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View of Celje (28189851435).jpg
Celje from Celje Castle in 2016
Flag of Celje.svg
Coat of arms of Celje.svg
Coat of arms
The Princely Town
(Slovene: knežje mesto)
Slovenia location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location of the city of Celje in Slovenia
Coordinates: 46°14′09″N15°16′03″E / 46.23583°N 15.26750°E / 46.23583; 15.26750 Coordinates: 46°14′09″N15°16′03″E / 46.23583°N 15.26750°E / 46.23583; 15.26750
Country Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia
Traditional region Styria
Statistical region Savinja
Municipality Celje
Town rights 11 April 1451
Districts & local communities
  • Districts
    • Center
    • Dečkovo naselje
    • Dolgo polje
    • Gaberje
    • Hudinja
    • Karel Destovnik Kajuh
    • Lava
    • Nova vas
    • Savinja
    • Slavko Šlander
  • Local communities
    • Aljažev hrib
    • Ljubečna
    • Medlog
    • Ostrožno
    • Pod gradom
    • Škofja vas
    • Šmartno v Rožni dolini
    • Teharje
    • Trnovlje
  MayorBojan Šrot (SLS)
  Total22.7 km2 (8.8 sq mi)
238 m (781 ft)
 (2020) [2]
  Density1,700/km2 (4,300/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code(s) 03
Vehicle registration CE
Climate Cfb
Website www.celje.si
Source: Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, census of 2002.

Celje (pronounced  [ˈtsɛ̀ːljɛ] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ), German : Cilli, German pronunciation: [ˈt͡sɪli] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) [3] is the third-largest city in Slovenia. It is a regional center of the traditional Slovenian region of Styria and the administrative seat of the City Municipality of Celje (Slovene : Mestna občina Celje). The town of Celje is located below Upper Celje Castle (407 m or 1,335 ft) at the confluence of the Savinja, Hudinja, Ložnica, and Voglajna rivers in the lower Savinja Valley, and at the crossing of the roads connecting Ljubljana, Maribor, Velenje, and the Central Sava Valley. It lies 238 m (781 ft) above mean sea level (MSL). [1]



Celje was known as Celeia during the Roman period. Early attestations of the name during or following Slavic settlement include Cylia in 452, ecclesiae Celejanae in 579, Zellia in 824, in Cilia in 1310, Cilli in 1311, and Celee in 1575. The proto-Slovene name *Ceľe or *Celьje, from which modern Slovene Celje developed, was borrowed from Vulgar Latin Celeae. The name is of pre-Roman origin and its further etymology is unclear. [4] In the local Slovene dialect, Celje is called Cjele or Cele. In German it is called Cilli, and it is known in Italian as Cilli or Celie.


Early history

The first settlement in the area of Celje appeared during the Hallstatt era. The settlement was known in the Celtic times and to Ancient Greek historians as Kelea; [5] findings suggest that Celts coined Noric money in the region.

Celje, Georg Matthaus Vischer, Topographia Ducatus Stiriae, Graz 1681 Vischer - Topographia Ducatus Stiria - 035 Cilli - Celje.jpg
Celje, Georg Matthäus Vischer, Topographia Ducatus Stiriae, Graz 1681

Once the area was incorporated in the Roman Empire in 15 BC, it was known as Civitas Celeia . It received municipal rights in AD 45 under the name municipium Claudia Celeia during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius (41-54). Records suggest that the town was rich and densely populated, secured with the walls and towers, containing multi-storied marble palaces, wide squares, and streets. It was called Troia secunda, the second; or small Troy. A Roman road through Celeia led from Aquileia (Sln. Oglej) to Pannonia. Celeia soon became a flourishing Roman colony, and many great buildings were constructed, such as the temple of Mars, which was known across the Empire. Celeia was incorporated into Aquileia ca. 320 under the Roman Emperor Constantine I (272-337).

The city was razed by Slavic tribes during the Migration period of the 5th and 6th centuries, but was rebuilt in the Early Middle Ages. The first mention of Celje in the Middle Ages was under the name of Cylie in Wolfhold von Admont's Chronicle, which was written between 1122 and 1137. The town was the seat of the Counts of Celje from 1341 to 1456 It acquired market-town status in the first half of the 14th century and town privileges from Count Frederick II on 11 April 1451.

Celje, pictured in 1750. The Voglajna River can be seen on the left, flowing into the Savinja. The island district is called Otok (Slovene for 'island'). Celje-1441.JPG
Celje, pictured in 1750. The Voglajna River can be seen on the left, flowing into the Savinja. The island district is called Otok (Slovene for 'island').
Celje, 1830 - Lith. Kaiser, Graz 017 Celje, Cilli Kreisstadt - J.F.Kaiser Lithografirte Ansichten der Steiermark 1830.jpg
Celje, 1830 - Lith. Kaiser, Graz

After the Counts of Celje died out in 1456, the region was inherited by the Habsburgs of Austria and administered by the Duchy of Styria. The city walls and defensive moat were built in 1473. The town defended itself against Turks and in 1515 during great Slovene peasant revolt against peasants, who had taken Old Castle.

Many local nobles converted to Protestantism during the Protestant Reformation, but the region was converted back to Roman Catholicism during the Counter-Reformation. Celje became part of the Habsburgs' Austrian Empire during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1867, after the defeat of Austria in the Austro-Prussian War, the town became part of Austria-Hungary.

19th century

The first service on the Vienna-Trieste railway line came through Celje on 27 April 1846. In 1895, Celje secondary school, established in 1808, began to teach in Slovene.

At the end of the 19th century and in the early 20th century, Celje was a center of German nationalism which had repercussions for Slovenes. The 1910 census showed that 66.8% of the population was German. [6] A symbol of this was the German Cultural Center (German : Deutsches Haus), built in 1906 and opened on 15 May 1907, today it is Celje Hall (Slovene : Celjski dom). The centuries-old German name of the town, Cilli, sounded no longer German enough to some German residents, the form Celle being preferred by many.

Population growth was steady during this period. In 1900, Celje had 6,743 inhabitants and by 1924 this had grown to 7,750. The National Hall (Narodni dom), which hosts the Mayors Office and Town Council today, was built in 1896. The first telephone line was installed in 1902 and the city received electric power in 1913.

Slovene and German ethnic nationalism increased during the 19th and early 20th centuries. With the collapse of Austria-Hungary in 1918 as a result of World War I, Celje became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later known as Yugoslavia). During this period, the town experienced a rapid industrialization and a substantial growth in population.

Second World War

Celje was occupied by Nazi Germany in April 1941. The Gestapo arrived in Celje on 16 April 1941 and were followed three days later by SS leader Heinrich Himmler, who inspected Stari pisker prison. During the war the city suffered from allied bombing, aimed at important communication lines and military installations. The National Hall was severely damaged.

The toll of the war on the city was heavy. The city (including nearby towns) had a pre-war population of 20,000 and lost 575 people during the war, mostly between the ages of 20 and 30. More than 1,500 people were deported to Serbia or into the German interior of the Third Reich. Around 300 people were interned and around 1,000 people imprisoned in Celje's prisons. An unknown number of citizens were forcibly conscripted into the German army. Around 600 "stolen children" were taken to Nazi Germany for Germanization. A monument in Celje called Vojna in mir (War and Peace) by the sculptor Jakob Savinšek, commemorates the World War II era.

After the end of the war, the remaining German-speaking portion of the populace was expelled. Anti-tank trenches and other sites were used to create 25 mass graves in Celje and its immediate surroundings and were filled with Croatian, Serbian, and Slovenian militia members that had collaborated with the Germans, as well as ethnic German civilians from Celje and surrounding areas.

Independent Slovenia

Celje became part of independent Slovenia following the Ten-Day War in 1991. On 7 April 2006, Celje became the seat of a new Diocese of Celje, created by Pope Benedict XVI within the Archdiocese of Maribor. The town's tourist sights include a Grayfriars' monastery founded in 1241 [7] and a palace from the 16th century.



Celje has a warm-summer humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb).

Climate data for Celje
Record high °C (°F)16.5
Average high °C (°F)4.1
Daily mean °C (°F)−0.3
Average low °C (°F)−4.6
Record low °C (°F)−27.2
Average precipitation mm (inches)47
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)10811131414121211111212140
Mean monthly sunshine hours 649612815620520924222716611567531,728
Source: Slovenian Environment Agency (ARSO) [8] (data for 1981-2010;Sunshine data:1971-2000)


Escutcheon of Ulrich II of Celje Counts of Celje coat of arms (1-4).svg
Escutcheon of Ulrich II of Celje

The coat of arms of Celje are based on the coat of arms of the Counts of Celje.

The coat-of-arms of Celje was selected for the national arms immediately after World War I in 1918, when Slovenia together with Croatia and Serbia formed the original Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia). A similar coat of arms was integrated into the Slovenian national arms in 1991.

Districts and local communities

The city of Celje is divided into 10 districts (mestne četrti) and the municipality 9 local communities (krajevne skupnosti):


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: [9]

In 1991 the population consisted of:

Town of Celje has 37,490 citizens as of 2002: Municipality:

The Celje annual municipal festival is held on April 11.


Celje does not have its own university, although some college-level education has been established in the city.

Law and government


The current mayor of Celje is Bojan Šrot, elected for the sixth time in 2018.


In Celje there are three courts of general jurisdiction:

In addition to that there are also Celje Labour Court for resolving labour law disputes and an external department of Administrative Court for resolving disputes arising from administrative procedures.


The Celje Post Office Celje Post Office.jpg
The Celje Post Office

Postal number: SI-3000 (from 1991). (Old one: 63000 (between 1945–1991)).

Twin cities and friendship towns

Celje is twinned with [10]

Celje has friendship agreements with:

Notable residents and people born in Celje


  1. 1 2 "Nadmorska višina naselij, kjer so sedeži občin" [Height above sea level of seats of municipalities] (in Slovenian and English). Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia. 2002. Archived from the original on 2013-05-24.
  2. "Largest settlements by number of population". Place Names. Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  3. "Celje". Slovenski pravopis 2001 (in Slovenian).
  4. Snoj, Marko (2009). Etimološki slovar slovenskih zemljepisnih imen. Ljubljana: Modrijan. p. 87.
  5. "The history of Celje: From the Celts and Romans to the Counts and Yugoslavia to the EU". Archived from the original on 2016-10-03. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  6. For more information on the 1910 Austro-Hungarian census, see Geographischer Atlas zur Vaterlandskunde an der österreichischen Mittelschulen. K. u. k. Hof-Kartographische Anstalt G. Freytag & Berndt, Vienna 1911.
  7. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Cilli"  . Encyclopædia Britannica . 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 366.
  8. "Celjie Climate normals 1981-2010" (PDF). ARSO. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  9. Orožen, pp. 362-365
  10. 1 2 "Partnerska mesta" (in Slovenian). Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  11. Sporazum o prijateljstvu i suradnji između Grada Slavonskog Broda i Mestne občine Celje
  12. Motnikar, Barbara Šket, & Andrej Gosar. 2012. Obituaries: Janez Lapajne, 1937–2012. IASPEI Newsletter (June/July): 4. Archived 2015-09-04 at the Wayback Machine

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The history of Slovenia chronicles the period of the Slovenian territory from the 5th century BC to the present. In the Early Bronze Age, Proto-Illyrian tribes settled an area stretching from present-day Albania to the city of Trieste. The Slovenian territory was part of the Roman Empire, and it was devastated by the Migration Period's incursions during late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. The main route from the Pannonian plain to Italy ran through present-day Slovenia. Alpine Slavs, ancestors of modern-day Slovenians, settled the area in the late 6th Century AD. The Holy Roman Empire controlled the land for nearly 1,000 years, and between the mid-14th century and 1918 most of Slovenia was under Habsburg rule. In 1918, Slovenes formed Yugoslavia along with Serbs and Croats, while a minority came under Italy. The state of Slovenia was created in 1945 as part of federal Yugoslavia. Slovenia gained its independence from Yugoslavia in June 1991, and is today a member of the European Union and NATO.

Counts of Celje

The Counts of Celje or the Counts of Cilli were the most influential late medieval noble dynasty on the territory of present-day Slovenia. Risen as vassals of the Habsburg dukes of Styria in the early 14th century, they ruled the County of Cilli as immediate counts (Reichsgrafen) from 1341 and rose to Princes of the Holy Roman Empire in 1436.

Styria (Slovenia) Traditional region in Slovenia

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Duchy of Carniola

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Laško Place in Styria, Slovenia

Laško is a spa town in eastern Slovenia. It is the seat of the Municipality of Laško. The area is part of the traditional region of Styria. The municipality is now included in the Savinja Statistical Region. The town is located at the foothills of Hum Hill on the Savinja River. It was first mentioned in written documents dating to 1227 and was granted town privileges in 1927. It is known to have been settled since the Iron Age and Roman archaeological finds are common in the area, though the precise location of the Roman settlement is not known. Today the town is best known for its annual Festival of Beer & Flowers and the local Laško Brewery, the largest brewery in the country. In 2010, Laško was heavily affected by flooding. The town's coat of arms depicts three white fleurs-de-lis on a blue field.

United Slovenia

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Anton Novačan

Anton Novačan was a Slovene politician, diplomat, author, and playwright.

Ulrich II, Count of Celje

Ulrich II, or Ulrich of Celje, was the last Princely Count of Celje. At the time of his death, he was captain general and de facto regent of Hungary, ban (governor) of Slavonia, Croatia and Dalmatia and feudal lord of vast areas in present-day Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Austria, and Slovakia. He was also a claimant to the Bosnian throne. This accumulation of power prompted his assassination by the hands of the Hunyadi clan which plunged Hungary into civil unrest that was resolved a year later by the sudden death of king Ladislas the Posthumous and the election of Matthias Corvinus, Ulrich's son-in-law, as king. Ulrich's possessions in the Holy Roman Empire were inherited by the Habsburg Emperor Frederick III, while his possessions in Hungary were reverted to the crown.

Teharje Place in Styria, Slovenia

Teharje is a settlement in the City Municipality of Celje in eastern Slovenia. It lies on the right bank of the Voglajna River on the eastern outskirts of Celje. The area is part of the traditional region of Styria. It is now included with the rest of the municipality in the Savinja Statistical Region.

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Marburg's Bloody Sunday was a massacre that took place on Monday, 27 January 1919 in the city of Maribor in Slovenia. Soldiers from the army of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, under the command of Slovene officer Rudolf Maister, killed between 9 and 13 civilians of German ethnic origin, wounding a further 60, during a protest in a city centre square. Estimates of casualties differ between Slovene and Austrian sources.

Veronika of Desenice

Veronika of Desenice was the second wife of Frederick II, Count of Celje.

The Austro-Slovene conflict in Carinthia was a military engagement that ensued in the aftermath of the World War I between forces loyal to the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs and later the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and forces loyal to the Republic of German-Austria. The main theater of the conflict was the linguistically mixed region in southeastern Carinthia. The conflict was settled by the Treaty of Saint-Germain in 1919, which stipulated that the territorial dispute be resolved by a plebiscite.

The Hermagoras Society is Slovenia's oldest publishing house and has branches in Klagenfurt (Austria), Celje (Slovenia), and Gorizia (Italy). Named after Catholic Saint Hermagoras of Aquileia it originated on July 27, 1851 at the behest of Bishop Anton Martin Slomšek for the purpose of instructing Slovenes in reading and writing. Authorities formally recognized the organization in 1853 and in 1871 association opened its new building and publishing house. By 1918 the society had over 90,000 members and had published more than 16.3 million books. Following the results of the 1920 Carinthian plebiscite the seat was transferred from Klagenfurt to Celje. In 1940 during World War II both the Klagenfurt and Celje locations were closed down by the Nazis, who confiscated the printing presses and destroyed books.

Hermann I, Count of Celje, was a Styrian nobleman, who was head of the House of Celje between 1359 and 1385. In the first decade, he ruled together with his older brother Ulrich. After Ulrich's death, Hermann took over the custody of his nephew William and ruled as the de facto head of the family. Under his rule, the House of Celje began expanding its influence from its power base in present-day Slovenia and southern Carinthia to Central Europe and the Balkans. By marriage to the Bosnian princess Catherine, whose exact parentage is disputed, Hermann became the brother-in-law either of the Hungarian and Polish king Louis the Great, or of the Bosnian king Tvrtko I. His son Hermann II further expanded the family's wealth and influence. By the time of his death, Hermann I was the largest landowner in the territory of present-day Slovenia, where his possessions significantly outnumbered those of his Habsburg liege lords.

Frederick I, Count of Celje

Frederick I of Celje also Frederick I of Cilli, was a Styrian free noble who became the first Count of Celje, founding a noble house that would dominate Slovenian and Croatian history in the first half of the 15th century.

William, Count of Celje

William of Celje, also William of Cilli, Count of Celje, was a Styrian nobleman who was married to Anna of Poland, daughter of the Polish king Casimir the Great. He was the co-ruler of the House of Celje together with his uncle Hermann I until 1485 and then with his cousin Hermann II until his death. William's only daughter, Anna of Celje, married the Polish King Vladislav II Jagello in order to strengthen his claim to the Polish throne.

Ulrich of Sanneck

Ulrich of Sanneck, Lord of Žovnek, was a free noble in the March of Savinja in what was then the Holy Roman Empire and is now in Slovenia. During the struggle between Henry, Duke of Carinthia and the Habsburg rulers of Austria and Styria, he sided with the latter. By accepting the Habsburgs as his liege lords, he was instrumental in transferring the lordship over the Savinja region from the Meinhardiner-dominated Carniola to Habsburg Styria. His second marriage with the noblewoman Catherine of Heunburg would enable their son to claim the Heunburg inheritance in Carinthia and in the Savinja Valley, including the strategically important Celje Castle. This union of the Sanneck (Žovnek) and Heunburg (Vovbre) noble houses would give birth to the House of Celje.

Conrad I of Sanneck

Conrad I of Sanneck, Lord of Žovnek, was a free noble in the March of Savinja in the Holy Roman Empire, in what is now Slovenia. He was an ancestor of the House of Celje, founded by his grandson Frederick.