Some of the most eminent Slovenians are depicted on Slovenia's banknotes. The Protestant reformer and writer Primož Trubar appears on the 10-tolar banknote, polymath Janez Vajkard Valvasor on the 20-tolar note, mathematician Jurij Vega on the 50-tolar note, painter Rihard Jakopič on the 100-tolar note, composer Jacobus Gallus on the 200-tolar note, architect Jože Plečnik on the 500-tolar note, poet France Prešeren on the 1,000-tolar note, painter Ivana Kobilca on the 5,000-tolar note, and author Ivan Cankar on the 10,000-tolar note.
Primož Trubar (1508-1586)
Primož Trubar was the leader of the Protestant movement in Slovenia and the founder of Slovenian theology. As cathedral vicar and canon, predicant, and superintendent of the Slovenian Protestant church, he established a boarding school and the first public library in Ljubljana. Writing the first book in the Slovenian language in 1550, he established the foundation for Slovenian literature and the written language. In 1909, a statue of Trubar by France Berneker was erected beside a path in Ljubljana's Tivoli Park. On the 400th anniversary of his death in 1986, his birthplace in Rašica (25 km from Ljubljana) was renovated as a cultural monument and has since become a popular tourist attraction. Another monument honouring him as the founder of the Biblical Institute was erected in Bad Urach, and several monuments have been erected in Tübingen where he died. Almost every larger town in Slovenia has a street named after him.
Janez Vajkard Valvasor (1641-1693)
Janez Vajkard Valvasor, nobleman and polymath, harbinger of the Slovenian Enlightenment. Valvasor studied the natural sciences at various European universities and gained his knowledge of military skills and tactics as an officer in the wars with the Ottoman Turks. His treatise on the karst phenomenon of the periodic Cerknica Lake aroused so much attention that he was made a member of the Royal Society in London. Concerned that foreigners did not know his region well enough, he undertook the presentation of Carniola - the main Slovenian-populated crownland of the Habsburg Empire - in words and pictures, installing a copperplate workshop at his Bogensperk Castle near Litija and publishing collections of his work. His most important work was the Glory of the Duchy of Carniola (1689: 15 volumes, 528 illustrations), a genuine encyclopedia of natural science, Slovenian customs and folklore, history, and topography that covered a large part of present-day Slovenia. His statue stands in Valvasor Square in front of the Natural History Museum in Ljubljana.
Jurij Vega (1754-1802)
Jurij Vega is the foremost Slovenian mathematician and author of several textbooks on higher mathematics. In Ljubljana, he was involved in the regulation of the Sava and Ljubljanica rivers. At the school for artillery officers, he became interested in geodesy, ballistics, and ballooning along with mathematics and physics. He was an ardent soldier who fought the Ottoman Turks, the Prussians, and in the coalition army against the French along the Rhine River; for his service, he was decorated and given the title of baron. An expert on logarithms, he published the Small Book of Logarithms (1793), the Large Book of Logarithms (1794), and Logarithm Tables for General Use (1797) and wrote treatises on the metric and kilogram systems. Young mathematicians in Slovenia compete each year for the Vega Badge award. A memorial room has been arranged at Vega's birthplace in Zagorica near Dolsko (20 km from Ljubljana).
Rihard Jakopič (1869-1943)
Rihard Jakopič, Slovenia's leading Impressionist painter and theoretician, studied at the Vienna Academy, the Ažbe Art School in Munich, and the Hynais Art Academy in Prague. In Ljubljana, he established the Slovenian School of Impressionist Drawing and Painting, the predecessor of the Academy of Art, and built a pavilion in Tivoli Park that became the central venue for art exhibitions in Slovenia. More than 1,200 paintings and 650 drawings by Jakopič have been preserved. He was among the first members of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts founded in 1938. Due to the relocation of the railway, the Jakopič Pavilion was demolished in 1962. In 1968, a statue of Rihard Jakopič by Janez Boljka was erected on the original site of the pavilion, and the new Jakopič Gallery opened on Slovenska Street in Ljubljana. Since 1969, the Jakopič Award has been presented annually for the foremost artistic achievements in Slovenia.
Jacobus Gallus (1550-1591)
Jacobus Gallus, a leading composer of the 16th century, was educated in various monasteries in Central Europe and began his music career in Vienna. Later, he worked mainly in Olomouc and Prague, where he was chapelmaster at the Church of St. Jan. He was a recognized and very respected composer in his time. His opus includes sixteen Masses in four volumes, and he set liturgical and biblical texts to music in 374 motets; with his collection Opus musicum, he ranks among the most important European composers of motets. On the basis of Latin texts, he set fifty-three secular choruses to music in three book collections. While not strictly madrigals, they strongly resemble them in expressiveness and form. The largest hall in the Cankarjev dom Cultural and Congress Center in Ljubljana is named after Gallus.
Jože Plečnik (1872-1957)
Jože Plečnik, Slovenia's greatest architect, also achieved a prominent place in world architecture. He received his education at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, lectured at the Prague school of arts and crafts, and, following the foundation of the University of Ljubljana, lectured at the Technical Faculty. In 1921, Czechoslovakia's president Tomaš Masaryk appointed him architect of Prague Castle. He influenced the development of Ljubljana to such an extent that we often speak of "Plečnik's Ljubljana" (the embankments of the Ljubljanica River, several bridges, the public marketplace, the Franciscan church in Šiška, the Žale cemetery, the central stadium in Bežigrad, the National and University Library). He also designed churches and other buildings throughout Slovenia and former Yugoslavia as well as furniture, lamps, and liturgical objects. The Plečnik Award is presented for the greatest achievements in the field of architecture.
France Prešeren (1800-1848)
France Prešeren is Slovenia's greatest poet. For more than 150 years, Prešeren has been considered the peak of Slovenian culture and a national hero who advanced the modern Slovenian language and expressed the Slovenians' desire for national and political independence. His poem "A Toast", set to music as Slovenia's national anthem, presents a vision of equality and friendly coexistence among nations. The day of Prešeren's death, February 8, is commemorated as a national holiday. The Prešeren Prize is Slovenia's highest award for artistic achievement in various fields. A museum has been arranged in Prešeren's birthplace in Vrba near Bled, there is a Prešeren Grove in the Kranj cemetery, and the Prešeren Historical Museum is located in the center of Kranj. In 1906, the Prešeren Monument was unveiled in the center of Ljubljana. Prešernova druzba, a publishing house and book society, has been publishing fiction and popular science works since 1953.
Ivana Kobilca (1861-1926)
Ivana Kobilca is Slovenia's most important woman painter and represents the generation of Slovenian realists. She studied in Munich with Alois Erdtelt, and while painting in all the European art centers she remained faithful to the Munich modernists. She worked the longest in Sarajevo where she painted genres with folk motifs, and she contributed illustrations to a basic book on Austria-Hungary (1898). Her portraits of her close relatives are famous as are The Zither Player, The Coffee Drinker, Grandmother's Chest, and the allegory Slovenia Bows to Ljubljana done for the Ljubljana City Hall. Paintings by Ivana Kobilca are exhibited in all the major galleries in Europe.
Ivan Cankar (1876-1918)
Ivan Cankar is the greatest Slovenian short story writer and dramatist, a universal representative of Slovenian Modernism. Cankar was one of the most important European authors at the turn of the century and commented strongly on social, national, and moral issues. Although he followed the most modern European literary trends, his work is genuinely original. Cankar influenced thinking on the Slovenian national question, linking the national emancipation of the Slovenians to a union with the South Slav nations. His novel Hlapec Jernej in njegova pravica (Farmhand Jernej and His Justice) has been translated into all the world languages. There is a Cankar Museum at Cankar's birthplace in Vrhnika (20 km from Ljubljana), and the Cankarjev dom Cultural and Congress Center opened in Ljubljana in 1981. Cankar's complete works have been published in ten and six volume sets by Cankarjeva zalozba, a publishing house, in Ljubljana.
Permanent Mission of Slovenia to the UN