Ljubljana Mosque, first one ever in Slovenia?
Slovenia is historically a country with a predominant Roman Catholic religion. Things slowly started to change a little after the second world war. With the Social Federate Republics of Yugoslavia being a multi cultural and religious place, internal migration started to happen in the 1960s. Second wave has started with the military conflicts after the end of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Slovenia was a safe place for many Croats, Serbs, Bosnians and others from former republics.
Statistic data from 2002 shows that 57,8% of Slovenian people declared themselves Catholic, 2,4% Muslim and 2,3% Orthodox. St. Cyril and Methodius Church in Ljubljana (Orthodox) was build already in 1936 and it still stands on the edge of Tivoli park. So it made sense to give the second most practised religion a place as well. It took a lot of time, a few changed locations, some public opposition, but in 2020 Ljubljana mosque finally opened for public.
But did you know? First mosque on the territory of current Slovenia was erected way back in 1916! 1st World War had started a year before and one of the front lines formed in the valley of Soča river. It was still times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, fighting against the Italian army. It was a cruel war and all of the nations (that were part of the empire) came to the valley to fight. Amongst them were also the brave Muslim Bosnians. For their religious needs, a small mosque with a 10 meter minaret was constructed in a small village called Log pod Mangartom. Material used for this building nestled under the 3rd highest Slovenian peak Mangart (read about a cycling trip to this parts HERE) was mainly stone and wood. After the end of the war the valley became a part of Italy. Bosnians left, mosque was not in use and started to decay. In 1920 it was completely taken down by the Italians. The war cemetery is however still standing, including many Bosnian graves.
Text: Tevž Černigoj