Carinthia (Slovenia)

Carinthia (Slovene: Koroška, pronunciation , German: Kärnten), also Slovene Carinthia or Slovenian Carinthia (Slovenska Koroška),[notes 1] is a traditional region in northern Slovenia.[notes 2] The term refers to the small southeasternmost area of the former Duchy of Carinthia, which after World War I was allocated to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes according to the 1919 Treaty of Saint-Germain. It has no distinct centre, but a local centre in each of the three central river valleys among the heavily forested mountains.[2]:14

Since the entry of Slovenia into the European Union in May 2004, much effort has been made to re-integrate Carinthia as a cultural, tourist and economic unit.[3] The historic region has no official status as an administrative district within Slovenia, although the association with an informal province (pokrajina) is quite common.

Carinthia (Slovenia)
Typical Lower Carinthian landscape in Ravne na Koroškem.
Typical Lower Carinthian landscape in Ravne na Koroškem.
1791/92 map of Lower Carinthia
1791/92 map of Lower Carinthia
400 m (1,300 ft)
Traditional regions of Slovenia
Borders of the Historical Habsburgian Lands in the Republic of Slovenia
1 Littoral; Carniola: 2a Upper
2b Inner, 2c Lower
3 Carinthia; 4 Styria; 5 Prekmurje


The region lies in the Karawanks mountain range of the Southern Limestone Alps and comprises two spatially divided areas:

All these municipalities border on the Austrian state of Carinthia in the north.

In 2005, the Carinthia Statistical Region was established, which covers a larger area of about 1,041 km2 (402 sq mi), parts of which encompass a number of adjacent municipalities belonging to the traditional region of Styria like the town of Slovenj Gradec in the Mislinja Valley or Muta and Radlje down the Drava River,[1] though not Jezersko, which is part of the Upper Carniola Statistical Region.

The landscape of Carinthia is very diverse, with predominance of hilly and mountainous relief, in the Pleistocene transformed by glaciers. The climate is partially an alpine climate, and partially a transitional continental climate. An important element is temperature inversion. Over two thirds of Carinthia is covered by forest and the percentage is still increasing. The predominant tree species are beech, fir, and spruce. The lower areas have been polluted by lead due to a lead mine. Despite this, Carinthia is home to much game (hare, deer, roe deer) and alpine animal species above the timberline, like at Mount Peca or Mount Raduha. The Drava River is home to many fish.[1]


The name derives from the early mediæval Slavic principality of Carantania, whose territory stretched from the present-day Austrian state of Carinthia down to the Styrian lands on the Sava river. The area was part of the Imperial Carinthian duchy established in 976 and ruled by the House of Habsburg from 1335, which in 1867 became a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary. Upon the Austrian defeat in World War I, the newly established Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later renamed Yugoslavia) in 1919 occupied southern Carinthia. The Meža Valley, the area around Dravograd and Jezersko, which are today the territory of Slovenia, were split off without a referendum, while in the occupied region north and west of this, on 10 October 1920 the voters in the Carinthian Plebiscite determined that those parts should become part of the newly founded First Austrian Republic.

During the 1941 Balkan Campaign of World War II, the area was annexed by Nazi Germany and put under the administration of the Reichsgau of Carinthia, led by Friedrich Rainer. Upon the German Instrument of Surrender in May 1945, Yugoslav Partisans entered the region, killing numerous alleged collaborators in what became known in the context of the Bleiburg repatriations. The area around Dravograd (Otiški Vrh, Selovec, Bukovska Vas, Šentjanž) and Prevalje (Leše, Poljana) is the site of several mass graves. After the war, the region formed part of the Yugoslav Socialist Republic of Slovenia, it became part of independent Slovenia after the Breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991.


The Carinthia Statistical Region had 73,754 inhabitants in 2008, with an uneven settlement and relatively young population. Nonetheless, due to low birth rate and shorter life span, the number of inhabitants is decreasing. The biggest employer is the processing industry. Many people are commuters, working in Ljubljana, Maribor, Velenje and Austria. In 2008, there was relatively high unemployment, 10.5% in the mining town of Črna na Koroškem and 11.8 in Ravne na Koroškem,[1] known for its steel industry. Other large settlements are the mining towns Mežica and Prevalje, Dravograd along the Maribor-Klagenfurt railway, Slovenj Gradec, the administrative centre of the Mislinja Valley and a cultural centre, Muta with a metal industry based on its blacksmith tradition, Radlje ob Dravi, a lively business and commercial centre.[1]


Panoramski posnetek Raven na Koroškem 1960
Ravne steelworks, 1960

In the 1990s, the lead and zinc mine in the Meža Valley, the most highly industrialized valley of the region, and the lead smelter in Žerjav were closed down. The only factory in the area around the mine still operating is TAB, a manufacturer of batteries. Metal Ravne, the steel mill at Ravne, which was one of the largest employers in the Duchy of Carinthia in the 19th century, managed to survive and now specializes in alloy steel and machinery components. There are five hydroelectric plants in the Carinthian stretch of the Drava Valley, with a total capacity of about 60 megawatts, and metal products are produced in different places.


After the shut-down of the zinc mine, the extremely poor environmental situation in the narrow Meža Valley with its centuries-long lead and zinc ore exploitation has slowly been improving. However, the entire area of the Slovene Carinthia continues to suffer from severe damage to its forests. In some areas, up to 40% of the trees are damaged due to heavy sulfur dioxide emissions from the Šoštanj Power Plant and the iron works in Ravne.[2]:19

Despite the pollution of the Meža and Drava rivers, water supply has never been a problem. Clean water is abundant due to the mountainous terrain with its impermeable rock. Almost every farm in the mountains has its own water supply system, and the settlements in the valleys are connected to municipal water supply systems.

Education and culture

The Dr Franc Sušnik Central Carinthian Library and the Carinthian museum are in Ravne na Koroškem, but the Carinthian Regional Museum, the Carinthian Gallery of Fine Arts, and the regional radio station are located in Slovenj Gradec (historically part of Styria).[2]:19 In the past, educational establishments and other activities were dispersed among several small towns. There are high schools in Ravne and Muta. Students who wish to continue their tertiary education mostly choose the universities in Maribor and Ljubljana. In Črna na Koroškem, there is a centre for the protection and vocational education of physically and mentally handicapped youth.

Notable people


  1. ^ In geographic sources, the terms Pohorje Drava Region (Pohorsko Podravje), Upper Drava Region (Zgornje Podravje), and Hilly Drava Region (Gorato Podravje) have been used as well.[1] In popular sources, the most prominent has been the name Carinthian region (Koroška pokrajina), particularly from 1955 until 1994.[1]
  2. ^ The term Slovene Carinthia may also refer to the southern part of the Austrian State of Carinthia settled by Slovenes.[1] In this case, the term Southeastern Carinthia has been used, encompassing Carinthia in Slovenia and the Jaun Valley (Slovene: Podjuna) in Austria.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Keber, Štefan (2008). "Slovenska Koroška – Zgodovinsko-geografski oris". Kronika (in Slovenian, English, and German). Zveza zgodovinskih društev za Slovenijo, sekcija za krajevno zgodovino [Section for the History of Places, Union of Historical Societies of Slovenia]. 56 (2). ISSN 0023-4923.
  2. ^ a b c "Koroška". Portrait of the Regions – Slovenia. 9. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. 2000. ISBN 92-828-9404-5.
  3. ^ Buhvald, Peter (2010). Diplomsko delo: Državna meja na Koroškem - most ali prepreka med občinama Pliberk in Prevalje [Diploma Thesis: The State Border in Carinthia - a Bridge or a Barrier between the Municipalities of Bleiburg and Prevalje] (PDF) (in Slovenian and English). p. 8. COBISS 42500706.

External links

Media related to Carinthia (Slovenia) at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 46°32′0″N 15°10′0″E / 46.53333°N 15.16667°E


Brdinje (pronounced [bəɾˈdiːnjɛ]) is a dispersed settlement in the hills southeast of Ravne na Koroškem in the Carinthia region in northern Slovenia.

Carinthia (disambiguation)

Carinthia () is a federal state of Austria.

Carinthia may also refer to:

Other political entities:

March of Carinthia, a march of the Carolingian Empire

Duchy of Carinthia, a state of the Holy Roman Empire and Austrian crown land

Carinthia (Slovenia), a traditional region of Slovenia, part of the former duchy

Carinthia Statistical Region, a statistical region in SloveniaVessels:

RMS Carinthia (1925), a British Cunard Line passenger ship launched in 1925 and sunk in 1940

RMS Carinthia (1956), a British Cunard Line passenger ship launched in 1956 and scrapped in 2006 after several changes of ownership and name.

Carinthia Mount Rinka

Carinthia Mount Rinka (Slovene: Koroška Rinka) or the Cross (Križ), with an elevation of 2,433 metres (7,982 ft), is a mountain in the central Kamnik–Savinja Alps in northern Slovenia. It is connected via a pass with Carniola Mount Rinka (Kranjska Rinka, 2,453 m or 8,048 ft), the northern ridge descends to the Jezersko Pass and the Savinja Pass, whereas the western ridge with Styria Mount Rinka (Štajerska Rinka, 2,374 m or 7,789 ft) ends with the Turski Žleb Ravine. There is also the fourth Rinka, called Little Mount Rinka (Mala Rinka; 2,289 m or 7,510 ft). The names of the mountains imply that there is a border between the traditional regions of Slovenia, Carinthia, Carniola, and Styria.


Dravograd (pronounced [ˈdɾaːʋɔɡɾat] (listen); German: Unterdrauburg) is a small town in northern Slovenia, close to the border with Austria. It is the seat of the Municipality of Dravograd. It lies on the Drava River at the confluence with the Meža and the Mislinja. It is part of the traditional Slovenian provinces of Carinthia and the larger Carinthia Statistical Region.


Folkest is a festival devoted to music of all ethnicities and cultures of the world, held in the municipalities of Friuli Venezia Giulia and in some of Veneto, Carinthia, Slovenia and Istria, in July of each year.

The purpose of the organizers is to promote folk music worldwide, through the publication of the magazine traditions, dance and music Folk Bulletin, books and CDs.


Gorče (pronounced [ˈɡɔːɾtʃɛ]) is a small settlement on a river terrace above the right bank of the Drava River in the Municipality of Dravograd in the Carinthia region in northern Slovenia, right on the border with Austria.


The Meža (Slovene) or Mieß (German) is a river in the Austrian state of Carinthia and in Slovenia, a right tributary of the Drava. It is 43 km long, of which 42 km in Slovenia. Its catchment area is 551.7 km2, of which 543 km2 in Slovenia.


Mežica (pronounced [mɛˈʒiːtsa] (listen); German: Mießdorf) is a town and a municipality in northern Slovenia. It lies on the Meža River in the traditional Slovenian province of Carinthia) near the Austrian border. The town developed close to a lead and zinc mine under Mount Peca. Mining began in 1665 and ended in 1994. Today the mine is only open for tourist visits.The town once had a small ski area on Mount Peca, but this closed soon after the mining operations ceased to operate.

The parish church in the settlement is dedicated to Saint James. It is a single-nave building built in 1840 to replace an earlier smaller building.

Mislinja (river)

The Mislinja (pronounced [miˈsliːnja]) is a river in the northern part of Slovenia. It is 36 km (22 mi) long. It flows through Mislinja and Slovenj Gradec and empties from the right into the Meža River north of the village of Otiški Vrh near Dravograd, only a couple hundred meters before the Meža joins the Drava River.

Mount St. Ursula

Mount St. Ursula (Slovene: Uršlja gora) or Plešivec (1,699 metres or 5,574 feet) is the easternmost peak of the Karawanks. It lies between the towns of Slovenj Gradec and Črna na Koroškem. There are three villages on the slopes of the mountain: Uršlja Gora, Podgora, and Zgornji Razbor. The mountain offers a panoramic view towards all of Carinthia, the Kozjak Mountains, and the Kamnik–Savinja Alps. Below the peak of Mount St. Ursula stands the Gothic St. Ursula's Church (which gives the mountain its name and is the highest-standing church in Slovenia), a TV mast tower, a mountain lodge (the Mount St. Ursula Lodge, Dom na Uršlji gori), 1,670 m or 5,480 ft), and a monument to the soldiers fallen in World War I.. The name Plešivec (literally, 'the bald one') derives from its grey limestone peak.

Municipality of Dravograd

The Municipality of Dravograd (pronounced [ˈdɾaːʋɔɡɾat] (listen); Slovene: Občina Dravograd) is a municipality in northern Slovenia, on the border with Austria. The seat of the municipality is the town of Dravograd. The Drava River runs through the middle of the municipality. Most of its territory is part of the traditional Slovenian province of Carinthia, but a large southern and eastern part of its territory is part of the traditional Slovenian province of Styria. It is also part of the larger Carinthia Statistical Region.

The municipality consists of 24 settlements grouped into five local communities: Dravograd, Črneče, Libeliče, Šentjanž pri Dravogradu, and Trbonje.

Municipality of Črna na Koroškem

The Municipality of Črna na Koroškem (pronounced [ˈtʃəɾna na kɔˈɾoːʃkɛm]; Slovene: Občina Črna na Koroškem) is a municipality in northern Slovenia. The seat of the municipality is the town of Črna na Koroškem. It lies in the traditional Slovenian province of Carinthia, close to the border with Austria. Since 2005 it has been part of the larger Carinthia Statistical Region.


Mount Olševa (pronounced [ˈoːu̯ʃɛʋa]; German Ouschewa) is a ridge mountain in the eastern part of the Karawanks near the border with Austria. The mountain separates Carinthia from Styria. Its highest point, Govca, is 1,929 meters (6,329 ft) high. Other peaks along the 5-kilometer (3.1 mi) ridge are Obel kamen on the western side, and Smooth Peak (Gladki vrh) and Pretty Peak (Lepi vrh) on the eastern part. About 200 meters (660 ft) below Obel kamen lies Potok Cave (Slovene: Potočka zijalka), an archaeological site from the Stone Age.


Petzen (German) or Peca (Slovene) is the highest mountain of the eastern Karawanks, the second-highest mountain of the Northern Karawanks and the most eastern two-thousand-metre mountain of Slovenia. It is a mighty mountain with a characteristic shape of a tableland with rocky peaks protruding from it. The mountain borders the Meža Valley and the Topla Valley to the south and east, and the Jaun Valley to the north, and is separated by the narrow valley of the Bela Creek from Hochobir. Two thirds of the mountain lies in Austria, and one third in Slovenia. The mountain reaches its highest elevation on the mountain crest of the Kordež Head (Slovene: Kordeževa Glava, German: Kordeschkopf, 2,125 metres or 6,972 feet). The border runs across it.The mountain is built of Triassic Wetterstein limestone and Wetterstein dolomite. In the past, lead and zinc was mined on Peca, the shafts belonging to the Topla and Mežica mines. In addition to the ore, several rare minerals were discovered underground in the mountain, such as wulfenite and calcite. From the global standpoint, the Topla mine is it a rare proof of the sediment creation of lead-zinc ore deposits in supratidal zones. A mine on the mountain is accessible to mountain bikes.The lower slopes on the Slovenian side are forested, whereas the higher slopes are home to a variety of Alpine flora, including several species of flowers A mountain hut was built at Little Peca (Slovene: Mala Peca; 1,665 metres or 5,463 feet) in 1928, which was burnt down during World War II, and rebuilt in 1957. Since 1936, the chapel of Sts. Cyril and Methodius stands next to it. The beginning of an abandoned pit, named Matjaž Cave after the King Matjaž, is situated in the vicinity, which is a historical monument. Inside it, there is a bronze statue of the sleeping king. The statue was designed in 1958 by the sculptor and mountaineer Marjan Keršič, cast in bronze by the sculptor France Rotar, and placed in the cave in 1962.


Podklanc (pronounced [ˈpoːtklants]) is a settlement on the left bank of the Meža River south of Dravograd in the Carinthia region in northern Slovenia.


Prevalje (pronounced [ˈpɾeːʋaljɛ] (listen); German: Prävali) is a settlement and a municipality in northern Slovenia. It lies in the traditional Slovenian province of Carinthia. On 1 January 1999 Prevalje became an independent municipality. Prevalje lies in a valley where the Meža River emerges from a narrow gorge, full of fluvioglacial sediments. To the north the settlement is limited by the Strojna, Stražišče, and Dolga Brda hills. To the south are Navrski vrh (605 m) and Riflov vrh (726 m).

Ravne na Koroškem

Ravne na Koroškem (pronounced [ˈɾaːu̯nɛ na kɔˈɾoːʃkɛm] (listen); until 1952: Guštanj, German: Gutenstein in Kärnten) is a town in northern Slovenia. It is the largest town and the capital of Slovenia's Carinthia region. The town has a long tradition in steel industry.


Tribej (pronounced [ˈtɾiːbɛi̯]) is a small settlement on the right bank of the Drava River west of Dravograd in the Carinthia region in northern Slovenia, next to the border with Austria.


Velka (pronounced [ˈʋeːlka]) is a dispersed settlement in the hills to the northeast of Dravograd in the Carinthia region in northern Slovenia, next to the border with Austria.

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