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Prevalje (German: Prävali) is a settlement and a municipality in northern Sloveniamarker. 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 river Mežamarker 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).

The historical center of Prevalje is on the left bank of the Meža, in the north edge of the valley ground, in the "Na Fari" district around the parish church dedicated to the Assumption of Mary, known locally as Mary on the Lake ( ). It was originally a late Romanesque building, first mentioned in written documents dating to 1335, but the current church dates to 1890. A second historical centre lies around the confluence of the Leški potok stream with the Meža. This is where, at the beginning of 18th century, the first industrial companies were established, laying the foundations for quick economic development of the area.

History

The area around Prevalje was settled in prehistoric times, attested by archeological finds which include a bronze axe of the Hallstatt culture. In 1860, approximately 50 Roman marble slabs were found in the riverbed below today's cellulose and cardboard factory at Paloma in Zagrad. The stones belonged to a large tomb on the Celeiamarker - Virunummarker Roman road. At the nearby Brančurnik pub, a Roman sarcophagus known as "Brančurnikova klop" can be seen.

The last battle of the Second World War in Europe, the Battle of Poljana was fought nearby on 14 and 15 May 1945 between the Yugoslav army and retreating German and quisling forces.

Economy

Prevalje was an important ironworking centre. The development of the town was closely connected the iron industry. Even today the processing industry forms an important basis for the economy of Prevalje, followed by trade, metal processing, traffic and building industry. In recent years services and tourism have also increased.

The biggest companies in the municipality as of 2003 include: Lesna (furniture industry), Koratur (coach and bus companies), Prevent (textile industry), Lek (Pharmaceuticals), Jamnica (trade), Paloma (paper industry) and Instalater (engineering, services). There are also several elementary schools, a nursery school, kindergartens, a medical clinic, a bank and a post office in the town.

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