The Slovenian Writers Trail

Josip Jurčič. Photo: Rasto Božič/STA

Slovenia is scattered with numerous writers houses. They are connected by way of the Slovenian Writers Trail, which leads from Miško Kranjec’s birthplace in Velika Polana in Prekmurje across the entire country to the birthplace of Oton Župančič in Vinica in Bela krajina. The trail winds its way across our country and reminds us of the human journey through life. The Slovenian Writers Trail consists of a variety of initiatives and invites you to take part in the journey: to partake in curiosity and knowledge and  in reading, thinking and telling the unforgettable.

The Slovenian Writers Trail  (link in Slovenian only) is a project of the Slovenian Writers' Association , which revives and represents our literary heritage. Its purpose is visiting and learning about Slovenian literary landscapes. The guide’s common thread is a route which connects the homes and houses of birth of Slovenian poets and writers, thus the places where they once lived and created. It presents in words and pictures many Slovenian writers, including their involvement in the literary and cultural heritage of Slovenian regions.

Photo: Tinkara Zupan/STA

It is a kind of "spiritual home" of our literary heritage for future generations. If one were to calculate the road distance between the 104 writers' stations, this would make a total of a stunning 700 kilometres. In Slovenia, a land of transversal hiking trails, where there are some 1,128 mountain trails, no path exceeds the length of the Slovenian Writers Trail. The hiking route leads from Prekmurje over Podravje to Koroška, from where it turns back to Savinjska, Celje and the Obsotelje region, descends into Posavje and Zasavje, heads out for Gorenjska, then swings toward Primorska and the Karst, turns eastwards to Notranjska and arrives again at the heart of Slovenia, including the capital city of Ljubljana, of course, and finally ends in Dolenjska and Bela Krajina. Ljubljana is covered with a network of writers homes, not only places of birth, but also places of most different changes of residence and homes that are central in the creation of individual writers.

The Slovenian Writers Trail is a project of the Slovenian Writers' Association, which revives and represents our literary heritage. Its purpose is visiting and learning about Slovenian literary landscapes.

The Slovenian Writers Trail is a monument to Slovenianhood and an opportunity for associating on several levels. Among other things, it also connects together those public institutes that are authorised for participation in other areas. The project includes 67 municipalities. In addition, the Žirovnica Cultural Heritage Trail, which last year was chosen as the most beautiful thematic trail in Slovenia, is part of the Slovenian Writers Trail.

Slovenia has about 700 thematic routes with awareness-raising and educational aims; they also constitute a tourism product which raises self-esteem among Slovenes. The Slovenian Writers Trail is a multi-faceted project which revives tradition using modern tools and connects regions and settlements through literature, tourism and education.

In the 1980s, Slovenian writers made a crucial contribution to the opening of political space and laying the foundations for an independent Slovenia. A good book and well-developed reading culture secure the development and strengthening of the Slovenian language. They are the most powerful means to overcome the non-culture of hate speech, intolerance and chauvinism.

Text by Vesna Žarkovič