Publish Date: 31.07.2019

Category: News from the University

This year’s commemorative ceremony at the Russian Chapel below Vršič Pass was also marked by the centenary of the University of Ljubljana. As highlighted by the honorary sponsor of the event, the President of the Slovenian National Assembly, Dejan Židan, a hundred years ago the political reality of the time, which continued to limit the dimensions of the human mind and humanism, forced many individuals from Russia to emigrate to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. They included scientists, experts and cultural figures, who significantly enriched the Slovenian scholarly, academic and cultural environment. In his address, the Vice-Rector of the University of Ljubljana, Boštjan Botas Kenda, said that the University of Ljubljana gladly welcomed the Russian professors. “The majority of Russian professors – that is, six – taught at the then Technical Faculty. Four taught at the Faculty of Law, three at the Faculty of Arts and one at the Faculty of Medicine. When in 1924 Russian refugees established the Russian Society in Ljubljana as the central institution in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia that connected Russian immigrants and provided them a venue for socialising, they elected the Russian professor at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Law, Aleksander Dimitrijevič Bilimovič, as its first chairman.”

In higher education, cooperation between Slovenia and Russia has remained successful to this very day. The University of Ljubljana, which ranks among top three percent of the most outstanding universities in the world, is now cooperating successfully with various Russian universities, such as the North-Caucasus Federal University in Stavropol, the Lomonosov State University in Moscow and the Innopolis University in Kazan. The University of Ljubljana Faculty of Art’s Department of Slavic Studies also offers a programme in Russian studies, which is one of the most popular language programmes among students, in addition to English, Japanese and Korean.

The Russian Chapel below Vršič Pass was built in 1916 by Russian prisoners of war as a memorial to their comrades that died in an avalanche while constructing the road over the pass. To commemorate the dead, the Russian prisoners of war erected a Russian Orthodox wooden chapel in the forest below Vršič pass. The chapel was fully renovated in 2006.