Slovenian Cultural Holiday – 8 February
France Prešeren (1800-1849) was a 19th-century Romantic Slovene poet, best known as the poet who has inspired virtually all later Slovene literature and has been generally acknowledged as the greatest Slovene classical author. He tied together the motifs of his own unhappy love with that of an unhappy, subjugated homeland.
His lyrical poetry dealt with the love towards his homeland, the suffering humanity, as well as his unfulfilled love towards his muse, Julija Primic, the daughter of a rich merchant.
Prešeren’s legacy in Slovene culture is enormous. He is generally regarded as the national poet. In 1905, his monument was placed at the central square in Ljubljana, now called Prešeren Square. By the early 1920s, all his surviving work had been catalogued and numerous critical editions of his works had been published. Several scholars were already dealing exclusively with the analysis of his work and little was left unknown about his life. In 1945, the anniversary of his death, called Prešeren Day, was declared as the Slovene cultural holiday. In 1989, his Zdravljica was declared the national anthem of Slovenia. In 1992, his image was portrayed on the Slovene 1000 tolar banknote, and since 2007, his image is on the Slovene two-euro coin. The highest Slovene prize for artistic achievements, the Prešeren Award, is named after him.
Admission to all Ljubljana’s museums and galleries on that day will be free.