Page 1

Școala cu clasele I-VIII Alexandru Ioan Cuza Baia Mare OŠ Dolenjske Toplice - Dolenjske Toplice, Slovenia Špoģu vidusskola - Daugavpils novads, Latvia Büyükçiğli Ġlköğretim Okulu - Izmir, Turkey Freiherr-vom-Stein-Schule - Neckarsteinach, Germany TĠMUR ĠLKÖĞRETĠM OKULU - Ankara, Turkey



Once upon a time there was a sweet chestnut forest

somewhere in Romania (in Baia Mare)

In this forest lived a boy called GhiĹŁÄƒ (short for George), whose dream was to become a forester.

Now Ghiţă ’s dream has come true, he lives with his family and the family's pet, Grivei, a brave Carpathian shepherd, in his childhood forest.

In GhiČ›Äƒ's family each member has their duties. So, the forester takes care of the forest, accompanied by Grivei and he looks for his hives. In the holidays and at the fair he is wearing with pleasure the MaramureĹ&#x;'s traditional costume which is made by his wife.

The forester’s passion is pottery. He creates wonderful clay dishes, plates and pots, decorated with Maramures folk motifs where he keeps the honey and the mashed sweet chestnut puree.

They serve all the food in traditional plates and they drink from pots. Their favourite food is polenta with sheep's cheese and pieces of smoked sausages.

Before sitting down to table GhiĹŁÄƒ and his family make the cross sign.

At the end of September, every year, he takes part in the Chestnuts Festival in Baia Mare

where he presents his pottery products, honey and mashed sweet chestnuts puree. Here he met a farmer from abroad who invited him to take part with his products to a similar celebration in ‌

... GERMANY Ghiță first wasn't sure about what to do as he had never before heard of that country but somehow he liked the stranger and he was curious, it was like a window to a new world, a new life had opened for him. So he decided to join the farmer and go with him to Germany. Ghiță said „good-bye” to his family and promised them to come back and bring presents with him.

The farmer's name was Micha and he lived in Neustadt („Newtown‖ – but you shouldn't translate that) which was about 1500 km away from Baia Mare. What a journey!! As you know travelling in former times wasn't that easy and it was dangerous, most of the time the men had to walk, only sometimes they found a carriage that brought them some miles. Walking together the two men became best friends and had many adventures, saw beautiful landscapes. They experienced a long and ice-cold winter and one night nearly died in a snow storm. They met lots of other people, they were robbed, some nights they had to stay hungry and sleep outside, other nights they were welcomed like kings and treated very well as people loved their exciting stories. But all these stories are different stories which have to be told in another book.

When they finally arrived in Neustadt it was the time of the chestnut harvest. Ghiță was happy to see that chestnuts were the same here, brown and shiney and so delicious. A big fair was celebrated in Neustadt and chestnuts were served with fresh wine. The chestnuts were roasted in the open fire and sold in paper bags. Micha's family was happy to have Micha back and they also welcomed Ghiță heartily. He stayed with the family for the time of the chestnut festivities.

Every day he went out with Micha who showed him the beauties of the nature, the forests and the wine hills and hoped to convince him to stay. Micha started working in his pottery again and GhiČ›Äƒ went with him into the workshop. They learnt from each other about material, shapes and colours and their business became bigger and bigger everyday because they developed a new style of pottery which was very special and beautiful.

Ghiță stayed for Christmas and winter and till it became spring again. He helped Micha to work on his pottery collection for the big potter market at Easter. But inside Ghiță was longing to go home to his family. On the pottery fair he met a man from Latvia who asked him to join him and teach him his special style of pottering. Ghiță wasn't sure where Latvia might be, but he decided it was time to leave Neustadt. Micha and his family were very unhappy to see him go but ...

... LATVIA Ghiţă decided to join the Latvian boy called Jānis . Jānis told him about Latvia and Ghiţă decided that it would be nice to visit this country as well. The trip was not easy; the distance between these cities was almost 2000 km. As it usually happens Ghiţă and Janis made good friends, they had a lot of adventures and at last on Midsummer (SummerSolstice, June 23) they reached Dinagurgh (nowadays- Daugavpils). This is the time when all farmers’ work is done- ploughing, sowing, weeding, haymaking.

This is the time when all farmers’ work is done- ploughing, sowing, weeding, haymaking It was evening, they saw on the hills bonfires.

JÄ nis told GhiĹŁÄƒ that it was a tradition to set bonfires in the evening when the sun sets and do not go to bed until the sun rises. People in national costumes dance around the bonfire.

They sing Līgo songs eat ķimeņu siers (caraway cheese) and ruzdu maize rye bread and drink apiņu alus hap beer.

In Latvia Ghiţă was treated with potatoes, dairy products – milk, butter, cheese, curd cheese, sour cream. On special family celebrations Janis’s wife baked kliņģeris (a saffron-scented bread made of yeast dough with dried fruits into the shape of a figure 8 and decorated with flowers)

Everyday Ghiţă helped Jānis and his family with farm work- milk the cows in the barnyard, feed pigs and piglets in the pigsty, take care of horses in the sables but at nights they went pieguļā (night –watch), the horses were grazing but Jānis and Ghiţă and other neighbours were sitting at the bonfire and telling stories and singing.

One day Jānis took Ghiţă to kalve (smithy, forge).There they worked with metal- made hoofs for horses, swords, bijouterie like sakta (brooch) and other household effects.

Ghiţă knew that in Latvia people also value pottery. He saw Latgales podi krūzes, bļodas, vāzes, pārošivāraunieki, medaunieki, svečturi (candle sticks) and svilpaunieki.

It was the end of the summer. People started thinking about autumn work but Ghiţă had heard a lot about winters in Latvia and decided to find a warmer place. Jānis took him to the fair.

There they wanted to sell pottery and things that they

had made in smithy. And there they met a merchant from Turkey. Ghiţă found out that in Turkey the weather in winter in not as severe as in Latvia so he decided to travel to Turkey….

… TURKEY Ghiţă wanted to join Selim (the merchant) because he hasn’t been there before and he has always wondered such beautiful country . Selim lives in Izmir which is the third biggest city of Turkey . When they arrived in Izmir Ghiţă was highly impressed by those calm people and warm weather. İzmir has a coast of the Aegean Sea.

Selim took GhiĹŁÄƒ to some historical places of Izmir. First they visited Ephesus ( Efes ) and House of the Virgin Mary

Ghiţă really enjoyed this cultural trip. Then Selim invited him to Phocaea ( Foça ) where they could

swim and see some traditional festivals .

In this international three-day festival you can join sailing , traditional dance shows ,sports, and cooking competitions. You can also see a lot of celebrities of Turkey in this festival. GhiĹŁÄƒ enjoyed the festival very much especially the cuisine which has largely been affected by its multicultural history and the large area of land surrounding the region which grows a rich selection of vegetables.

Boyoz and lokma are Turkish pastries associated with İzmir, the former prepared for commercial purposes and the latter to commemorate the deceased.

Kumru is a special kind of sandwich that is associated particularly with the Çeşme district. While they were returning from Phocaea , Ghiţă saw beautiful potteries on the way of Menemen.

Menemen's earthenware pottery products are famous across Turkey since centuries. He was highly affected and bought some for his family. GhiĹŁÄƒ was a little tired after this trip and they arrived home and took a rest. They were at home until evening and then since the weather was nice, they decided to go to a pub in Alsancak.

You can find many restaurants, bars, cafes, discothèques and other entertainment venues there . While they were having something in seaside street and promenade called "Kordon" they met a group of young girls and boys.

They had a really good time and became friends. One of the girls was really friendly and they talked to each other for a while.

On the next day, Selim insisted on going to a famous Grand Bazaar called Kemeralt覺 where you can find many souvenirs, rugs and ceramic glazes.

While looking around they saw a man selling some potteries from Slovenia. He asked some questions about his job and became a friend .Then he told Ghiţă that it was the last day of his visit in Izmir and would return Slovenia the following day. Ghiţă thought that he spent enough time in Turkey and it was the time for leaving and beginning a new journey. He said goodbye and thanked for everything to Selim and left Izmir thinking of the girl he saw at the pub….


The next day, he went to the airport to catch a plane to Slovenia. But on the plane there was the girl from the pub. He sat right next to her. Then he talked to her and asked her some questions. She told him that she Is from Slovenia. He was very happy, Because he was also going to Slovenia.

She lives in Ljubljana

the capital city of Slovenia, she said. But he was at the hotel Balnea

in Dolenjske Toplice

For the next day he reserved a flight with a balloon round Slovenia. After dinner he walked down the hall and saw that girl again. She was crying. He wanted to talk to her but she ran away to her room and closed her doors very quickly behind her. Because of that he could not sleep. He thought about the poor crying girl. In the morning he went to the pool and seam a little bit.

Then he went to the restaurant and saw that girl again, this time with some other boy. He was a little bit sad. After his breakfast he drove to ÄŒrni Kal for his flight with the balloon.

He was very surprised when he saw her there - they were in the same balloon. They flew towards Piran for about two hours. They went swimming in the Adriatic sea, went to dinner to the restaurant Barka in Portoro탑. The next day they drove to Lipica, where they rode the worldwide famous white horses, the Lipizzans .

and then they drove back to Ljubljana, where they saw the Ljubljana castle

They also visited the Postojna cave

and the Dragon bridge

After that, they went to lunch in a restaurant. After a good night's sleep in the hotel, they went to Bled

where they saw the lake and the castle.

In the middle of lake there was an island with a small church on it, where they ate a lot of cream cakes.

They rang the bell, which is said to bring luck. After that, they walked to Velika planina,

and the biggest mountain in Slovenia, called Triglav .

They went for a long trip to Prekmurje and enjoyed some more at the Moravian spa, where they swam in thermal water.

The next day they went to the airport. They had a lot of fun in Slovenia, but now it was time for something else...

… back to ROMANIA

Ghiță said goodbye to her and he took the plane back to Romania. When he arrived home his eyes were full of tears of joy. He hugged his family and Grivei – his dog. He jumped all over him.

The next day Ghiță and his family invited all their friends and neighbours to a big welcome party. He told everybody a European story about his journey.

… back to ROMANIA He showed them pictures with the pots from Micha, national costumes from Janis’ village, cooking competitions from Selim’s town, Lipizzans horses from Slovenia. His friends asked him to cook for them something he liked best in the countries he visited.

So, he prepared as an appetizer - some kumru – a special kind of sandwich from the Cesme district, klingeris – saffron-scented bread made of yeast dough with dried fruit into the shape of 8 figure and decorated with flowers – from Slovenia. Next he prepared some zerde from Turkey – which was sweetened rice with saffron (for his vegetarian friends).

He showed them pictures with the pots from Micha, national costumes from Janis’ village, cooking competitions from Selim’s town, Lipizzans horses

from Slovenia. His friends asked him to cook for them something he liked best in the countries he visited.

So, he prepared as an appetizer some kumru – a special kind of sandwich from the Cesme district, klingeris – saffron-scented bread made of yeast dough with dried fruit into the shape of 8 figure and decorated with flowers – from Slovenia. Next he prepared some zerde from Turkey – which was sweetened rice with saffron (for his vegetarian friends).

‌ back to ROMANIA When the party finished he wrote a thank you letter to all his European friends, inviting them and their families to visit him in Baia Mare, Romania.

We were happy to be among his friends and this is the reason why we can tell you his story.

Special thanks to the 7th graders from Alexandru Ioan Cuza school from Baia Mare, Romania for making this e-book: Antonela Vlaicu Diana Mureșan Alexandra Pop Denisa Iluț Gabriela Bârle and the audio book too: Diana Mureșan Antonela Vlaicu

Click on Ghiță to read the story again

DID YOU KNOW... Castanea sativa is a species of the flowering plant family Fagaceae, the tree and its edible seeds are referred to by several common names such as Sweet Chestnut or Marron. Originally native to southeastern Europe and Asia Minor, it is now widely dispersed throughout Europe and parts of Asia, such as the lower Himalayas and other temperate parts of the Indian Subcontinent. The trees are hardy, long lived and well known for their chestnuts, which are used as an ingredient in cooking.


DID YOU KNOW... Romania is a country located at the intersection of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea. Romania shares a border with Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and Moldova to the northeast and east, and Bulgaria to the south. At 238,400 square kilometers (92,000 sq mi), Romania is the ninth largest country of the European Union by area, and has the seventh largest population of the European Union with over 19 million people. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest, the tenth largest city in the EU, with a population of around 2 million. COAT OF ARMS




Baia Mare is a municipality in northwestern Romania and the capital of Maramureş County. The city is situated about 600 kilometres from Bucharest, the capital of Romania, 70 kilometres from the border with Hungary and 50 kilometres from the border with Ukraine. The municipality of Baia Mare had a total population of 137,921 in 2002, the majority being Romanians. The ethnic composition of the city is as follows: •Romanian: (79.81%) •Hungarian: (14.84%) •Roma: (0.51%) •German: (0.36%) •Ukrainian: (0.25%) •Jews: (0.10%) and 642 others, including Greeks, Turks, Italians, Lippovans, Poles and Slovaks. Before the Second World War, Baia Mare had a community of more than 1.000 Jews, out of which only around 130 still live in the city, due to the emigration of the Jews

The outskirts of Baia Mare are the only areas where you can find chestnut trees that usually need Mediterranean climate to grow. This is the northernmost reach of the chestnut tree.



Cleopatra Stratan (born October 6, 2002 in Chisinau, Moldova) is the youngest person ever to score commercial success as a singer, with her 2006 album La vârsta de trei ani ("At the age of 3"). She holds the record for being the youngest artist who performed live for two hours in front of a large audience, the highest paid

young artist, the youngest artist to receive an MTV award and the youngest artist to score a #1 hit in a country (―Ghiță" in Romanian Singles Chart). As of late 2011, Cleopatra and her family have relocated and are living in Romania. Click the link to listen to the song in Romanian Click the link to listen to the song in English



The Carpathian Shepherd Dog is a breed of large sheep dogs that originated in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania.


Maramures traditional costumes are impressive through beauty and simplicity. Each ethnographic region has a local specific when it comes to costume. In the land of Maramures, the defining elements of the women's clothing are: a kierchief, white shirt with sleeves ended in cuffs and flounces, ample skirts, covered by the two aprons with horizontal stripes colored according to the social status and region (usually black alternating with red, yellow or orange). Over the shirt, women wear a jerkin, or a warmer coat during wintertime. Men wear short white shirts, wide trousers (izmene) in summer and "cioareci" (trousers made of wool) in winter and hats on their heads. The jerkin gives vividness to the costumes. The traditional shoes are called "opinci" and are still part of the folk costumes. In the past, when coming to the fair every Monday, people could recognize each others' origin by the costumes they wore. An identification element for the women was the way the stripes on their skirts were disposed or the chromatics, and for the men, the color of their coat revealed their origins.



Set the pot with milk to boil. DID YOU KNOW... When the milk is hot, add salt. Sprinkle a little of the cornmeal. When it starts boiling, place a wooden spoon in the pot and start to gradually add the cornmeal (rain-like). Keep mixing with the wooden spoon. When the polenta seems sufficiently dense, stop adding cornmeal. Keep mixing, pressing the polenta towards the edges of the pot. When the polenta is cooked through, take the wooden spoon out and clean it with another wet spoon. Start gathering the polenta towards the center of the pot and let it boil for a few more minutes. After it has made a few more steamy bubbles, grab the pot with oven mitts, shake it a few times and pour the polenta on a wooden cutting board. Add 4 oz / 100 g crumbled sheep cheese, 4 oz / 100 g butter and salt if needed. Let cool a little, then mix with three beaten eggs. Grease a pan or baking sheet with some butter, place half of the polenta in, spread the rest of the cheese and small pieces of butter on top, then cover with the other half of polenta. Put some more butter on top of that and bake for 20 – 30 minutes. Serve hot.


DID YOU KNOW... ‖Chestnut Festival‖ was started at the initiative of former mayor of Baia Mare,it’s first edition being held in 1993. The festival had been initiated in order to give to the residents of this city the opportunity to relax for more 3 days, to enjoy and have fun with friends and their families. During this feast, on the streets of the city can be found cultural, artistic and sportive events. In the first years, ―Expo Flora Exhibition‖ was the most important thing, but after came also the ―selling food and drinks on the streets‖ businesses, what made the people to have more fun.


DID YOU KNOW... Sトツel is famous for its red, unglazed pottery obtained through ancient techniques that date back more than 2000 years ago. Nowadays, an ancient Roman type oven is used for burning the clay. Sトツel pots are manufactured in Dacian style and they are ornamented using mineral elements. The ornaments are simple and resemble natural elements (the flow of water, the sun, the line of life, folkloric motifs). These elements were also used in the Dacian ceramics.


DID YOU KNOW... Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic in west-central Europe. The country consists of 16 states, and its capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres (137,847 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With 81.8 million inhabitants, it is the most populous member state in the European Union. It is one of the major political powers of the European continent and a technological leader in many fields.




DID YOU KNOW... Titisee-Neustadt is a municipality in the district of BreisgauHochschwarzwald in Baden-W체rttemberg in southern Germany. It is made up of the six communities of Neustadt, Langenordnach, Rudenberg, Titisee, Schw채rzenbach and Waldau. The town of Neustadt is a spa known for its Kneipp hydrotherapeutic and curative methods.



Wine festivals are celebrated in and around Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, which is a stop at the German Wine Road, all throughout summer. One of the best events here is the German Grape Harvest Festival in October, when wine queens from various wine growing regions come together to elect the ―German Wine Queen‖. A colorful thanksgiving parade through the cobble stone streets of the old town ends this 100-year old wine. festival.


DID YOU KNOW... Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia (border length 343 km), to the south by Lithuania (588 km), to the east by the Russian Federation (276 km), to the southeast by Belarus (141 km), and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden. With 2,070,371 inhabitants and a territory of 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi) it is one of the least populous and least densely populated countries of the European Union. The capital of Latvia is Riga. The official language is Latvian and the currency is called Lats (Ls). COAT OF ARMS



DID YOU KNOW... Daugavpils is a city in southeastern Latvia, located on the banks of the Daugava River, from which the city gets its name. Daugavpils literally means "Daugava Castle". With a population of over 100,000, it is the second largest city in the country after the capital Riga, which is located some 230 km to its north-west. Daugavpils has a favorable geographical position as it borders Belarus and Lithuania (distances of 33 and 25 km respectively). It is located some 120 km from the Latvian border with Russia. Daugavpils is a major railway junction and industrial centre.


Latvian Folk Costumes derive from the "Sunday best" clothing that Latvians wore at festivals, weddings, and other major celebrations. Since this clothing was worn rarely, and was usually expensive to make (in time, and sometimes also in materials), the "fashion" of these clothes changed slowly — especially if such clothing was handed down from generation to generation, as often seems to have been the case. Thus, it is not surprising that Latvian folk costumes often reflect the fashions of the 19th, and even the 18th, century. There is no single national costume for Latvia; instead, the clothing is distinctive from province to province, and sometimes even from parish to parish.

south-eastern Latvia

western Latvia

north-eastern Latvia


central Latvia BACK

DID YOU KNOW... Latvia is indeed ―the land that sings,‖ yet this is never more true than on Līgo night. Līgo' songs can only be sung on Midsummer Night (June 23). Līgo literally means to sway, but also colloquially to make merry. The idea is that you līgo, or sway, into the night and through to the morning. If you don’t know the words, the melodies are simple enough and quite repetitive so as to allow you to catch on quickly.

Click the link to listen to a Ligo song QEhA0


Ingredients for dough:

½ teaspoon

Spanish saffron, very finely crumbled


¼ cup

boiling water

50 ml

2 tablespoons

dry yeast

30 ml

½ cup

warm water

125 ml

1 teaspoon


5 ml

4½ cups


1.125 litres

2 cups

table cream, warm

500 ml

½ pound


225 gm/250 ml

¾ cup


175 ml


egg yolks

1½ cups

golden raisins

375 ml

½ teaspoon

ground cardamom

2 ml

1 teaspoon


5 ml





Preparation ahead of time Take eggs and butter out of fridge, and let come to room temperature. Crumble saffron into boiling water and let stand. Warm cream (on extremely low heat in a saucepan). Grate the orange rind and lemon rind, reserving the lemon juice for the dough. Into the warm water mix the teaspoon of sugar, and sprinkle yeast on top of water. Let stand (about 10 minutes) until bubbled up. Mixing the dough In a large bowl, combine warm cream with yeast mixture and add half of the flour. Mix well. Cover and let rise for half an hour in a warm place. Meanwhile, cream butter with sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time. Whip until light. Add raisins to remainder of flour. Add butter/sugar/egg mixture to risen dough/yeast/flour mixture. Now, in a very large bowl, mix together everything (except the items used for decoration). Mix until dough is smooth. Cover and let rise again in warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour). Place risen dough on floured board and knead until smooth and elastic.



DID YOU KNOW... Turkey is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia (mostly in the Anatolian peninsula) and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe. Turkey is bordered by eight countries: Bulgaria to the northwest; Greece to the west; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Azerbaijan (the exclave of Nakhchivan) and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the southeast. The Mediterranean Sea and Cyprus are to the south; the Aegean Sea is to the west; and the Black Sea is to the north. The Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles (which together form the Turkish Straits) demarcate the boundary between East Thrace and Anatolia; they also separate Europe and Asia



DID YOU KNOW... Izmir is a large metropolis in the western extremity of Anatolia and the third most populous city in Turkey. Izmir metropolitan area extends along the outlying waters of the Gulf of İzmir and inland to the north across Gediz River's delta, to the east along an alluvial plain created by several small streams and to a slightly more rugged terrain in the south.

İzmir prides itself with its busy schedule of trade fairs, exhibitions and congresses.


DID YOU KNOW... Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Asia Minor, near present-day Selรงuk, Izmir Province, Turkey. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era. In the Roman period, Ephesus had a population of more than 250,000 in the 1st century BC, which also made it one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean world. The House of Virgin Mary - The belief that the Virgin Mary had spent her last days in the vicinity of Ephesus and that she had died there, focused attention on a nun named Anna Katherina Emmerich who had livid in the late 18th century (1774-1820). The efforts to find the house were greatly influenced by her detailed description of the Virgin Mary's coming to Ephesus, her life and her last home there and the characteristics of the city although she had never been to Ephesus.



Phocaea was the northernmost of the Ionian cities, on the boundary with Aeolis. It was located near the mouth of the river Hermus (now Gediz), and situated on the coast of the peninsula separating the Gulf of Cyme to the north, named for the largest of the Aeolian cities, and the Gulf of Smyrna (now Izmir) to the south. Phocaea had two natural harbours within close range of the settlement, both containing a number of small islands. Phocaea's harbours allowed it to develop a thriving seafaring economy, and to become a great naval power, which greatly influenced its culture. Recent archaeological surveys have shown that the city of Phocaea was large for the archaic period. Herodotus gives an idea of the size of Phocaea by the describing the walls of Phocaea as having a diameter of 5 km, large even by modern standards. Phocaea was one of the largest cities in the ancient world.


DID YOU KNOW... Boyoz is a Turkish pastry, associated with Izmir, Turkey, which is practically the only city where it is prepared for commercial purposes and follows the original recipe. As such, in the eyes of Smyrniots boyoz acquired the dimension of a symbol of their hometown or of their longing for it when away. The most widely preferred boyoz is plain, without addition of meat or cheese or spinach stuffings, and as cooked by a handful of master boyoz bakers in İzmir. Lokma is a Turkish fried sweet dough that is covered in a simple syrup. Served as a dessert, lokma is a popular coffee accompaniment. They are a kind of fried-dough pastry made of deep fried dough soaked in sugar syrup or honey and cinnamon, and sometimes sprinkled with sesame. BACK Kumru: a warm sandwich, made with a special bread with sesame seeds, Turkish sausage, grilled cheese and tomatoes. BACK

DID YOU KNOW... Slovenia is a nation state situated in Central Europeat the crossroad of main European cultural and trade routes.It borders Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Croatia to the south and southeast and Hungary to the northeast.It covers 20,273 square kilometres and has a population of 2.05 million.It is a parliamentary republic and a member of the European Union and NATO.Relative to its geography, history, economy, culture, and language, it is a very diverse country distinguished by a transitional character. It is characterised by a high economic and social level. Its capital and largest city is Ljubljana.





Dolenjske Toplice is one of the longest-established spas in Europe. The first bathhouse was built as early as mid-17th century. Dolenjske Toplice lies on the western edge of the Novo Mesto Basin in southeastern Slovenia, by the Sušica stream. The area was settled as early as prehistoric times. The beauty of the River Krka, the mysteriousness of the ancient forest reserves in the nearby Kočevski Rog, the enchantment of the lushly wooded Gorjanci Hills, the picturesqueness of the vine-covered hills – the surrounding area offers countless possibilities for day trips. BACK


ÄŒrni Kal is a village in southwestern Slovenia in the Municipality of Koper.It is best known today for the ÄŒrni Kal viaduct, the highest bridge in Slovenia. The village has some good examples of traditional Karst architecture. One such monument is the Benko House, built in 1489 by stonemasons Andrej (Andrew) and Benko (Benjamin) as indicated by an inscription on the building: Andreas et Benco construxerunt. This makes it oldest surviving farmhouse in the Koper area and is also the oldest signed and dated secular building in all of Slovenia. It stands on the lower edge of the village core and is made of chiseled limestone and marlstone blocks. It comprises two buildings with inscriptions in the Glagolitic alphabet on the facade. The older building is the main house, with Romanesque as well as late-Gothic features. The local church is dedicated to Saint Lawrence and belongs to the Parish of Predloka. BACK

DID YOU KNOW... Piran is a town in the Municipality of Piran in southwestern Slovenia on the Gulf of Piran on the Adriatic Sea. It is one of the three major towns of Slovenian Istria. The town resembles a large open-air museum, with medieval architecture and a rich cultural heritage. Narrow streets and compact houses give the town its special charm. Piran is the administrative centre of the local area and one of Slovenia's major tourist attractions. PortoroĹž , literally "Port of Roses", is an urban settlement coastal settlement in the Municipality of Piran in the southwestern Slovenia. It is one of the country's largest tourist areas. PortoroĹž belongs to the coastal municipality of Piran, located in the southwest of the Gulf of Trieste (at the northern-most point of the Adriatic Sea) between the boundaries of Italy to the north and Croatia to the south The Lipizzan is a breed of horse closely associated with the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Austria, where the finest representatives demonstrate the haute ĂŠcole or "high school" movements of classical dressage, including the highly controlled, stylized jumps and other movements known as the "airs above the ground." The Lipizzan breed dates back to the 16th century, when it was developed with the support of the Habsburg nobility. The breed takes its name from one of the earliest stud farms established, located near the Kras village of Lipica , in modernday Slovenia.


DID YOU KNOW... Postojna Cave is a network of 20 kilometres of passages, galleries and chambers into which experienced guides have accompanied more than 31 million visitors in the last 188 years. It is the largest cave in the ―classic karst‖ and the most vis¬ited show cave in Europe. In 1872 railway lines were laid in the cave; electricity arrived in 1884. Today you begin your visit aboard the cave train; the electric lighting allows you to admire the size and splendour of the underground world, where the geological past is recorded in a unique manner.

The Dragon Bridge is a road bridge located in Ljubljana. It crosses the Ljubljanica River,between Kopitar Street (Kopitarjeva ulica) and Ressel Street (Resljeva cesta),to the north of the Ljubljana Central Market at Vodnik Square. Built in the beginning of the 20th century, the bridge is today protected as a technical monument. It is intended primarily for motorised traffic and is part of the never completed city's inner ring road, designed by Max Fabiani. BACK

DID YOU KNOW... Bled is a town and a municipality in northwestern Slovenia in the region of Upper Carniola. The area, within the Julian Alps, is a popular tourist destination. Bled is known for the glacial Lake Bled, which makes it a major tourist attraction. Perched on a rock overlooking the lake is the iconic Bled Castle. The town is also known in Slovenia for its vanilla-and-cream pastry called kremna rezina ("cream slice") or kremšnita . Due to its mild climate, Bled has been visited by aristocratic guests from all across the world. Today it is an important convention centre and tourist resort, offering a wide range of sport activities (golf, fishing, horsebackriding) and is a starting point for mountain treks and hikes especially within the nearby Triglav National Park. A small island in the middle of the lake is home to the Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church; visitors frequently ring its bell for good luck. The island on Lake Bled has 99 steps. A local tradition at weddings is for the husband to carry his new bride up these steps, during which the bride must remain silent. BACK