I am disappointed that I broke my streak of consistent blog posting 4-5 days per week. However, it was for a very good reason. I had a relative from the family tree track down our branch of the family, and she came from Buenos Aires to visit. She brought a huge poster of our family tree, with pictures of my grandparents, their brothers and sisters, and the descending relatives. It was truly amazing. We then skyped with another relative in Slovenia, where our history as we know it begins, and I was able to introduce the two of them, making another new connection in the family. I can’t imagine traveling so far to stay with an unknown family, but we had an amazing week together and made a lasting connection.
Family picture from (what was then) Yugoslavia
We found out so many interesting things about our family history. Our visitor is a neurologist, with an additional degree in psychiatry. We found out about a cousin who was involved in diamond mining in Africa, was a millionaire, then mysteriously lost everything and came back to Slovenia with nothing. We have cousins who migrated to England and France. And we heard many sad stories about the war, and the bad times they endured in Slovenia.
“Art and culture hold a special place in Slovenian history, as they helped the Slovenes to compensate in many ways for the lack of national political and government institutions in the past.” from Slovenia.si
Pomlad (Spring), Ivan Grohar
According to the website, Slovenia.si, Slovenian painting reached its qualitative peak with works of Impressionism, displayed at an acclaimed exhibition in Vienna in 1904.
St Michael church, on the outskirt of Ljubljana, Jože Plečnik
Photo by Karmen Smolnikar @ Flickr
Ljubljana, Market, 1940–1942, Jože Plečnik
Foto: Damjan Prelovšek
Slovenia is also proud to claim architect Jože Plečnik, whose influence is seen in the shaping of Vienna, Prague and Ljubliana. He was considered a visionary and a reformer, using new building materials and acting as a pioneer in urban planning. His style was unique in that it was highly original and experimental, yet simultaneously incorporated historical dimension and established traditions.
Meeting family, and hearing about the history of my own family in particular, gives me a feeling I can hardly describe. I feel very small, just a tiny part of this long time line. In these days of disconnected families, it is truly a treasure to have this knowledge and have history come alive.