Vrhnika is a town and a municipality in Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

. It is situated on the Ljubljanica
The Ljubljanica is a river in the southern part of Ljubljana Basin in Slovenia. The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, is situated on the river. The Ljubljanica rises to the south of the town Vrhnika and outflows in the Sava River about downstream from Ljubljana. Its largest affluent is Mali graben....

 River, 21 km from Ljubljana
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and its largest city. It is the centre of the City Municipality of Ljubljana. It is located in the centre of the country in the Ljubljana Basin, and is a mid-sized city of some 270,000 inhabitants...

 along the A1 motorway
A1 motorway (Slovenia)
The A1 motorway is 236,1 km long, connecting Šentilj and Koper/Capodistria . It passes several important Slovenian cities, including Maribor, Celje and Ljubljana all the way to the Slovenian Littoral and Koper, with its important port.Construction began in 1970 and the first section was...



In Roman times, the settlement on the location of today's Vrhnika was known as Nauportus
Nauportus , ancient Roman town in Pannonia Superior on road from Aquileia to Emona with port at Nauportus river what is now Ljubljanica River....

 when it was considered as important communication point.

Vrhnika as exists today started to develop in the High Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages was the period of European history around the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries . The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and followed by the Late Middle Ages, which by convention end around 1500....

. The first written reference was by German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 name Ober Laibach or Ober Laybach (literally "Upper Ljubljana") in the year 1300.

Vrhnika became a market town
Market town
Market town or market right is a legal term, originating in the medieval period, for a European settlement that has the right to host markets, distinguishing it from a village and city...

 and was considered to be among the wealthiest towns in Carniola
Carniola was a historical region that comprised parts of what is now Slovenia. As part of Austria-Hungary, the region was a crown land officially known as the Duchy of Carniola until 1918. In 1849, the region was subdivided into Upper Carniola, Lower Carniola, and Inner Carniola...

, up to the early 18th century, when it started to lose importance. Nevertheless, it remained one of main transportation junctions in Inner Austria
Inner Austria
Inner Austria was a term used from the late 14th to the early 17th century for the Habsburg hereditary lands south of the Semmering Pass, referring to the duchies of Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and the Windic March, the County of Gorizia , the city of Trieste and assorted smaller possessions...

, because of its strategic location on the croassroads between the Trieste
Trieste is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of land lying between the Adriatic Sea and Italy's border with Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city...

Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 and Rijeka
Rijeka is the principal seaport and the third largest city in Croatia . It is located on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea and has a population of 128,735 inhabitants...

-Name:Carinthia's eminent linguists Primus Lessiak and Eberhard Kranzmayer assumed that the city's name, which literally translates as "ford of lament" or "ford of complaints", had something to do with the superstitious thought that fateful fairies or demons tend to live around treacherous waters...

 trade routes. The development of the town was however strongly impaired by the construction of the Austrian Southern Railway
Austrian Southern Railway
The Austrian Southern Railway was an Austrian railway company established in 1841...

 in the 1840s, which bypassed it. From then on, it started losing importance, becoming a satellite town
Satellite town
A satellite town or satellite city is a concept in urban planning that refers essentially to smaller metropolitan areas which are located somewhat near to, but are mostly independent of, larger metropolitan areas.-Characteristics:...

 of Ljubljana, which has remained up to this day.

Vrhnika is the birthplace of one of the most important Slovene writers, Ivan Cankar
Ivan Cankar
Ivan Cankar was a Slovene writer, playwright, essayist, poet and political activist. Together with Oton Župančič, Dragotin Kette, and Josip Murn, he is considered as the beginner of modernism in Slovene literature...

(1876–1918). The house where he was born is now a museum.

External links

  • Vrhnika, official page of the municipality
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