by Stane Granda



Slovenes are the most western Slavic nationality. They moved to the territory they presently occupy in the 6th century. Up until 1991, when they won independence as a nation, they had always lived under the control of other nations. They were under the authority of the Hapsburgs, that is the Austrian empire, for the longest period, during which time they were separated in the provinces of Carniola (Kranj), Istria (Istra), Trieste (Trst), Gorizia (Goriška), Carinthia (Koroška), and Styria (Štajerska). In addition to Slovenes, Germans and Italians also lived in those provinces. The oldest writings in the Slovenian language are from around 1000 AD, and the first book in Slovene was published in 1550. From 1918 to 1991, the majority of Slovenes lived in Yugoslavia. Then in 1991 the Yugoslavian Slovenes established the independent Republic of Slovenia.

At this time there are around 2 million Slovenes in the Republic. As indigenous peoples a smaller number also live in Italy, Austria, and Hungary. The greater majority continue to be Roman Catholic. They have always used the Latin alphabet. They have developed all spheres of culture and science in the Slovenian language. At this time they have 2 universities and their own Academy of Science.

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