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A duchy and crownland in the Austrian Empire, bounded on the north by Karinthia, on the north-east by Styria, on the south-east and south by Croatia, and on the west by Trieste, Goritza, and Istria; area, 3857 sq. miles; population, 510,000. The Julian and Karavanken Alps traverse the country. The highest mountain peaks are Nanos, 4200 feet; Vremscica, 3360 feet; Sneznik, 5900 feet; Triglav, 9300 feet, on the top of which Jacob Aljaz, priest and tourist, erected a cylindrical hut of steel, capable of accommodating 4 or 5 persons. The principal rivers are the Save, the Trzaska Bistrica, the Kokra, the Kamniska Bistrica, the Sora, the Ljubljanica, the Mirna, the Krka, and the Kupa which serves as a boundary with Croatia. The principal lakes are Crno, spreading into seven lakes, of which the highest is over 6000 feet above sea-level; Bohinjsko; Blesko, in the middle of which on an island is built a church to the Blessed Virgin, amidst most picturesque scenery; Cerknisko, 1700 feet above sea-level, varies annually in extent from over ten to about five sq. miles. It was known to the Romans as Lugea palus, and is a natural curiosity. Dante Alighieri mentions it in his "Divina Commedia" (Inferno, xxxii). The Ljubljana fens cover an area of 76 sq. miles. Hot and mineral springs are to be found at Susica, Smarjetske, and Medijske. There is an interesting cave at Postojna. Of the inhabitants 95 per cent are Slovenes, kinsmen to the Croats; the remainder are Germans, 700 Croats, and Italians. In the districts of Gotschee and Crnomelj dwell the White Krainers, the connecting link between the Croats and Slovenes. One-half of the Germans live in Gotschee, 5000 in Ljubljana, 3500 at Novo Mesto, and 1000 at Radovljice. The Germans at Gotschee were settled there by Otho, Count of Ortenburg, in the fourteenth century, and they preserve their Tyrolean German dialect. Over 99 per cent of the people are Catholics, the remainder includes 319 Schismatics, 509 Protestants, 24 Armenians, 96 Jews, 7 infidels. Ninety-six per cent of the soil is productive.

Agriculture thrives better in Upper than in Lower Krain. The valley of Vipava is especially famous for its wine and vegetables, and for its mild climate. The principal exports are all kinds of vegetables, clover-seed, lumber, carvings, cattle, and honey. In the mineral kingdom the principal products are iron, coal, quicksilver, manganese, lead, and zinc. Upper Krain has the most industries, among the products being lumber, linen, woollen stuffs, and laces (in Idria), bells, straw hats, wicker-work, and tobacco. The railroads are the Juzna, the Prince Rudolf, the Bohinjska, the Kamniska, the Dolenjska, and the Vrhniska. The capital is Ljubljana, see of the prince-bishop, population, 40,000; it was known to the Romans as Aemona, and was destroyed by Obri in the sixth century. Krain is divided into Upper Krain or Gorenjsko, Lower Krain or Dolenjsko, and Central Krain or Notranjsko. The principal cities and towns are: Kamnik, Kranj, Trzic, Vrhnika, Vipava, Idria (which has the richest quicksilver mine in the world), Turjak, Ribnica, Metlika, Novo Mesto, Vace (famous for its prehistoric graveyard). The mean average temperature in spring is 56 deg.; in summer, 77 deg.; in autumn, 59 deg. and in winter, 26 deg. Politically the country is divided into 11 districts consisting of 359 communes; the state capital is the residence of the imperial governor. The districts are: Kamnik, Kranj, Radovljica, the neighbourhood of Ljubljana, Logatec, Postojna, Litija, Krsko, Novo Mesto, Crnomelj, and Gotschee or Kocevje. There are 31 judicial circuits. The duchy was constituted by rescript of 20 December, 1860, and by imperial patent of 26 February, 1861, modified by legislation of 21 December, 1867, granting power to the home parliament to enact all laws not reserved to the imperial diet, at which it is represented by eleven delegates, of whom two are elected by the landowners, three by the cities, towns, commercial and industrial boards, five by the village communes, and one by a fifth curia. The ballot is secret, every duly registered male twenty-four years of age has the right to vote. The home legislature consists of a single chamber of thirty-seven members, among whom the prince-bishop sits ex-officio. The emperor convenes the legislature, and it is presided over by the governor. The landed interests elect ten members, the cities and towns eight, the commercial and industrial boards two, the village communes sixteen. The business of the chamber is restricted to legislating on agriculture, public and charitable institutions, administration of communes, church and school affairs, the transportation and housing of soldiers in war and during manoeuvres, and other local matters. The land budget of 1901 amounted to 3,573,280 crowns ($714,656).

Ecclesiastical history

In early Christian times the duchy was under the jurisdiction of the metropolitans of Aquileia, Syrmium, and Salona;, but in consequence of the immigration of the pagan Slovenes, this arrangement was not a lasting one. After they had embraced Christianity in the seventh and eighth centuries Charlemagne conferred the major part of Krain on the Patriarchate of Aquileia, and the remainder on the Diocese of Trieste. In 1100 that patriarchate was divided into five archdeaconries, of which Krain was one. Emperor Frederick III, 6 December, 1461, established the Diocese, of Ljubljana or Laibach, subject directly to the pope, and this was confirmed by a Bull of Pope Pius II, 10 September, 1462. The new diocese consisted of part of Upper Krain, two parishes in Lower Krain, and a portion of Lower Styria and Karinthia; the remaining portion of Krain was attached to Aquileia, later on to Goritza and Trieste. At the redistribution of dioceses (1787 to 1791) not all the parishes in Krain were included in the Diocese of Ljubljana, but this was accomplished in 1833, by taking two deaneries from the Diocese of Trieste, one from Goritza, and one parish from the Diocese of Lavant, so as to include all the territory within the political boundaries of the crownland. The diocese is divided into 5 archdeaconries, comprising 22 deaneries, two chapters with 17 canons, 296 parishes, 1336 churches, 204 chapels, 722 priests, 572,613 Catholics of the Latin Rite, and 360 of the Oriental Rite. The following congregations of men have houses in Krain: Cistercian Franciscans 4, Capuchins 2, Brothers of Charity 1, Jesuits 1, Congregation of Missions 1, priests of the German Order 1, Salesians 2. Congregations of Women: Ursulines 3 convents, Carmelites 1, Sisters of Charity 12 houses, including two schools. Krain has a diocesan seminary and one resident college for boys. The patron of the duchy is St. Joseph, and the patrons of the diocese, St. Hermagora and St. Fortunatus, Martyrs.


The school system was founded by state law of 14 May, 1869, and of 2 May, 1883. There are 386 schools, of which 327 are public. Attendance is compulsory, from the age of seven to fourteen. There are two training schools for teachers: one for males, one for females, connected with the school of agriculture. There are 7 colleges, in which both Slovenian and German are taught. The first college was founded in 1418 by a parish priest. There is a high school for girls. The industrial schools have commercial courses, besides teaching wood carving, trades, domestic economy, horse-shoeing; instruction is also given in singing and on the pipe organ. The Museum Rudolfinum has a famous library. The inspection of the schools is under a school-board. The parish priests have the right of visiting the schools or of appointing substitutes. The schools are supported from national, regional, and local taxes. The provincial school-board is the highest school authority for all the schools, except those subject directly to the minister of instruction and worship. It consists of twelve members, of whom two are priests. There is a literary society, the "Matica Slovenska," one Catholic daily paper, and a few monthly magazines.

Slovenes in the United States

There are in the United States about 100,000 Slovenes organized into two great benevolent associations on religious principles. They possess the following churches: St. Joseph's, Joliet, Ill.; St. Stephen's, Chicago, Ill.; St. Mary's, West Allis, Wisconsin; St. Joseph's, Calumet, Michigan; St. Joseph's, Leadville, Col.; St. Mary's, Pueblo, Col.; St. Lawrence's, St. Vitus's, St. Mary's, Cleveland, Ohio; St. Mary's, Steelton, Pa.; St. Mary's, Pittsburgh, Pa.; St. Joseph's, Forest City, Pa.; Holy Family, Kansas City, Kansas. Joliet has one parish school, and one Catholic weekly paper. The saintly bishop, Frederic Baraga, author of the first grammar of the Indian language, Bishops Ignatius Mrak, and John Vertin, Slovenes, were pioneers in apostolic work in upper Michigan, as well as Bishops James Trobec and John Stariha, who are still living.

Civil history

Before the coming of the Romans (c. 200 B.C.) the Taurisci dwelt in the north of Krain, the Pannones in the south-east, the Iapodes or Carni, a Celtic tribe, in the south-west. Under Roman rule, the northern part was joined to Noricum, the south-western and south-eastern parts and the city of Aemona to Venice and Istria. In the time of Augustus all the region from Aemona to Culpa belonged to the province of Savia. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire (476), Krain was incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy, and (493) under Theodoric it formed part of the Ostrogothic kingdom. Between the upper Save and the Sotcha lived the Carni, and towards the end of the sixth century the Slovenes peopled that region called by Latin writers Carnia, or Carniola, i.e. part of greater Carnia. Later on with the coming of the Slovenian language, the name was changed to "Krajino" or in German "Chrainmarcha," Chreine, "the boundary." The new inhabitants were subjected to the Avars, but threw off their yoke, and joined the great Slavic state of Samo. Krain was governed by the Franks about the year 788. When Charlemagne established the province of Friuli he added to it a part of Krain. After the division of Friuli, it became an independent province, having its own Slovenian margrave residing at Kranj, subject to the governor of Bavaria at first, and after 876 to the Dukes of Karinthia. Henry IV gave it to the Patriarch of Aquileia (1071).

In the Middle Ages the Church held much property in Krain, thus in Upper and Lower Krain the Bishop of Friesing became (974) a feudal lord of the city of Skofja Loka, the Bishop of Brixen held Bled and possessions in the valley of Bohinj, and the Bishop of Lavant got Mokronog. Among secular potentates the Dukes of Meran, Goritzza, Babenberg, and Zilli held possessions given to them in fief by the patriarchs of Aquileia. The dukes governed the province nearly half a century, and finally Krain was given in fief with the consent of the patriarch to Frederick II, of Austria, who obtained the title of duke, 1245. Frederick was succeeded by Ulrich III, Duke of Karinthia, who married a relative of the patriarch, and endowed the churches and monasteries, established the government mint at the city of Kostanjevica, and finally (1268) willed to Otokar II, King of Bohemia, all his possessions and the government of Karinthia and Carniola. Otokar was defeated by Rudolf II of Hapsburg, and at the meeting at Augsburg, 1282, he gave in fief to his sons Albrecht and Rudolf the province of Krain, but it was leased to Count Majnhardt. Duke Henry of Karinthia claimed Krain; and the Dukes of Austria asserted their claim as successors to the Bohemian kingdom. Henry died 1335, Jan, King of Bohemia, renounced his claims, and Albrecht, Duke of Austria, got Krain; it was proclaimed a duchy by Rudolf IV, in 1364. Frederick IV united Upper, Lower, and Central Krain as Metlika and Pivka into one duchy. The union of the dismembered parts was completed by 1607. The French occupied Krain in 1797, and from 1805 to 1806. After the Treaty of Vienna, 1809, Napoleon erected Illyria, with Ljubljana as its capital, and Krain formed a part of the new territory from 1809 to 1813. The defeat of Napoleon restored Krain to Francis I, with larger boundaries, but at the extinction of the Illyrian Kingdom. Krain was confined to the limits outlined at the Congress of Vienna, 1815.


O'GORMAN, Church History (New York, 1900); Oesterreichischungarische Monarchie in Wort and Bild, Koernten und Krain (Vienna, 1891); VALVASOR, Die Ehre des Herzogthums Krain (Ljubljana, 1689); ERBEN, Vojvodstvo Kranjsko (Ljubljana, 1866); GRUDEN, Cerkvene razmere u XV. stoleju (Ljubljana, 1908); RUTAR, Beneska Slovenija (Ljubljana, 1899); OROZEN, Vojvodina Kranjska (Ljubljana, 1907); POLJANEC, Kratka zgodovina slovenskega naroda (Ljubljana, 1908).

About this page

APA citation. Krmpotic, M.D. (1910). Krain. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Krmpotic, Martin Davorin. "Krain." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by John Fobian. In memory of Philip R. Johnson.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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