The Slovenia Times

Primorsko Anthem Gets a Memorial



The poem first describes despair and the humiliation of the Slovenian people under the occupation of Italians, who tried to eradicate the Slovenian language and culture.

However, the following two stanzas express a more combative and lively mood symbolizing rebellion, with the final stanza representing an ode to Primorsko and to its people for their pains in the fight for freedom in WWII.

As the story goes, Svetek wrote the poem on a winter morning in February 1944 after spending the night in a small Partisan courier hut in the settlement of Križna Gora in what is now the municipality of Ajdovščina.

The next morning Svetek climbed a small near-by slope and was supposedly inspired by patriotic emotion at the sight of the Vipavska dolina valley and the Adriatic Sea. The same evening he recited it to his Partisan colleagues and received a loud applause.

Svetek (1914-2005) used to recite the poem again and again in the Primorsko villages burnt down by Italian soldiers, and enthusiastic listeners always demanded encore. He later became known as a lyricist of choir, popular traditional and other songs.

His ode to Primorsko was scored by composer Rado Simoniti (1914-1981) after the war.

To mark the anniversary, a documentary has recently premiere about how the song has gradually turned into an anthem as it was sung at important moments in the history of the Slovenian nation and Primorsko.

Today's ceremony will be addressed by author Boris Pahor, a prominent public figure of the Slovenian minority in Italy who witnessed the Fascist attempts to eradicate Slovenian culture.


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