2b Inner, 2c Lower
Carinthia (Slovene: Koroška, pronunciation (help·info)), also Slovene Carinthia or Slovenian Carinthia (Slovenska Koroška),[notes 1] is a traditional region in northern Slovenia.[notes 2] Its capital is Ravne na Koroškem. The term refers to the small southeasternmost area of the historic Duchy of Carinthia, which was allocated to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes upon the 1919 Treaty of Saint-Germain.
After the entry of Slovenia into the European Union in May 2004, much effort has been made to re-integrate Carinthia as a cultural, tourist and economic unit. The region has no official status as an administrative unit within Slovenia, although the association with an informal province (Slovene: pokrajina) is quite common.
The region lies in the Southern Limestone Alps and comprises the valley of the Meža River from the Karawanks mountain range down to the confluence with the Drava at Dravograd. From 1955 to 1994, the Carinthian Region included the municipalities of Črna na Koroškem, Mežica, Prevalje, Ravne na Koroškem and Dravograd. All of these municipalities border on the Austrian state of Carinthia in the north. In 2005, the Carinthia statistical region. It covers an area of about 1041км² and includes a number of Styrian municipalities around the town of Slovenj Gradec in the Mislinja valley.
The landscape of Carinthia is very diverse, with predominance of hilly and mountainous relief, in the Pleistocene transformed by glaciers. The climate is partially an alpine climate, and partially a transitional continental climate. An important element is temperature inversion. Over two thirds of Carinthia is covered by forest and the percentage is still increasing. The predominant tree species are beech, fir, and spruce. The lower areas have been polluted by lead due to a lead mine. Despite this, Carinthia is home to much game (hare, deer, roe deer) and alpine animal species above the timberline, like at Mount Peca or Mount Raduha. The Drava River is home to many fish.
The name derives from the early mediæval Slavic principality of Carantania, whose territory stretched from the present-day Austrian state of Carinthia down to the Styrian lands on the Sava river. The area was part of the Imperial Carinthian duchy from 976, which in 1867 became a Cisleithanian crown land Austria-Hungary. Upon the Austrian defeat in World War I, the newly established Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later renamed to Yugoslavia) in 1919 occupied southern Carinthia. The Meža Valley, the area around Dravograd and Jezersko, which are today the territory of Slovenia, were split off without a referendum. However, in the occupied region north and west of this, on 10 October 1920 the voters in the Carinthian Plebiscite determined that those parts should become part of the newly founded Republic of Austria.
During the 1941 Balkan Campaign of World War II, the area was annexed by Nazi Germany and incorporated into the Reichsgau of Carinthia. Upon the German Instrument of Surrender in May 1945, Yugoslav Partisans entered the region, killing numerous alleged collaborators in what became known as the Bleiburg tragedy. The region formed part of the Yugoslav Socialist Republic of Slovenia and became part of independent Slovenia after the Breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991.
The Carinthia Statistical Region, parts of which encompass areas belonging to the traditional region of Styria (Slovenj Gradec, Muta, Radlje ob Dravi etc.), had 73,754 inhabitants in 2008, with an uneven settlement and relatively young population. Nonetheless, due to low birth rate and shorter life span, the number of inhabitants is decreasing. The biggest employer is the processing industry. Many people are commuters, working in Ljubljana, Maribor, Velenje, and Austria. In 2008, there was relatively high unemployment, 10.5% in the mining town of Črna na Koroškem and 11.8 in Ravne na Koroškem, known for its steel industry. Other large settlements are the mining towns Mežica and Prevalje, Dravograd along the Maribor-Klagenfurt railway, Slovenj Gradec, the administrative centre of the Mislinja Valley and a cultural centre, Muta with a metal industry based on its blacksmith tradition, Radlje ob Dravi, a lively business and commercial centre.
In the 1990s, the 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, a manufacturer of batteries. Metal Ravne, the steel mill at Ravne, which was one of the largest employers in the Duchy of Carinthia in the 19th century, managed to survive and now specializes in alloy steel and machinery components. There are five hydroelectric plants in the Carinthian stretch of the Drava Valley, with a total capacity of about 60 megawatts, and metal products are produced in different places.
After the shut-down of the zinc mine, the extremely poor environmental situation in the narrow Meža Valley with its centuries-long lead and zinc ore exploitation has slowly been improving. However, the entire area of the Slovene Carinthia continues to suffer from 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 Power Plant and the iron works in Ravne.
Despite the pollution of the Meža 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 Koroškem, but the Carinthian Regional Museum, the Carinthian Gallery of Fine Arts, and the regional radio station are located in Slovenj Gradec (historically part of Styria). In the past, educational establishments and other activities were dispersed among several small towns. There are high schools in Ravne and Muta. Students who wish to continue their tertiary education mostly choose the universities in Maribor and Ljubljana. In Črna na Koroškem, there is a center for the protection and vocational education of physically and mentally handicapped youth.
- Aleš Gorza, skier
- Robert Koren, football player
- Lado Kralj, writer, theatre critic and literary historian
- Alojzij Kuhar, historian, diplomat, journalist and politician
- Mitja Kunc, skier
- Nataša Lačen, cross country skier
- Tina Maze, skier
- Jerica Mrzel, actress, singer and politician
- Boštjan Nachbar, basketball player
- Vinko Ošlak, essayist, translator, and Christian thinker
- Andrej Pečnik, football player
- Nejc Pečnik, football player
- Miro Petek, investigative journalist and politician
- Peter Poles, TV host
- Iztok Puc, handball player
- Danilo Pudgar, skier
- Renata Salecl, philosopher
- Mines Šišić, football player
- Danilo Slivnik, journalist, columnist, author and editor
- Adi Smolar, singer-songwriter
- Katarina Srebotnik, tennis player
- Marko Šuler, football player
- Prežihov Voranc, writer
- Hugo Wolf, composer
- In geographic sources, the terms Pohorje Drava Region (Pohorsko Podravje), Upper Drava Region (Zgornje Podravje), and Hilly Drava Region (Gorato Podravje) have been used as well. In popular sources, the most prominent has been the name Carinthian region (Koroška pokrajina), particularly from 1955 until 1994.
- The term Slovene Carinthia may also refer to the southern part of the Austrian State of Carinthia settled by Slovenes. In this case, the term Southeastern Carinthia has been used, encompassing Carinthia in Slovenia and the Jaun Valley (Slovene: Podjuna) in Austria.
- Keber, Štefan (2008). "Slovenska Koroška – Zgodovinsko-geografski oris". Kronika (in Slovene, with abstract in Slovene, English and German) (Zveza zgodovinskih društev za Slovenijo, sekcija za krajevno zgodovino [Section for the History of Places, Union of Historical Societies of Slovenia]) 56 (2). ISSN 0023-4923.
- Buhvald, Peter (2010). Diplomsko delo: Državna meja na Koroškem - most ali prepreka med občinama Pliberk in Prevalje [Diploma Thesis: The State Border in Carinthia - a Bridge or a Barrier between the Municipalities of Bleiburg and Prevalje] (in Slovene, with an English abstract). p. 8. COBISS 42500706.
- Eurostat: Portrait of the Regions - Slovenia: Koroska : Education, health and culture