|— Town and Municipality —|
|• Mayor||Davorin Terčon (LDS)|
|• Total||217.4 km2 (83.9 sq mi)|
|• Density||58/km2 ( 150/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+01)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+02)|
Sežana is a town and a municipality in the Slovenian Littoral region of Slovenia, near the border with Italy. According to the census of 2008, it has a population of 12,470, of which around 5,332 live in the town of Sežana and the rest in the neighbouring rural areas.
Sežana is located about on the Kras plateau, 17 km from Trieste, Italy, and 80 km from Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia. A major border crossing between Slovenia and Italy used to be located in the village of Fernetti (Fernetiči) in the municipality of Monrupino, but border immigration and customs checks have been abolished since 21 December 2007, when Slovenia joined the Schengen zone. The first main town in Italy is Villa Opicina, which is also the first stop on the railway line on the Italian side.
Slavic tribes, ancestors of modern Slovenes, first settled the area in the late 6th century A.D. In the Middle Ages, the area belonged to the Duchy of Friuli and the Patriarchate of Aquileia, until it was conquered by the Counts of Gorizia in the 14th century. In 1500, it fell under the Habsburg dominion and it was included in the County of Gorizia and Gradisca.
Until 1918, the town (bilingual name SESANA - SEŽANA was part of the Austrian monarchy (Austria side after the compromise of 1867), head of the district of the same name, one of the 11 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in the Austrian Littoral province. Before 1867, the names SESSANA and Sehsana were in use.
Sežana remained a small and rather insignificant village until mid 19th century, when the Austrian Southern Railway, connecting Vienna to Trieste, was built next to it. Sežana thus became connected to the major traffics and soon emerged as the most important center on the Kras Plateau, together with Opicina. After 1918, it was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy and included in the Province of Trieste. During the Fascist period, the population was subjected to a violent Italianization policy, and many locals joined the militant anti-fascist organization TIGR. During World War II, especially after 1943, the area was became a battlefield between the Partisan resistance and the Fascist and Nazi German forces. In May 1945, Sežana was liberated by the Yugoslav partisans. Between June 1945 and September 1947, it was administered by the British and U.S. Army. In 1947, it became part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and in 1991 of independent Slovenia.
Many industrial enterprises are located in Sežana, including larger companies as well as many smaller enterprises. Sežana is also a center for the tourist industry. Its location between Ljubljana, Trieste, and the Adriatic coast and many important tourist sights in the vicinity, such as the Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Škocjan Caves, Vilenica Cave, and the fortified village of Štanjel, make Sežana an attractive tourist destination. Sežana is also an important agricultural center.
Many things can also be seen in the city: there is a botanical park, a memorial room commemorating the poet Srečko Kosovel and a tourist trail from Sežana to Tomaj dedicated to the poet, and the Tabor nature trail. The Lipica Stud Farm is also located in the municipality, as are several picturesque villages.
The parish church in the town is dedicated to Saint Martin and was built in 1878 on the site of an older church from the early 16th century, after it became an independent parish.Sežana railway station was opened in 1857, and forms part of the Vienna–Trieste railway. Since 1947, it has been that railway's border crossing point between Yugoslavia/Slovenia and Italy.
Prominent natives and residents
Several prominent figures were born or lived in the municipality of Sežana:
- Primož Brezec, basketball player
- Avgust Černigoj, painter
- Danilo Dolci, Italian social activist
- Branka Jurca, author of children literature
- Taras Kermauner, literary historian and philosopher
- Srečko Kosovel, poet
- Josip Križaj, military pilot
- Simon Kukec, enterpreneour, founder of the modern Laško Brewery
- Jolka Milič, translator and essayist
- Josip Osti, poet, essayist and translator
- Virgil Šček, priest, politician and social activist
- Majda Širca, journalist and politician
- Ciril Zlobec, poet
- Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, census of 2002
- Sežana Municipality site
- Slovenian Railways site
- Die postalischen Abstempelungen auf den österreichischen Postwertzeichen-Ausgaben 1867, 1883 und 1890, Wilhelm KLEIN, 1967
- Handbook of Austria and Lombardy-Venetia Cancellations on the Postage Stamp Issues 1850-1864, by Edwin MUELLER, 1961.
- Karst Cultural Heritage site
- Lipica Stud Farm site
- Sežana Parish site (Slovene)
- Sežana Municipality Committee for International Cooperation
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