Lower Styria (Štajerska; Untersteiermark; Latin: Styria) is a historical region in northeastern Slovenia, comprising the southern third of the former Duchy of Styria.
Use of the name
The Duchy of Styria, which existed as a dinstict political-administrative entity from the 12th century to 1918, used to be divided into three traditional regions: the northern two-thirds of the former duchy, known historically as Upper and Central Styria, have been German-speaking and are today part of the Austrian State of Styria (Steiermark). The southernmost third of the former duchy, known as Lower Styria, was predominantly Slovene speaking and is today part of Slovenia, where it is simply referred to as Štajerska, i.e. "Styria".
Lower Styria is not to be confused with Southern Styria, the southern part of Central Styria, which belongs to the Austrian State of Styria.
In 1918, after the disintegration of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire
following World War I
, the Duchy of Styria was divided between the newly established states of German Austria
and the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs
. Rudolf Maister
, a Slovene major of the former Austro-Hungarian Army
, occupied the town of Maribor
in November 1918 and claimed it to the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. After a short fight with German Austrian provisional units, the current border was established, which mostly followed the ethnic-linguistic division between Slovenes
and ethnic Germans
Already in December 1918, all of Lower Styria was de facto included in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later known as Yugoslavia).
In April 1941, Nazi Germany invaded Yugoslavia and Lower Styria was annexed to the Third Reich with the aim to germanize the region. After World War II, Yugoslav authority over the region was re-established and Lower Styria became an integral part of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia. Since June 25 1991, Lower Styria is part of the independent Republic of Slovenia.
Lower Styria has no official status as an administrative unit within Slovenia (though a new law will establish provincial administrative units, it has not come into force as of May 2008)), although the association with the informal province (Slovenian pokrajina
) is very common.
The capital city of Lower Styria is Maribor
. Other major towns are Celje
, and Slovenj Gradec
, which, however, has been separated from Štajerska and attached to the statistical region of Koroška.
Lower Styria is famous for its white wine
, ski resort Pohorje
, cultural festivals and pumpkin seed oil
. Styria is also famous as a hop growing area producing Styrian Goldings, a variety of the English aroma hop Fuggles.
Famous people from the region
- Anton Aškerc, poet
- Aleš Čeh, football (soccer) player
- Jolanda Čeplak, athlete
- Peter Dajnko, philologist and poet
- Karel Destovnik Kajuh, poet
- Mladen Dolar, philosopher
- Vekoslav Grmič, theologian
- Drago Jančar, writer
- Edvard Kocbek, writer, poet, thinker and politician
- Anton Korošec, politician, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
- Fran Miklošič, linguist
- Matija Murko, linguist and ethnographer
- Johann Puch, inventor
- Jože Pučnik, dissident, politician and sociologist
- Miha Remec, author
- Anton Martin Slomšek, Roman Catholic bishop
- Wilhelm von Tegetthoff, victorious Austrian admiral
- Danilo Türk, President of Slovenia
- Beno Udrih, basketball player
- Stanko Vraz, poet
- Windisch-Graetz, princely family
- Hugo Wolf, composer
- Zlatko Zahovič, football player
- Milan Zver, politician and political scientist