A map of Slovenia The mountainous country of Slovenia lies at the junction of the Alps and the Dinaric Alps, which run down the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea. The Julian and Karavanke ranges stretch along the northern border with Austria. Forests cover two-thirds of the country. Slovenia has a mostly continental climate with warm summers and cold winters—thick snow blankets the northern mountains during winter months. Near the short coast, the climate is warm and rainy for much of the year and winters are short and mild. Until it became independent in 1992, Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia.
The Slovenes are a South Slavic people who first settled in the region in the 6th century. Their language, Slovenian, is similar to Czech, Slovak and Polish. Slovenes have kept their language and folk traditions alive despite being ruled by German-speaking Austrians for much of their history. Most people live in small towns and villages in the valleys. Even the capital, Ljubljana, is small by comparison with most of Europe’s capital cities.
Despite its small size, Slovenia is home to 24,000 different animal species.
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