Slovenian National Anthem

Republika Slovenija

(Republic of Slovenia)



Zdravljica

(The Toast)




Historical Background

      France Prešeren is Slovenia's greatest and most celebrated poet. The national awards for culture bear his name, and are awarded on the National Day of Culture (February 8th), an official holiday.

     A widely renowned figure of European Romanticism, Prešeren established through his prodigious work a focus for Slovenia's first national programme. "Zdravljica" represents the peak of Prešeren's political poetry. It was written in autumn 1844, removed from the manuscript of the collection of poems Poezije (1847) by the censors, and published on April 26, 1848 in the newspaper Novice after the collapse of Metternich's absolutism and the termination of censorship. Its dominant idea, a radical demand for freedom of the Slovenian nation, arises from the humanistic vision of equality and friendly coexistence of all nations, and all people's right to independence. It originates from the concepts of the French Revolution of equality, freedom and brotherhood, which were adjusted to the basic political needs of the Slovenian people at the time of the "Spring of Nations" and concerned their independence. However, Prešren's "Marseillaise" reaches beyond the nature of a political manifesto and bears a strong note of intimate humanity.

     In the history of constituting the Slovenian nation Prešeren's "Zdravljica" was of extreme conceptual significance. It became particularly topical during the occupation and National Liberation Struggle from 1941 to 1945, and in the period of what was called the "Slovenian Spring" in the eighties when it started to be sung as the national anthem on state holidays and major public events.

      Zdravljica was proclaimed the new Slovenian anthem on September 27, 1989 when the Slovenian Assembly adopted the Amendments to the Slovenian Constitution. The National Anthem of the Republic of Slovenia was adopted on March 29, 1990 and specified the seventh stanza, set to the music of Stanko Premrl as the actual anthem.

      Following the independence of Slovenia, the National Assembly adopted (in 1994) the law governing the official crest, the national flag and the anthem of the Republic of Slovenia.




Original Slovenian Words




English Translation

God's blessing on all nations,

Who long and work for that bright day,

When o'er earth's habitation

No war, no strife shall hold its sway;

Who long to see

That all man free

No more shall foes, but neighbours be.

Who long to see

That all man free

No more shall foes, but . . .

No more shall foes, but neighbours be.



Lyrics: France Prešeren (1800-1849)

Music: Stanko Premrl (1880-1965)

Adopted: 1989