Settlement Slovenj Gradec is a seat of the only city municipality in the Carinthia region, at the same time it is administrative, economic, banking, school, information, health, supply, and transport center of the Mislinja valley and wider area of Carinthia. Slovenj Gradec is an ancient city that developed in a basin between Pohorje and Uršlja gora. It is also a Slovenian synonym for the cultural center, where the rich tradition of the past lends a hand with a modern pulse. In the 19th and 20th centuries, most of the Slovenian cities were marked by excessive, and in terms of incorporation into the ancient landscape disproportionate industrial development, but Slovenj Gradec was spared. It has experienced its development in recent years, which made it possible that the city evolved with an ancient spiritual tradition and natural resources in the immediate vicinity of the urban center. In the city, we can see many historical monuments, which on each step connect us with the past. Together with neighboring cities Ravne na Koroškem and Dravograd, they form conurbation that represents the center of Carinthia development region, named also The region of three valleys.
In the city is a parish church that was in the year 1251 as first in the world dedicated to Hungarian princess and the Duchess of Thuringia St. Elizabeth, protector of the poor and beggars. Here we can also see the monument dedicated to world-famous composer Hugo Wolf, who was born in the main square in the year 1860. At the edge of the city center is mansion Rotentun, which is tightly embedded in the life of today’s city activities.
The city is typical medieval with the main street or Glavni trg (en. Main square), Trg Svobode (en. Liberty square), and side narrow street. Name Gradec, in Slovenian little castle, was for the first time mentioned in the year 1901, at that time part of March of Styria. To separate the city from the city Graz, they add it a prefix Windisch (en. windy), the traditional name for Slavs in general, and Slovene in particular, as the name Graz was in etymology the same. The modern name of the settlement Slovenj Gradec, also Slovene Graz, derivers from German denomination. The city, between the years 1180 and 1918, belonged to the Duchy of Styria, and from the year 1804, it was a crownland of the Austrian empire. In the year 1220, it was for the first time documented that Slovenj Gradec was the ancestral seat of the Windisch-Graetz noble family. Upon the dissolution of Austria-Hungary in the year 1918, it was, together with Lower Styria, assigned to the newly established Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. Until this year, 1918, the city was the island of German-speaking inside Slovenian speaking area. In the 1880 census, the city had 75% German-speaking and 25% Slovene speaking inhabitants. Many inhabitants in the city, as well as the family of composer Hugo Wolf, was of mixed ethnic origin. After the First World War, many German-speaking inhabitants moved to Austria. Those, who remained, gradually assimilated into the Slovene speaking majority. During the Second World War, the Nazis occupied the city and annexed it to the Third Reich. Local Slovenes were submitted to the policy of aggressive Germanization, many have died because of the persecutions. Because of the German occupation, a Partisan insurgency was formed, mostly in the hills east from the city. After the Second World War, the remaining ethnic Germans were expelled from Yugoslavia, and with that Slovenj Gradec lost its traditional presence of German-speaking inhabitants. From the year 1950, the city experienced rapid industrialization and in time it becomes the unofficial economic and political center of Slovenian Carinthia. The status of the city municipality it acquires in the year 1994, and so joins the other 10 cities with the same title.
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Birth house of Hugo Wolf
Birth house of Hugo Wolf is located on Glavni trg (en. Main square) in Slovenj Gradec, the facade of the house is adorned by a memorial plaque from the year 1903, in the German language, since the time of death of the great composer, which was removed after second world war. [_Read more_]
Hugo Wolf, full name Hugo Philipp Jakob Wolf, was Slovene-born world-known composer and music critic. He was born on March 13th, 1860 in Slovenj Gradec, he died on February 22nd, 1903 in Vienna. He was born as a third child into the German-speaking family of a tanner, Filip Wolf and to wife Katarina. [_Read more_]
Slovenj Gradec got his city rights before the year 1267, and at that time they surrounded the city with a fortified, in some places still today preserved, wall and with defensive trench. On the eastern side of the city center, behind both churches, is the course of the wall illustrated by the masonry. [_Read more_]