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Slovenia's first book was printed by the Protestant reformer Primož Trubar (1508-1586). It was actually two books, Katekizem (a catechism) and Abecednik, which was published in 1550 in Tübingen, Germany.

The central part of the country, namely Carniola (which existed as a part of Austria-Hungary until the early twentieth century) was ethnographically and historically well-described in the book The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola (German: Die Ehre deß Herzogthums Crain, Slovene: Slava vojvodine Kranjske), published in 1689 by Baron Janez Vajkard Valvasor (1641-1693).

One of two supposed photographies of France Prešeren

Slovenia's two greatest authors were the poet France Prešeren (1800-1849) and writer Ivan Cankar (1876-1918). Other famous Slovenian authors include Vladimir Bartol, Srečko Kosovel, Edvard Kocbek, Boris Pahor, Dane Zajc, Tomaž Šalamun, Aleš Debeljak and Drago Jančar. The most important Slovenian painters are Ivana Kobilca, Anton Ažbe, the impressionist Rihard Jakopič and the constructivist Avgust Černigoj. The most famous Slovenian architects are Jože Plečnik who worked in Vienna as well as in Prague, Max Fabiani, Ivan Vurnik and Vladimir Šubic.

Slovenia is a homeland of numerous musicians and composers including Renaissance composer Jacobus Gallus (1550-1591), who greatly influenced Central European classical music. In the twentieth century, Bojan Adamič was a renowned film music composer.

Contemporary popular musicians have been Slavko Avsenik, Laibach, Vlado Kreslin, Zoran Predin, Pero Lovšin, Silence, New Swing Quartet, DJ Umek, Valentino Kanzyani, Melodrom, Siddharta, Magnifico and others.

Slovenian cinema has more than a century-long tradition with Karol Grossmann, Veličan Bešter, Božidar Jakac, Janko Ravnik, Ferdo Delak, France Štiglic, Mirko Grobler, Igor Pretnar, France Kosmač, Jože Pogačnik, Matjaž Klopčič, Jane Kavčič, Jože Gale, Boštjan Hladnik and Karpo Godina as its most established filmmakers. Contemporary film directors Janez Burger, Jan Cvitkovič, Damjan Kozole, Janez Lapajne and Maja Weiss are the most notable representatives of the so-called "Renaissance of Slovenian cinema".

Slovenia's learned men include chemist and Nobel prize laureate Friderik Pregl, physicist Jožef Stefan, philosophers Slavoj Žižek, Mladen Dolar, Alenka Zupančič and Milan Komar, linguists Franc Miklošič and Jernej Kopitar, theologian Jadran Strle, sociologists Thomas Luckmann and Jože Pučnik, physician Anton Marko Plenčič, mathematician Jurij Vega, rocket engineer and pioneer of cosmonautics Herman Potočnik.

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