Cultural heritage - the pride and heart of national identity

The arts and culture as a nation’s basic elements

The cultural heritage of Slovenia is definitely not just another presentation of life in the past, but also reveals previous ways of thinking and perceiving the world, along with ideas and expressions of creativity, social cohesion, energy, and emotions. Respecting and protecting national cultural heritage is a commitment of each individual. Slovenia also builds its identity on its rich cultural heritage, and if we are to understand this, we have to know the heritage well.

The attitude of Slovenians to their national culture is truly intense, and Slovenia boasts a well-developed network of cultural institutions, organisations and associations comparable to most developed European countries. There is a rich cultural life not only in the biggest towns, but in almost every corner of Slovenia.

Idrija lace

Beautifully preserved old town centres, such as Ptuj, Piran, Škofja Loka, Kranj, and Ljubljana, show the central European heritage of Gothic and Baroque architecture. The same applies to the majority of churches that constitute the greatest share of Slovenia’s architectural cultural heritage. The best-known examples of religious heritage are the church at Sveta gora near Ptuj, and the Stična, Žiče and Pleterje monasteries. The town of Idrija, with a disused mercury mining complex, is a well-preserved cultural monument of the early industrial era.

Movable cultural heritage is promoted by about sixty museums and numerous museum collections. The biggest museums are the national general museums in Ljubljana: the National Museum of Slovenia and the Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia, specialised museums (ethnographic, technical, natural science museum) and regional museums all over Slovenia. The most interesting include Kobarid museum, which won the Best European Museum Prize.

Old streets of Piran
Žužemberk Castle

The story of culture and arts in Slovenia has been marked by a diverse and rich natural and cultural tradition that has always given rise to the creativity of artists. Slovenians take the arts and culture as the nation’s basic elements, as the pride and heart of their national identity. They have a special place in Slovenian history, too, as they helped Slovenia compensate for the absence of national political and state institutions in the past.


Numerous castles, architectural masterpieces, old cities and towns, hayracks, watermills, saltpans, picturesque beehive panels, intriguing art, culinary and wine culture, traditional customs… All these aspects of cultural heritage bear witness to the diverse lives of previous generations in Slovenia.

Otočec castle