Ursuline Girls’ School

Sledging in the school garden. Ursuline monastery of Škofja Loka

Given its affordability, the Ursuline Girls’ School and Teachers’ College in Škofja Loka (1783–1941) significantly increased the education level of women in Slovenia. In the past, girls’ education on the Slovenian territory was not self-evident. Even in the 19th century, schools were still mainly reserved for boys, so girls’ educational facilities were especially important. The… Continue reading Ursuline Girls’ School

Gusti Jirku Stridsberg

Gusti Jirku Stridsberg (detail). Property of Voge family, taken from the book The Six Lives of Gusti Stridsberg (2020)

Born in 1902 in Ukraine as Augustina Franziska Mayer; died in 1978 in Sweden. Writer, translator, journalist, war correspondent, and alleged secret agent. Not many lives bear as compelling a testament to the turbulent 20th century as the fate of Gusti Jirku Stridsberg. She was born on the fringe of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and spent… Continue reading Gusti Jirku Stridsberg

Zofka Kveder

Zofka Kveder (detail). Collection of portrait photographs of famous Slovenians (1997), National and University Library, Ljubljana

Born in 1878 in Ljubljana; died in 1926 in Zagreb. First Slovenian professional female writer. Zofka Kveder came from a difficult family background as the daughter of an alcoholic father and an emotionally absent mother. Her growing up was filled with destitution and violence and she could hardly wait to become emancipated and live an… Continue reading Zofka Kveder

Slovenian Maidservants

Grand Canal postcard. Maksimiljan Košir, www.starerazglednice.si

In the 19th and 20th centuries Slovenian women flocked to Trieste to work as maidservants and later as housemaids. In the 19th century, Trieste was the most important port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Until the outbreak of World War I, it was a multicultural and economically flourishing city, which attracted numerous Slovenian immigrants from its… Continue reading Slovenian Maidservants

Angela Piskernik

Angela Piskernik playing boules. Archives of the Republic of Slovenia, ARS 1982, Piskernik Angela, box 8

Born in 1886 in Lobnik pri Železni Kapli (Carinthia); died in 1967 in Ljubljana. Botanist, museologist, and pedagogue, the first* Slovenian woman PhD holder and environmentalist. Angela Piskernik received her education at the Ursuline Convent in Klagenfurt, then attended the 1st State Grammar School in Graz before continuing her studies at the University of Vienna,… Continue reading Angela Piskernik

Ljuba Prenner

Dr Ljuba Prenner with friends in Slovenj Gradec in 1938, when he was writing his most successful book. Legacy of Dr Ljuba Prenner, Carinthian Regional Museum Archive

Born in 1906 in Fara near Prevalje; died in 1977 in Ljubljana. Barrister, writer, activist. Already in his youth, Amalija Marija Prenner changed his name to Ljuba, identifying himself as a man. His life was hard and marked by transitions between genders, places, ideologies, and occupations. Despite his clear ambitions, he spent a long time… Continue reading Ljuba Prenner

Women in Karst Quarries and Stonemasonry

Works in the Kopriva quarry, 1950. Personal archive of Marta Širca

The 19th and 20th centuries were the golden age of extracting and cutting stone in Karst. Women played a supporting but nevertheless essential role in this craft that is today being revived precisely by them. In Slovenia, the tradition of quarrying and cutting stone spans more than a thousand years. Karst, in particular, is well… Continue reading Women in Karst Quarries and Stonemasonry

Victims of Witch Trials

The town and castle of Ribnica (detail). Engraving from The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola (1689) by J. W. von Valvasor. Museum of Ribnica

In the Slovenian lands, witch trials spanned a period of 200 years (1546–1746) and resulted in the death of between 500 and 1,000 victims. Most of them were women. “Witch hunt” is a synonym for the persecution of all those who are different or dissident, as suspected culprits for all that is wrong in the… Continue reading Victims of Witch Trials

Josipina Urbančič Turnograjska

Oil painting of Josipina Urbančič by Josef Hofholzer (detail), 1851. National and University Library, Ljubljana

Born in 1833 at Turn Castle in Preddvor; died in 1854 in Graz. She was the first Slovenian woman writer, poet, storyteller, and composer. The mid-19th century marks the beginning of the cultural battle for Slovenian language use on the Slovenian territory among the intellectuals who were mainly using German. Inspired by the pan-Slavic movement,… Continue reading Josipina Urbančič Turnograjska

The Forgotten Half of Novo Mesto

Ilka Vašte (detail). Collection of portrait photographs of famous Slovenians (1997), National and University Library, Ljubljana

The Forgotten Half of Novo Mesto project rekindles the memory of Marta Mušič Slapar, Ivana Oblak, Ilka Vašte and other outstanding women who have made a lasting mark on the capital of the Dolenjska region. The economic and cultural centre of south-east Slovenia, founded as a city already in the distant year 1365, bears imprints… Continue reading The Forgotten Half of Novo Mesto