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Traditional regions of Slovenia, with Slovenian Carinthia in yellow
Slovenian Carinthia ( ) or Slovene Carinthia, most commonly simply Carinthia ( ) is a traditional region in the north of Sloveniamarker. It has no official status as an administrative unit within Slovenia, although the association with an informal province ( ) is still quite common.

The region is referred to as Slovenian Carinthia in order to distinguish it from the neighbouring Austrianmarker State of Carinthiamarker. The term Slovene Carinthia may refer also to both the Slovenian and the Austrian Carinthia with Slovene-speaking inhabitants.

Geography

The region consists of two geographically separate parts:

In 2005, Slovenia was divided into 12 statistical regions. Jezersko has been attached to the Gorenjska statistical region, while a number of Lower Styrian municipalities including the town of Slovenj Gradecmarker have been attached to the Koroška statistical region.

History

The name derives from the fact that the today's territory formed part of the Duchy of Carinthia, which belonged to the Habsburg Empire until World War I. In 1919, the newly established Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenesmarker (later renamed to Yugoslavia) occupied southern Carinthia. Jezerskomarker, the Meža Valley and the area around Dravogradmarker, which are today the territory of Slovenia, were annexed without a referendum. However, in the region north and west of this, on 10 October 1920 the voters in the Carinthian Plebiscitemarker determined that those parts should remain with the newly founded Republic of Austriamarker. After World War II, the region formed part of the Yugoslav Yugoslav Republic of Slovenia and have become part of the independent Slovenia after the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991.

Economy

In the 1990s, a 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, the manufacturer of batteries. Metal Ravne, the steel mill at Ravne, which was in the 19th century one of the largest employers in the Duchy of Carinthia, managed to survive and now specializes in alloy steel and machinery components. There are five hydroelectric plant in the Koroška stretch of the Drava valley, with a total capacity of about 60 megawatts, and metal products are produced in different places.

Jezersko has a long tourist tradition, and is the starting point for mountaineering routes to Grintovecmarker, Kočna and Veliki Vrh. Also the agriculture is extensive in Jezersko.

Environment

After the shut-down of the zinc mine the extremely poor environmental situation in the narrow Meža valley with its century-long lead and zinc ore exploitation has been slowly improving. However, the entire area of Slovenian Carinthia continues to suffer from the 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 Thermal Power Plant and the iron works in Ravne.

Despite the pollution of the Mežamarker 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 Koroškemmarker, but the Carinthian Regional Museum, the Carinthian Gallery of Fine Arts and the regional radio station are located in Slovenj Gradecmarker (historically part of Lower Styria). In the past, educational establishments and other activities were dispersed among several small towns. There are high schools in Ravne and Mutamarker. Students who wish to continue their tertiary education mostly choose the universities of Maribormarker and Ljubljanamarker. In Črna na Koroškemmarker, there is a centre for the protection and vocational training of the physically and mentally handicapped youth.

Notes and references

  1. Eurostat: Portrait of the Regions - Slovenia: Koroska : Education, health and culture



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