What’s the Highest Mountain in Slovenia?

As you probably already know, Slovenia is a mountainous country. This factor brings a lot of pros as well as cons. For example, the plus is the mild continental weather, however, the minus is the complexity of road-building around hills. However, the highest mountain for Slovenia is not just a mountain; it’s something more for every citizen.

The highest mountain in Slovenia is Triglav, with 2,863.65 meters of height. Moreover, it is depicted on the national coat of arms of Slovenia.

General Briefing

Triglav is the highest mountain not only of Slovenia but the highest point of the Julian Alps as well. The last one is the mountain range of the Southern Limestone Alps located in the Sava Valley and Canale Valley and stretches from Northern Italy to Slovenia. The size is estimated at around 4,400 km2 (of which 1,542 km2 lies in Italy).

Triglav has 2,863.65 meters (9,395.2 ft.) of height. Here, it is located in the Triglav National Park. The mountain was the highest peak of Yugoslavia as well, before Slovenia’s independence in 1991. This proves the highly mountainous status of Slovenia. The mountain is located in the east northern part of the country.

National Symbol

Mount Triglav is symbolized on the national coat of arms of the Republic of Slovenia. It is the blue shield with the red borders. On the blue background, there is a mountain with its three peaks. Under it, there are two wavy lines representing all the rivers of the Slovenian territory.

In the upper part of the coat of arms, there are three golden stars representing Counts of Celje. It was the most influential noble dynasty in the late medieval ages. The dynasty was located on the territory of modern Slovenia. Risen as vassals of the Habsburg dukes, they ruled these territories from 1341 and until the Princes of the Holy Roman Empire in 1436.

The modern coat of arms was designed by Marko Pogačnik in 1991 and adopted on 24 June of the same year, when the Republic of Slovenia gained independence from Yugoslavia. Marko is a Slovenian artist and author, and he received the Prešeren Fund Award for his work in 1991. Moreover, he was awarded the Jakopič Award, which is the central Slovenian fine arts award. Also, Marco was nominated two times for the Right Livelihood Award.

On the other hand, there is some criticism of his artwork.  For example, the president of the Heraldic, Genealogical, and Vexillological Society Heraldica Slovenica, Aleksander Hribovšek, was criticizing it as heraldically lacking because of a number of reasons. He considered it with no official blazon, and the form of the blue shield wasn’t heraldically recognized. Furthermore, he claimed that Mount Triglav and the sea were represented incorrectly.

However, the coat of arms was recognized by the government for sure. They published it and regulated it by the Act Regulating the Coat-of-Arms, Flag, and Anthem of the Republic of Slovenia and the Flag of the Slovene Nation, published in the Official Gazette in 1994.

In his turn, Marko Pogačnik explained the coat of arms as a cosmogram. He claimed it as an energetic field protecting Slovenia and stimulating the country’s potential. Moreover, those three golden, six-pointed stars symbolize Slovenian democracy.

The Name

In Slovenian, Triglav means “three peaks,” where tri- is the number and accordingly -glav is the highest point of a mountain.

However, the name was changing a lot. The first map found is dated 1567. On this one, the mountain is named Ocra mons. After that, a historian from Carniola, present-day Slovenia, Johann Weikhard Freiherr von Valvasor, or Johann Weichard Freiherr von Valvasor or simply Valvasor, named it as Krma.

On the other hand, the name Triglav also existed in that time separately. It was firstly used in 1452, by a German mountaineer, Adolf Gstirner. However, he mentioned it as Terglau. Unfortunately, the original source of the scientist was lost.

In the following, the name Terglau was found in works of Gstirner in 1573, and some other ones in 1612. In 1778–89, the mountain was mentioned as Terklou.

Scientists approve that this name is coming from the compound “Tri-golvъ,” literally “three-head,” which can be understood as “three peaks’.” Moreover, they prove that the name can be understood literally because the three peaks of the mountain are transparently clear from the Upper Carniola. The highest one is sometimes called Big Mount Triglav to distinguish it from the Little Mount Triglav, which is a separate one.

History of Discovery

The first recorded climb on Triglav was on the initiative of a nobleman and scientist, Sigmund Zois. Johann Richter, a historian, in his report in the newspaper Illyrisches Blatt in 1821, writes that there were four people during that expedition: the surgeon Lovrenz Willomitzer (written as Willonitzer by Richter), the chamois hunter Štefan Rožič, two miners Luka Korošec and Matevž Kos.

Moreover, the mountain’s height was measured later, on 23 September 1808 by Valentin Stanič. We mentioned a transformation of the mount’s name before, however this time, the first map where the name appeared with a nowadays spelling as Triglav was Zemljovid Slovenske dežele in pokrajin (Map of Slovene Lands and Provinces). The map was completed by Peter Kosler, from 1848 until 1852, it was published in Vienna in 1861.

During World War II, Triglav started to become that one national symbol, which it is now. The Slovenian partisans who were resisting the Fascist and Nazi armies were hiding in the forests and caves of it and wore the Triglav caps as the symbols of their unbreakable spirit from 1942 until after 1944.


Aljaž Tower, or in Slovenian, Aljažev stop is the metal construction located on the top of the peak. It is put there as a storm shelter and a point of geological research, also known as the triangulation point.

The shelter was named after a mountaineer, Jakob Aljaž. He made construction from iron and zinc-coated sheet steel with the help of Anton Belec. He and four more people carried the parts of the tower to the summit of Triglav and constructed the tower together in only five hours on 7 August 1895. After that, he gave the shelter to the Slovene Alpine Society.

On the proclamation of independence in June 1991, the new flag was raised on top of it.

One more tower was built in 1895. The Stanič Shelter was located 55 meters (180 ft) below the top of Triglav due to the small sizes of the first one. Its measures are 2.4 m × 2.2 m × 2 m (7 ft 10 in × 7 ft 3 in × 6 ft 7 in), and it had a room for eight people sitting or 16 standing accordingly.

There was one more landmark that slowly disappeared — the Triglav glacier. Yes, Triglav has even constantly located ice on it. Historically, it was in the northeastern part of it. It covered 40 hectares (99 acres) at the end of the 19th century, then shrunk to 15 hectares (37 acres) in 1946. In 2011, it was only 1–3 hectares, varied on the season. In 2019, it disappeared.

Triglav in Art

The mount was depicted for the first time in the mentioned above Oryctographia Carniolica, written by Belsazar Hacquet. It was made in 1778 by C. Conti based on a drawing of Franz Xaver Baraga.

After that, Triglav appeared in the works of  Anton Karinger from Ljubljana, Marko Pernhart from Klagenfurt, Valentin Hodnik from Stara Fužina, Edo Deržaj from Ljubljana, and more recently, Marjan Zaletel, who’s now living in Ljubljana.

Janko Ravnik shot a first full-length film on the Slovenian language, that was titled In the Kingdom of the Goldhorn.  It featured an ascent of some students to the top of Triglav. The film was released in 1931. The second such film was named The Slopes of Mount Triglav. It was a romantic story about the couple that decided to have their wedding on the mount Triglav.

Not Just a Mountain

Triglav, for Slovenians, is not just a mountain. It is the highest peak in the country. It is the national symbol. It appeared on the national flag as well as on the coat of arms. People dedicated their art to this mountain. They study it, climb, rest in the national park, find endemic animals in karst caves there.

Triglav became even a symbol of the partisans’ resistance movement. Everything connected with the national spirit is located near the mountain. That’s why this became the place of rising the new national flag after gaining independence in 1991.

This mountain is equal to folk songs or national dishes for Slovenians. That’s why the former Slovene president Milan Kučan once said that climbing Triglav at least once in life is a duty of every Slovenian person. I would propose to do this not only for Slovenians. Every tourist that has a possibility should do this because it’s not only the good physical training but the understanding of the mentality of Slovenians, their long history to independence, their national pride as well as one of the most beautiful places in the world. 

Thank you for reading our article. We do our best to provide you with first-hand information about Slovenia and its wonders. We know we are not infallible though. In case you encounter any mistakes in our articles or you have any suggestions, please contact us. Let us know how we could improve. It will help us to keep our information updated and deliver to readers the most valuable possible content.  We will gladly take your suggestions!


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