The Slovenia Times

Days of Gottschee Culture

Jun 6 - Jun 9

Days of Gottschee Culture are dedicated to the heritage of the Gottschee Germans or Kočevarji, who lived in the area of Kočevje in the south of Slovenia until the end of the Second World War.

Held in Dolenjske Toplice, the 10th edition will feature a number of different events.

An exhibition on the former German language island in the area of Kočevje will open on 6 June and the Museum of Gottschee Native Inhabitants will host a film night on the community the next day.

Most of the events will be held on 8 June, including an ex-tempore painting event, a debate on successful Gottschee Germans and a concert by the Maribor-based Hugo Wolf chamber choir.

There will also be a hike through the Gottschee villages and a guided tour of the Museum of Gottschee Native Inhabitants, followed by a party and cultural programme.

Admission to the Museum of Gottschee Native Inhabitants will be free on 9 June. A guided tour will be held to visit the ruins of two villages where the Gottscheers used to live.

The Germans settled in the area of Kočevje in the 14th century. In 1870, some 26,500 Gottscheers lived in the region. They mostly resettled due to the 1930s recession and repatriation efforts by the Nazis during WWII.

Today some 600-700 direct descendants of Gottscheers still live in Slovenia, according to data of the Association of Gottschee Organisations.

Their numbers are decreasing, which is why the municipalities of Semič, Dolenjske Toplice and Kočevje have joined forces and alternate in hosting the Days of Gottschee Culture.