Municipality of Žirovnica

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Municipality of Žirovnica
Občina Žirovnica
Municipality
Location of the Municipality of Žirovnica in Slovenia
Location of the Municipality of Žirovnica in Slovenia
Coordinates: 46°24′N 14°08′E / 46.400°N 14.133°E / 46.400; 14.133Coordinates: 46°24′N 14°08′E / 46.400°N 14.133°E / 46.400; 14.133
Country  Slovenia
Government
 • Mayor Leopold Pogačar
Area
 • Total 42.6 km2 (16.4 sq mi)
Population (2002)[1]
 • Total 4,071
 • Density 96/km2 (250/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+01)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+02)

The Municipality of Žirovnica (Slovene: Občina Žirovnica) is a municipality in Slovenia. It is located in the historic Upper Carniola region, on the southern slope of the Karavanke mountain range, close to the border with Austria. The municipality borders with Jesenice to the west, Bled and Radovljica to the south, and Tržič to the east.

There are ten settlements in the municipality: Breg, Breznica, Doslovče, Moste, Rodine, Selo, Smokuč, Vrba, Zabreznica and Žirovnica. The municipal administration is based in Breznica.

A number of figures important to Slovenes come from the Municipality of Žirovnica: the poet France Prešeren, the linguist Matija Čop, Archbishop Anton Vovk, the pioneering bee-keeper Anton Janša, and the writers Janez Jalen and Fran Saleški Finžgar. Bronze busts of all five have been put up in front of the school in Zabreznica. There is a well-marked trail through the villages called The Cultural Heritage Route. This can be followed to visit certain monuments associated with the above figures (e.g., the houses where Prešeren, Čop, Finžgar, and Jalen were born, all of which are small museums, Janša's beehive) and a number of other historical and cultural monuments in the area.

In the Završnica Valley, behind the Reber range that overlooks the villages, the first public hydroelectric plant in Slovenia was built in 1914. In 1952, after building a 60 m dam (the highest dam in Slovenia to date) in the Kavčke Gorge, a second hydroelectric plant opened in nearby Moste. This was the first hydroelectric plant to operate on the Sava River.

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