And now for the good stuff!
Welcome to Slovenia!!
Conventional Long Form: Republic of Slovenia
Local Long Form: Republika Slovenija
Conventional Short Form: Slovenia
Local Short Form: Slovenija
Area: 20,273 sq. km total: land - 20,151 sq. km., water - 122 sq. km.
Coastline: 46.6 km
Population: 2,011,473 (July 2004 est.)
Life Expectancy: total population: 75.93 years. Male: 72.18 Female: 79.92
Nationalities: Slovene: 92%, Croat: 1%, Serb: 0.5%, Hungarian: 0.4%, Bosniak: 0.3%, other: 5.8%
Religion: Roman Catholic (Uniate 2%): 70.8%, Lutheran: 1%, Muslim: 1%, atheist: 4.3%, other 22.9%
Official Language: Slovenian
Principal Cities: Ljubljana, Maribor, Celje, Kranj, Velenje
Chief of State: President Janez Drnovek (since Dec. 22, 2002)
Prime Minister: Janez Jana (since Nov. 9, 2004)
Government Type: parliamentary democratic republic
Independence: June 25, 1991 (from Yugoslavia)
Constitution: adopted December 23, 1991
Currency: Slovenian Tolar, SIT (As Slovenia entered the ERM, central parity has been set at 239,640 SIT for 1 EUR)
GDP per Capita: 2003 - EUR 12,152
Chief Crops: Potatoes, hops, wheat, sugar beets, corn, grapes
Livestock: Cattle, sheep, poultry
Major Industries: ferrous metallurgy and aluminum products, lead and zinc smelting, electronics (including military electronics), trucks, electric power equipment, wood products, textiles, chemicals, machine tools
Natural Resources: lignite coal, lead, zinc, mercury, uranium, silver, hydropower, forests
Land Use: arable land: 8.6%, permanent crops: 1.49%, other: 89.91%
Environment-current issues: Sava River polluted with domestic and industrial waste; pollution of coastal waters with ehavy metals and toxic chemicals; forest damage near Koper from air pollution (originating at metallurgical and chemical plants) and resulting acid raid
Climate: Most of Slovenia has a continental climate with cold winters and warm summers. The average temps are -2 degrees Celsius in January and 21 degrees Celsius in July. The average rainfall is 1000mm for the coast, up to 3500mm for the Alps, 800mm for southeast and 1400mm for central Slovenia
Highest Elevation: Mt. Triglav, 2,864 meters
Rivers and Lakes: Principal rivers are the Sava and Drava and there are several Bled (mountain glacial lakes) and Kras lakes.
Terrain and Environment: The land in Slovenia is divided up into four geographic regions: The Alps (42.1% of territory), the Dinaric Alps (28.1% of territory), the Pannonian Plain (21.2% of territory), and the Mediterranean (8.6% of territory). The coastline is only 46.6km long, but there are 26,000km of rivers and streams, some 7,500 springs of drinking water, including several hundred of first class therapeutic mineral springs. Forests cover half of the territory (3rd most forested in Europe). Remnants of primeval forests are still to be found. Grassland covers 5593km of the country, and fields and gardens 2472km. There are also 363km of orchards and 216km of vineyards.
Where is Slovenia?
Slovenia is situated in Central Europe. It has borders with Italy, Austria, Croatia, and Hungary.
History of Slovenia
The early Slovenes settled in the river valleys of the Danube Basin and the eastern Alps in the 6th century. In 748AD, Slovenia was brought under Germanic rule, first by the Frankish Empire of the Carolingians, who converted the population to Christianity, and then as part of the Holy Roman Empire in the 9th century.
The Austro-German monarchy took over in the early 14th century and continued to rule (as the Austrian Habsburg Empire from 1804) right up until 1918, with only one brief interruptin. Over these six centuries, the upper classes became totally Germanized, though the peasantry retained their Slavic (later Slovenian) identity.
In 1809, in a bid to isolate the Habsburg Empire from the Adriatic, Napolean established the so-called Illyrian Provinces (Slovenia, Dalmatia, and part of Croatia), making Ljubljana the capital. Though the Habsburgs returned in 1814, French reforms in education, law, and public administration endured. the democratic revolution that swept Europe in 1848 also increased political and national consciousneses among the Slovenes, and after WWI and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Slovenia was included int he Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.
During WWII, much of Slovenia was annexed by Germany, with Italy and Hungary taking smaller shares. Slovenian partisans fought against the invaders from mountain bases. Slovenia joined the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1945.
Slovenes worried when Serbia, under Slobodan Milosevic, started to make noises in the late 1980's about asserting its cultural and economic leadership among the Yugoslav republics. In late 1988, when Belgrade abruptly ended the autonomy of Kosovo, Slovenes, along with their Croatian neighbors, feared that the same could happen to them and that the time to decide their own fate was imminent. Undoubtedly, the rapid breakdown of communism throughout the Eastern Bloc gave the independence movement futher encouragement.
In the spring of 1990, Slovenia became the first Yugoslav republic to hold free elections and slough off 45 years of socialist rule; the following December the electorate voted overwhelmingly (90%) in favor of independence. The implications for the future of Yugoslavia and regional stability were not taken lightly; both the West and the many Slavs living in Slovenia were lukewarm about the decision. They were right, in so far as Belgrade was not about to let the republic go quietly. Diplomatic efforts to secede gradually were rejected, and a series of provocative confrontations between the Yugoslav army and the newly established Slovenian army ensued. On June 25, 1991, Slovenia declared its independence, and a show down loomed as Yugoslav forced mobilized. Slovenian troops and civilians called their bluff by taking up what arms they could, and the West stood by and watched. A 10-day war ensued in which lives were lost and much worse was threatened, but with the world watching and fierce resistance from the Slovenian militia, the Yugoslav army backed off. With no territorial claims or minority issues involved, the Yugoslav government agreed to a truce brokered by the European Community (EC). Slovenia paid a comparatively light price for its independence, as Croatia and Bosnia would soon discover. On January 15, 1992, the EC formally recognized the country. Slovenia was admitted to the United Nations in May 1992.
In Octber 2000, in Slovenia's third election since gaining independence, the Liberal Democratic party was returned to power. Events since then have moved Slovenia further towards political and economic integration with western Europe. In 2004, the country was one of a host of countries to be admitted to the European Union and NATO. 
www.snpj.com/culture.htm - page maintained by an insurance company, but has a couple of recipes, info on festivals, et.
www.slovenia-tourism.si/intro/ - an offical travel guide
www.stat.si/eng/index.asp - The Stat Office of Slovenia
www.einnews.com/slovenia/ - Slovenian News
www.galenfrysinger.com/slovenia.htm - Great collection of pictures from Slovenia
www.burger.si/SlikaDneva/slikadneva.html - More pictures