardini: "La situla italica primitiva studiata specialmente in Este", in Monumenti Antichi dell'Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Milan-Rome 1883 (II), 1897 (VII), 1900 (X).
   P. Ducati: "La situla della Certosa", in Memorie dell'Regia Accademia della Scienze dell' Instituto di Bologna, Classe di Scienze Morali 2, Ser. 5-7, Bologna 1923.
   F. von Duhn - F. Messerschmidt: Italienische Gräberkunde, Heidelberg, 1923 (I), 1939 (II).
   F. Stare: "Vace", in Arheoloski katalogi Slovenije (Cat. arch. Sloveniae) I, Ljubljana 1955.
   W Lucke - O.H.Frey: Die Situla in Providence (Rhode Island), Berlin 1962.
   O.H. Frey: Die Enstehung der Situlakunst, Berlin 1969.
   (1) Ed. Note: vide "The Installation of the Dukes of Carinthia", Dr. Josef Šavli, Omnibus 13, 1991.
(2) Our interpretation of the depicted scenes diverges partly from that of the art historians, being the result of studies of ancient symbolism and Alpine tradition. - J.Š.

Slovenian Masks
And  their Social and Mythological Meaning

Jožko Šavli

The Slovenian ethnic territory consists mainly of the Republic of Slovenia, however, it includes also Slovenians living as minorities at the border areas of Italy (Friuli), Austria (Carinthia) and Hungary (Raba Corner). This territory varies tremendously, and therefore the characteristics of the Slovenian folklore differ between individual areas: The Mediterranean in the South-West, the Alpine in the North, the Dinaric in the South-East, the Pannonian in the North-East.
Slovenians know mostly about winter and carnival masks, and also masquerade on some other occasions. It turned out that characteristic masks appear even within smaller areas.
For New Year, the masks have been preserved only in the Bohinj Valley, in the heart of the Julian Alps. On 26th or 31st of December, lads dressed in sheepskins, go from house to house in the valley, bringing, as it is believed, blessing for the following year. In return people hand them gifts.
In the western part of the Julian Alps, in the upper Sava Valley, but also in the nearby valleys of Zila (Gailtal) and Roz (Rosental) in Carinthia, there is still preserved the visiting of the so-called Pehtra wife (Pehtra baba, in Slovenian) in the evening of the 6th January. She appears variously in two variations: in one she is white and "beautiful", in the other she is dark and "ugly". She visits homes where there are children, rewarding the industrious ones, admonishing those who were naughty.
This mythological figure is believed to be of pre-historic origin. She is to be found also in German speaking areas, like in the Austrian province of Salzburg (Pongau, Gastein), and in Bohemia. In Italy Pehtra changed her name, she became Befana who brings gifts to children in the evening of Epiphany.
The main period for Slovenians to masquerade is mainly the Carnival season (Pust, in Slovenian), meaning the Sunday, Monday and especially the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. A variety of shapes and masks of different origins referring to the individual areas and either popular or of mythological tradition can be seen in those days.

The Slovenian deer hind "kosuta" is by far the most attractive shape from them all. Near or far, in Slovenian or in neighbouring territories, it has no equal. Since it is limited to the south eastern part of the one-time Roman province of Noricum, the present-day southern Styria, it could be a direct descendant of the aboriginal "cervula", which belonged to the cult of the Celtic deity Cernunnos. From the 16th century onward however, it seems that in some places of eastern Styria the hind mask was replaced with the camel one. This influence can be traced back to rebel deserters, who came from the then still Turkish territory of the Balkan.
Another remnant from the ancient Noricum is certainly the shape of the horse appearing in eastern Styria and also in southern Carinthia. It is a witness of the developed horse rearing of that province - the Noric race. In different Slovenian regions one can find also shapes and masks of a cow, ox, bull, goat, ewe, ram, roebuck. Among the ornitomorphic shapes, the most characteristic is the pullet or young cockerel from the Ptuj region, and the goose and duck in the Brda area. The shape of the bear, widely spread throughout many individual Slovenian regions, is very enigmatic and cannot be referred to any mythological tradition.
As a phytomorphic mask, Green George (Zeleni Jurij) is a well known figure personifying at one-time the Deity of Spring. On April 24, a lad is entirely wrapped in green boughs and led from house to house. The procession halts in front of each house and starts to serenade. The housewife appears at the door, she tears off a small twig from George's greenery and fastens it to the house's roof. Then, she brings three eggs and places them into the basket carried by one of George's companions. Thereafter the procession continues to the next house. - The Green George procession is still in use in southern Carinthia, southern Carniola (Bela krajina) and eastern Styria.
Among the anthropomorphic forms, the first place is awarded to the masks of monistic origin, especially the old people (the ancestors): the old man and the old woman. The old man alone or together with the old woman, or even the old woman alone, appears fairly frequently throughout Slovenia, apart from the Pannonian area where they are unknown. In some areas this couple is replaced with the beggar man and the beggar woman.
The old people and the beggars used to bring in their monistic form the blessing of the ancestors. But today they seem to be grotesque, especially as the old woman usually carries a rag child doll. Sometimes, close in their vicinity one can see comical figures like grandmother carrying grandfather, or the other way round, grandfather carrying grandmother in a shoulder basket. As it is known, the forms represent one person only, and this is also well known elsewhere in Europe. The various figures that have their apparel wearing decorated with ribbons, patches, maize husks, feathers etc. are the best ranked among monistic forms.
An obvious symbol of fertility are the marked groom and bride with their guests, falling into the agrarian cult section. In the area of Pannonia the occasional masked nuptials with a pine are famous, and are performing if no wedding took place in the village during the pre-shrove period.

The personification of the Carnival procession is in general called Pust (Shrovetide), in some regions also called Kurent or Korant, and Fašnik. Originally he wore horns as characteristic ornamental headgear. The horns represent sun rays as the numerous horned demons in the mythology of farming.

The masquerade of Cerkno is called laufarija (from laufati - to run, laufen in German). Here, the exterior appearance of the Pust is impressive. He is known as the Wild Man throughout Europe.
In the borough of Cerkno the Pust is especially pointed out by his exterior as a Wild Man, known throughout Europe. He is totally stitched over with moss, bearing little horns on his head, holding a young fir tree in his hands... Here, in the Carnival procession called "laufarija" (walking) other shapes are also very interesting, such as "that of ivy" (ta bršlanov), or "that of straw" (ta slamnat) and "the plumage" (ta pernat)... which represent the agrarian mythology. But also a series of other human caricatures associate with them, as for instance the drunken man and woman etc.

The Shrovetide (or Koranti )

In hardly any other country appear so many different types of carnival cultures, as in Slovenia, where each province maintains its own proper carnival customs and tradition. Several of these customs still show the pre-Christian belief in natural spirits. One of the most interesting carnival masqueraders are certainly the Koranti from the surroundings of Ptuj (Pettau), here in the picture. It has its origin in the rural culture of pagan times, when the Koranti made his rounds through the villages to drive out the winter and encourage the arrival of spring. It belongs to the agrarian cults and should awake the earth in the approaching spring.
Another typical Slovenian Carnival shape is the well-known Korant from Ptuj area. He is dressed in a white sheepskin bearing a mask with large horns or wings and has a huge red tongue; several bells are suspended on his belt. At one-time the Korant made his rounds in the villages around Ptuj, but today he mostly takes part in the city's Carnival procession where he presents a tourist attraction. The Korant is a remnant of the ancient Indo-European world or of an even older period. He often was compared with Shiva, Dionysus etc.

Stojan Kerbler / Kurent - Carnival spirit. Kurent, a fearsome "Pust" (carnival) figure bringing luck and abundant crops, comes from Ptujsko polje.
Apart from these types, marked by different albeit eradicated mythical and ritual features, there are also other Slovenian shapes, that the village community is looking forward to see and will find within its own circle. There can be for example a succession of various skills and trades, often mixed within the groups of maskers and in procession. They are not always a caricature of satire.
The custom having men dressed up as women and vise versa (androgyny) is not only popular here but elsewhere too. Equally frequent is the untypical masking by putting on backwards the customary clothing, just to be different than usual and to remain unrecognized. All these types and forms belong to the village community. Their character is popular, their number unlimited, their Carnival fantasy is boundless.

The maskers from Livek, a locality above the Isonzo (Soca) Valley with no special name. Two of them (in the image here) represent the devil in a Shrove form, characteristic for western Slovenia.

Some shapes found their place here despite of their strangeness to the village community, but they are attractive in their very own way. We suppose, that the devil with his furry animal-hellequin and the protagonist of mystery plays a role here. The devil in a Shrove form is characteristic mainly in western Slovenia. It is interesting that in the area of Cividale the devil is led on a chain by the Archangel Michael, reminiscent of the one-time mystery plays.
At least in one half of the regions in Slovenia one can meet also gypsies. But they are not common in the Alpine world and in western Slovenia. A fairly recent form is the chimney sweeper. As a sooty, black apparition there is something secretive about him that is worthy to imitate. He is popular in many areas of Styria.
The personification of Carnival, the Pust, is not only the leader of the masquerading group but also takes on responsibility for people's behaviour. They, in turn, assign to him the role of a scapegoat for all that went wrong in the community during the past year. He is responsible for this and that and must be punished for it. The Slovenian Carnival consequently appoints a straw deputy on Ash Wednesday. It is him that is put on trial, him that has to be finished off, led upon the bier, carried out of the village and buried, burned or drowned. A more "modernized" execution takes place for example in Tolmin, there the Pust is shot dead.
Evil has left the village, a new life can begin. This old fashioned way of thinking has long vanished from the consciousness of those who bury the Carnival's Pust in Slovenia. Nowadays the burial of the Pust is an amusement, in some places even the only way of celebrating Carnival. It is interesting to see that in more recent years the working class in industrial areas have picked up the tradition again.
Shrove processions are a particularly good opportunity for criticism. There are areas where criticism never has been attempted, such as in eastern Slovenia and part of the Alpine area. Now the right time has come for individuals everywhere, particular in large places, who will wash during the Shrove festivities the community's dirty laundry and hang it out to dry.
Masks are still widely spread at weddings. In the area of Pannonia there is a masker, the pozvacin among the invited to the nuptial. Upon the arrival of the bride, a masked "false" (spurious) bride frequently enters. Sometimes the maskers set up a barrier that halts the wedding procession and demand that the guests buy the bride for a good ransom.

In the Brkini area, in the hinterland of Trieste, the maskers are called škoromanti (pronounced: shkoromanti). The main figures among them are those with huge tongs, with which they catch young girls.

Some types of regional typical collective masks evade a typological definition. The Bohinj otepovci are typical winter masks. The blumari around Cividale present a special group in characteristic dress who perform a ritual dance around the village. The today already abandoned sovrniki in Kobarid used to be dressed in skins, daubing people with soot during their race and sprinkling them with ashes. At the Istrian border, in Brkini the škoromanti are an old tradition; among them we find the "škopit" with his huge wooden pliers to catch young girls. That makes him the terror of girls.

The blumari , the maskers which bear a great number of ribbons in various colours, are characteristic in the area of the Natisone Valley in the surrounding of Cividale.

The belief that the masks bring luck, health, and good harvest has not entirely vanished. The humorous saying that "the masks must dance for fast turnips" still lives on. Although masks appear mainly during the Carnival season, until recently masks were also preserved for the retting of flax, the scattering of millet, the husking of maize at reaping and flailing etc.

   A. Bas: Prekmurski pozvacin, in: Etnografija Pomurja I, Murska Sobota 1967
   Fr. Koschier: Das Georgijagen (Sent Jurja jahat') in Kärnten, in Carinthia I 147, Klagenfurt/Celovec 1957
   N. Kuret: Il Carnevale - occasione di critica sociale, in: Congresso internazionale "Tradizioni popolari" tra l'Adriatico e il Danubio Gorizia 1977, Gorizia/Gorica 1978
   N. Kuret: Kosuta - cervula, in Arheoloski vestnik 29, Lublana 1978
   N. Kuret: Maske slovenskih pokrajin (The Masks of the Slovene Regions), Lublana 1984
Fr. Zizek: Kurentovanje, in Mariborski vecernik Jutra, Maribor 1939

Cradle of Ski Flying

The ski jumps of Planica Valley (Slovenia), in which a new sport discipline began. In the background the peaks of Julian Alps covered with snow. - On the left: a ski jumper during his flight.

Dr. Jožko Šavli

Every nation excels in something, and through its achievement it finds its place in the world-wide family of nations categorized by their fame. Thus, the Slovenian pioneers of modern skiing not only started skiing contests, but they were also taken by the idea of building a big ski-jump - a giant one; not only for jumping but also for gliding. It was built in one of the most beautiful valleys of the Julian Alps, in the valley of Planica.

Planica is the cradle of ski flying. There, already in 1922, the first contests were organized in ski racing. The contests still took place in an atmosphere of love for nature and homeland. The reports of R. Badjura, the skiing instructor, were full of romantic images of the alpine landscape as this excerpt shows:

"Let all the people come to Planica! Look, there in the background is the mighty Jalovec (2643 m), the mountain of heroes. And beside, the gray rock walls of Travnik (2334 m), and the Sleme with its large trees, as well as the Cipernik (1746 m) with the most beautiful view. And what you don't see you can sense: beyond the mountains there is the Zila valley. That's where our sisters and brothers live who like to dance so much, and there also is the pilgrimage of Svete Višarje (Lussari). Beyond Jalovec there is the sparkling Soca (Isonzo) which make me yearn to be there..."

Thereafter the first ski jump was built in Bohinj, a just fantastic valley in the Julian Alps. With its introduction a jump of 36 m was achieved, an all new Slovenian record. Another ski jump construction followed in Planica in 1928, and then the idea of building a giant ski jump was born. This project come under the direct supervision of the farsighted engineer St. Bloudek. His plans were greeted with great enthusiasm by his colleagues, who could hardly imagine that back in his mind he visualized jumps that would even exceed 100 m.

In 1968, the Mammoth Ski Jump, as the huge construction was called, was inaugurated in Planica. A crowd of over 2000 visitors and officials witnessed the testing of the ski jump with a length of 55 m. Then, on March 25 in the same year, the International Ski jump took place at the new location. And when Burger Rudd of Norway flew 92 m, it was hailed as a world record. - The general public could simply not believe that such a distance was humanly possible. Some envious people, who could not come to terms with the fact that, the largest ski jump in the world was built on Slovenian soil, made up ridiculous claims and rumors by saying that a Slovenian meter was shorter than a normal meter in remaining Europe.

Another international ski jump was held in Planica in March 1936. This time an 18 year old Austrian youth by the name of Josef Bradl from Bischofshofen made the headlines, when he jumped 101 m. A record of records was reached! What a triumph for Planica, Austria, Slovenia and the world.  But in 1938, Josef Bradl even exceeded his former record by achieving new distances of 107 m, 102 m, and 104 m. He promptly telegraphed his mother and said: "Mother dear, imagine, I jumped 107 m and I survived!"  In 1941, in Planica the following German jumpers took in the first three places: Gering 118 m, Kraus 112 m and Lahr 111 m.  In the same year, Nazi Germany occupied Slovenia, and in Planica all sport activities ceased.

After WW2 the Planica mammoth needed thorough reconstruction. It was open for contests again in 1947, when 17 jumpers from Slovenia and Switzerland took part in the competition. On this occasion the "eagles" once again broke the 100 m barrier. The winner was Rudi Finzgar (Slovene) with 102 m. In 1948, a new record of 120 m was set by an incredible series of flights exceeding 100 m by Fritz Tschanen (Swiss). The Slovenian jumper Janez Polda reached 109 m but fell in the longer jump of 120 m.

Those flights were a triumph for Planica and Slovenia. The native Janez Polda became a hero, a national symbol of Slovenian effort and post-war pride. Ten years later he shared his wisdom with a reporter:  "In the night before the contests you don't get much sleep. In your mind you rehearse the run down, the rebound and the jump. The jump is critical. It requires great concentration. You must be calm and leave all your worries at the start. You must know the jump backwards in your head and even in your legs... Everyone has the jitters before the start. The body is out of whack, no appetite and a weakness in the waterworks.... but then, when it's time to start, everything sharpens up..."

For the 1950 ski flights the Planica mammoth had to be prepared again. That year 50,000 visitors attended the ski flights here. The winner of these contests were the Slovenians: Polda and Finzgar, both with 114 m and in third place came the Norwegian jumper Stenersen with 112 m.

In the same year, the first ski flights were held in Oberstdorf (Bavaria) and resulted also in great achievements: Willi Glantschnigg (Austria) jumped 124 m, Sepp Seiler (West Germany) 127 m, and Dan Netzel (Sweden) 135 m. In the following year Tauro Luiro (Finland) reached 139 m there.

Around the same time, a new great ski jump was erected in Kulm (Austria), where in 1962, a world record of 141 m was reached by Peter Lesser (East Germany).

In 1954, the FIS Congress decided that international competitions should be held consecutively in one of the three centers: Kulm, Oberstdorf, and Planica, in one word known as the KOP. On the KOP flights in Planica, the German skier Helmut Recknagel dominated all contests. It was the "Helmut Recknagel era". But for two decades, world records were set exclusively in Obesrstdorf with the exception of 1969 when a world record was set in Planica. Nevertheless, Planica remained popular with many jumpers and attracted reasonable crowds.

It was in March in1964, when the Slovenian public was shocked to hear that Janez Polda died at its home in Mojstrana. He was a Slovenian champion of champions and organizer of many ski contests. In his memory they founded the Polda memorial trophy, a prestigious award for which international jumpers would compete for years to come.

In the 1966 KOP flights, Planica found a new hero, Jiri Raska (Czechoslovakia). With a 130 m jump, his style was considered to be perfect by the judges and received the maximum score of twenty points. The most successful country was East Germany, which had four competitors, each of them exceeding 120 m.  These flights were the last on the old mammoth ski jump. A new one was already under construction.

The Giant Ski Flier was completed in November 1968. It allows ski flights up to 200 m, a record, which was achieved in 1994.

Already in 1965, the project for a giant new jump construction in Planica was approved by the "FIS Committee for jump control". The structure was called Giant Ski Flier and was completed in November 1968. It was a thrill for the ski world. But again voices were raised against it in the international skiing community. The opponents official argument against the new jump structure was, that the safety of the jumpers might be in jeopardy. But it was obvious that the real cause for concern was motivated by jealousy and fear for competition. After a battle of pros and cons the jump was finally given a clean bill of health. At last, there was a jump which would allow to break the 200 m barrier. From start to finish the jump measured 570 m.

At the first competition jumpers were informed that the speed during the flight increased perhaps up to 128 or even 140 kph. This meant, that only those who could maintain a smooth aerodynamic style of jumping had hope to succeed. There was also the wind factor to be considered, which could either help or hinder a flier depending on its conditions.

A crowd of 50,000 visitors attended the event at the new Planica ski jump, in 1969. It was a triumph for global sport. The world record was at first maintained equal and then broken several times. The jumpers followed in this sequence: Jiri Raska (Czechoslovakia) with 154 m and 154 m, Björn Wwirkola (Norway) 147 m and 162 m, Manfred Wolf (East Germany) with 142 m and 145 m. Now the limit of human achievement was extended by another ten meters.

In the period after the WW2, the right to organize ski jumps or ski flights was not officially opposed by the FIS, nor was it approved. It was until the 1971 FIS Congress in Opatija that ski flights were recognized as an independent discipline. Planica was accorded the distinction of holding the First World Championship of sport in recognition of being the birthplace of ski flights. This championship took place in 1972. The longest flights were achieved by Ruotsalainen (Finland) with 162 m, Steiner (Switzerland) with 158 m and Dolezal (Czechoslovakia) with 154 m. The contest lasted three days in the presence of thousands of visitors. The winner with the most gained points was Walter Steiner.

Every year since then, there have been contests in Planica. International contests of various titles take place here. Again in 1985, the 8th world championship was held in Planica. The winner Matti Nykänen (Finland) achieved a new world record with a ski flight of 191 m. But Planica was built and ready for the 200 m ski flight and indeed, a few years later the incredible happened. In 1994, E. Bredesen (Norway) and T. Nieminen (Finland)  sparkled in Planica with new records, the first with a 209 m and the second with a 203 m long jump. - The world experts have finally conceded that once again, the best giant ski jump in the world is in Planica - and besides that it is even the safest.
Mount Triglav
A Mountain of the Universe and its National Meaning

Dr. Jožko Šavli

Mt. Triglav (2864 m) is Slovenia's highest peak within the famous mountain range of the Julian Alps. Its name in Slovenian means "Three Headed Mountain", and the Slovenian people actually imagine it as such. However, the peak or the summit does not have three heads and the name has no geographical but a mythological significance.
Indeed, ancient people believed that a great mountain or the highest summit in a mountain range represented a link between the earth and the sky, the so-called axis mundi, i.e., the cosmic mountain in a sociological sense. In this connection the huge mountain became a visible expression of the Universe, personified as god of the sky, the earth, and the underworld. Mt. Triglav at one-time was not only a mountain but also a God of the Universe, and its three heads represented the three aforesaid dimensions of space. This is attested also by A. T. Linhard in his Carniolan history (1791).

   Fragment of a votive Venetic inscription from Lagole di Calalzo (upper Piave Valley, Veneto, Italy) which reads: (DONO)M TRVMVSKATEI JITJI

literally translated: "Go with offerings to Trumuskat (Triglav)" - There are at Lagole three salubrious sources which were consecrated  to the deity of the Universe (Triglav, Trimuziat...).

The existence of such a divinity in pre-Roman period is still affirmed by numerous inscriptions bearing the name Trimuziat or Triboziat or even Trimuskat found in Lagole on the upper Piave River (in Veneto, Italy). There, three salubrious sources, representing God of the Universe, were worshiped by the ancient  Veneti, who were the ancestors of Slovenes and Central European people. They donated to their God numerous votive things. Such a word-formation ending with -at (-ad) like Trimoziat is still used in the present-day Slovenian language, and presents the unity of persons or things. Further, Trimuziat (trimozjad) means the unity of "three men", Triboziat (tribozjad) the unity of "three gods", and Trumuskat (trimoskad) the unity of "three male persons".
Further evidence of the existence of a Triglav deity in pre-Roman Europe, which was populated by Veneti, (Urnfield Culture after 1200 BC, and Hallstatt Culture, 800 - 400 BC), is represented in Trinitarian mountain names in the Montagnes Noires, a region in France, where also the name Treglavus (Fer's map of 1711) appears. The names Dreiherrnspitze (3499 m), Pizzo Tre Signori (2554 m) etc. origin from the same source, i.e., the mountain of three lords has the same meaning as Trimuziat.
Even in the 12th century this deity was known among the West Slavs in the Baltic area. In the town of Stettin (Pomerania) on the outflow of the Oder river, Triglav had its own temple in which its idol was shaped with three golden heads. According to the medieval chroniclers (cf. Ebbo, Vita Ottonis episcopi Bambergensis, ca. 1124) the Triglav deity presented the ruler of the sky, the earth, and the underground, i.e., above the universe.  Ebbo says further: In the meadows around the Triglav temple pastured a black horse which was used in predictions.
The mythological meaning of the Slovenian Mt. Triglav is also substantiated by the idea, that at one-time in the rocky tablelands below must have been an Alpine paradise. This idea comes alive in the well-known Goldenhorn tale preserved in people's rhetoric almost until the 20th century. The mythical paradise consisted of rich meadows, in which white ladies grazed their white goats led by the he-goat called Goldenhorn. However, men did not respect the holiness of this place and the paradise was destroyed.

   Mt. Triglav (1864 m), the highest peak of the Julian Alps and of Slovenia, shown from the northern side.
   Below to the right: Triglav flower (Potentilla nitida), which frequently was considered the mythical wonder flower in the "Golden-horn-tale".

A mythological name is also given to another mountain in the Julian Alps, Mt. Bogatin (2008 m). Its name means "the rich one" and it is believed that great treasures of gold and silver are hidden in its caverns. Following the same mythology a wonder flower is to be found in the mountain range of Triglav. In several cases it has been identified with Triglav flower (Potentilla nitida).
It seems that people from times immemorial respected the integrity of the great Triglav and did not try to conquer its summit. In their subconsciousness it continued to remain a mons sacer (sacred mountain) during the whole period of the Middle Ages and longer. The first known person that climbed the mountain was Lorenz Willomitzer in 1778, he started from the Bohinj valley. The second person to ascend the Triglav, in 1779, was Balthazar Hacquet, one of the explorers of flora in the Julian Alps. Then the ascensions became more and more frequent.

   Triglav, oil on canvas, by M. Pernhart 1867. Pernhart from Carinthia was a painter of high mountains. He himself was an enthusiastic mountaineer. He portrayed the harsh mood of the mountain particularly well.
The very best poet of Julian Alps and of Triglav turned out to be Julius Kugy (1858 - 1944) from Trieste. He wrote in German with matchless narrative power and aesthetics and became renowned as the greatest Alpine author. He dedicated his life to the mountains describing their beauty, the ascents to the peaks, and he also talks about the mountain inhabitants and their surroundings. He cannot be connected to any kind of nationalism, his love is only the mountains that belong to mankind. - The Julian Alps lured the painters as well. Among them was Marko Pernhart who painted the Alpine landscape including Triglav (in 1867) being rocky, mighty and almost unattainable.
In the second half of the 19th century an alpine enthusiasm invaded the intellectual class of Central Europe, particularly in Germany and Austria.  A German Austrian Alpine Society - DÖAV (Deutsch Oesterreichicher Alpenverein) was formed that began to build refuges for climbers all over the Alpine world. The refuges were managed by German speaking custodians, who even took possession of the huts in the Julian Alps, a pure Slovenian territory. The DÖAV represented the idea of a "Great Germany", in which Austria was supposed to be included. This was the reason why the association got into serious quarrels with the Slovenian Alpine Society - SPD, who were equally busy building their mountain huts in these mountains. The domination of the Julian Alps created a conflict between German and Slovenian alpinists and went on for years until the Germans were forced to retreat.  
In the spirit of patriotism in the mountains, especially the highest ones, such as Triglav, national symbols became a part of national existence. All over the world nations were frequently represented by their sacred or highest mountain. Consequently, the Slovenian priest, Jakob Aljaz, an enthusiastic alpinist wrote the patriotic poem "O Triglav, moj dom!" (Oh, Triglav, my home) and had a famous shelter turret erected (1895) right on top of the summit.
It was this soul touching song by Aljaz that made Mt. Triglav very popular, and  gradually it grew to a national symbol. In terms of poetry the natives called Slovenia "the homeland under Triglav".  However, its three-headed graphic emblem, a tricorn, has not been promoted earlier than at the beginning of WW2, when the country was occupied by fascist Italy and nazi Germany. At that time the emblem became a patriotic symbol of the Slovenian Liberation Front, which was unfortunately controlled by the communists. In not less then two years, after communists took total control of the Front, they replaced the Triglav sign with a red star on the caps of the combatants.
After the war the Triglav sign quietly entered as the new coat of arms of Slovenia, which in fact was a communist emblem. The leading political structures of both, the period of ancient Austria and of later Yugoslavia denied Slovenians their political history and consequently their historic national symbols. The Russian flag as well as other diverse symbols served as substitute for Slovenia's true historical symbols, which were kept in secrecy by academic circles. These circles were subsidized firstly by Vienna and then by Belgrade.
Be that as it may, the names of numerous writers, journalists, mountaineers and friends of highlands are linked to Triglav. Because of its mythological tradition, national significance, and above all, because of its scenic beauty Mt. Triglav is nowadays certainly the most famous one in the Eastern Alps. Therefore it is a highly frequently visited mountain, and from spring to autumn a continuous procession of tourists is climbing it. It almost seems as if the memory of the one-time ancient paradise under Triglav, lost long ago, is mysteriously attracting them.