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Slovenj Gradec ( ) is a town and a municipality formerly in the Slovene Styria region, now in the recently enlarged Koroška statistical region of northern Sloveniamarker. The town is located around 45 km west of Maribormarker and 65 km northeast of Ljubljanamarker.

Historically, Slovenj Gradec was part of the Duchy of Styria within the Austrian Empiremarker until 1918, when, together with Lower Styria, it was ceded to the new Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenesmarker.

Between the mid 19th century and 1945, the town was a German-speakingmarker island in a Slovene-speaking area. In the 1880 census, town of Slovenj Gradec, or Windischgrätz, as it was called, was 75 percent German-speaking and 25 percent Slovene-speaking, but among the German speaking population a considerable proportion were allegedly - like the family of the famous composer Hugo Wolf - of ethnic Slovene origin. After the end of the World War I, many of the local German speaking inhabitants moved to Austriamarker; those that remained were gradually assimilated to or re-integrated into the Slovene-speaking majority. After World War II, all remaining ethnic Germans were expelled from Yugoslavia, thus Slovenj Gradec lost its traditional presence of German speakers.

The great German and Austrian noble family of the Princes of Windisch-Graetz, first mentioned in 1220, had their original home in a castle nearby and took their name from the town's German name which translates as "little Slovene castle".

In 1860, the composer Hugo Wolf was born in Windischgrätz/Slovenj Gradec. His birthplace is now a music school. Other important structures near his birthplace include the parish church in the main square, which is a Gothic chapel with frescos from the middle of the 15th century. In 2003, an acheological excavation uncovered the remains of the oldest church in all of Styria, which originates from the Carolingian period.

Towns and villages

Brda, Gmajnamarker, Golavabukamarker, Gradiščemarker, Graška Goramarker, Legenmarker, Mislinjska Dobravamarker, Pamečemarker, Podgorjemarker, Radušemarker, Selemarker, Slovenj Gradec, Spodnji Razbormarker, Stari trgmarker, Šmartno pri Slovenj Gradcumarker, Šmiklavžmarker, Tomaška vasmarker, Trobljemarker, Turiška vasmarker, Vodrižmarker, Vrhemarker, Zgornji Razbormarker

Notes and References

  • The information in this article is based on and translated from that found in its German equivalent.

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