Visual arts

Celje FOKUS Festival

28. 06. - 30. 06. 2019



Celje FOKUS festival avtorske fotografije

Mariborska cesta 2 SI-3000 , Celje

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Celje FOKUS Festival – a festival of authorial photography – was first held in 2015 and is currently one of the few or even the only one of its kind in Slovenia. It has grown out of an annual workshop called Celje FOKUS, held in Celje since 2008. Aimed mostly at amateur photographers, the 6-day workshops have given them not only a set of technical know-how but also introduced them to some of the relevant questions arising from the subject of contemporary photography. For this, outside guests have sometimes also been invited.
While the workshop still remains and has become the central part of the festival, it is now accompanied by a programme that also features a number of photography exhibitions, movie screenings and round table discussions. The 2015 exhibitions featured the photographers Donald Weber, Tadej Vaukman, Jaka Gasar, Tomaž Černej and also a presentation of anonymous, lost and found photo images. The topics of discussions touched upon the questions of documentary photography, the analogue/digital divide, the production of photobooks and so on.
The festival takes place all over the city, with the workshop being partly focused on the urban landscape of Celje from the start. The venues where the rest of the festival is held are the Plevnik-Kronkowska Gallery, Celje Museum of Recent History, Celje Gallery of Contemporary Art, Celje Youth Centre, the Art kino Metropol Celje, and the Josip Pelikan Photographic Studio.


Celje Central Library



Osrednja knjižnica Celje

Muzejski trg 1a 3000, Celje

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Celje Central Library is the regional library for the Savinja region and operates branches in Dobrna, Šmartno, Vojnik, and Štore. It is also the seat of the Library Association of Celje. It comprises five departments, which feature fiction for children and adults, non-fiction, music and film material. The library’s local history collection department holds a wealth of information on the Municipality of Celje region in the form of books, newspapers, photographs, postcards, manuscripts, etc.

An education and cultural centre (in 2009 reconstructed following the design by STVAR Architects), the library also hosts story-telling hours, creative workshops, theatre and puppet plays, dance shows, exhibitions, author and book presentations, and book clubs. In addition, librarians pay visits and read to children in the local hospital. The University of the Third Age takes place within the library, offering educational courses in foreign languages, culture, art, history, and creativity. The library’s website is designed in such a way as to cater to different groups of users, and provides a bevy of information and interactive applications.

The library holds an important collection of Alma Karlin’s legacy and maintains the Alma M. Karlin Virtual Home. The Celje Central Library also took over the coordination of the regional libraries’ portal, dedicated to the narration of local histories.


Historical Archives Celje



Zgodovinski arhiv Celje (ZAC)

Teharska cesta 1 3000 , Celje

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Established in 1956, the Historical Archives Celje (ZAC) collect and keep records of the archives of organisations and institutions of local and regional interest. In June 2008 a digitisation of archival collections was carried out. In 2009 the Celje Archives joined the initiative of establishing a common digital database. The project is called, consisting of a database of joined Slovenian regional archives, funded by the Ministry of Culture.


Historical Archives Celje was founded in 1956, although its origins date back to the activities of the 19th-century Museum Society. At the beginning, it encompassed 11 municipalities, but since 1994 it has expanded to 30 municipalities. From 1961 to 2001 the archives were housed at the Protasi Mansion, but nowadays they are housed in new modern premises.

Archival records

The holdings of the Historical Archives Celje include archives dating from the 13th century to 1992, the vast majority of which were created after 1850 as unfortunately the holdings were damaged by war and subsequently by the floods of 1954. The registers hold some 6,500 linear metres of material on various fields, including government, jurisdiction, economy, education, medicine, associations, and social organisations and a modest collection of old documents by landlords and guilds (specifically various 13th-century manuscripts).

Its remit includes the state administrative units (territorial divisions other than municipalities used in state governance): Brežice, Celje, Hrastnik, Krško, Laško, Mozirje, Sevnica, Slovenske Konjice, Šentjur, Šmarje pri Jelšah, Trbovlje, Velenje, Zagorje ob Savi and Žalec. It has a branch unit for the Posavje region.

International cooperation

The Historical Archives Celje has cooperated successfully with the Graz Regional Archive (Steiermaerkisches Landesarchiv Graz, Austria), the National Archives in Zagreb, Croatia and the Historical Archives in Pančevo, Serbia. It takes part in the European digital library project EuropeanaLocal, the main coordinator for Slovenia is the National and University Library (NUK).


In addition to hosting touring exhibitions, the archive sets up its own exhibitions. In 2009 two exhibitions took place; Justice should win showed the full development of the judiciary in Celje preserved through archival documents.


Celje Regional Museum



Pokrajinski muzej Celje

Trg celjskih knezov 8 3000, Celje

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Celje Regional Museum was founded in 1882 at the premises of the present-day Celje Music School, but already in the 1920s the city council discussed the option of moving the museum to the Old Counts’ Mansion, a late Renaissance building. It was only after World War II that the mansion was renovated to be used as a municipal museum, presenting cultural, historical, and ethnological objects from Celje and its environs. Celje Municipal Museum was renamed the Celje Regional Museum in 1966. In 2012 the museum expanded to the renovated 15th-century Princely Palace built by the Counts of Celje. Today one can visit several permanent exhibitions that offer a versatile insight into the region’s history along the ten archaeological and ethnological locations outside of Celje.

Permanent exhibitions in Celje

The Old Counts’ Mansion

There are The Cultural History Collection, From the Gothic to Historicism in Steps (accommodated for visually-impaired visitors), and the Journeys of Alma M. Karlin exhibitions as well as the in situ Celje Ceiling and Lapidarium. A Roman lapidary collection in the cellars of the Old Counts’ Mansion is supplemented with the outdoor lapidary collection of architectural remains of public and private buildings and a rich collection of milestones.

In the Major Hall, the famous Celje Ceiling in tempera on canvas (14.45 x 9.7m) is a singular example of secular painting from the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries in Slovenia. The museum also houses important Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Classicist, Empire, Biedermeier, and Historicist paintings, sculpture, frescoes, furniture and furnishings, clocks, miniatures and portraits. One of the highlights of the Celje Regional Museum’s permanent exhibition is the glass case with the skulls of the notorious Counts of Celje, previously buried beyond the main altar of the Church of St Mary.

The ethnological collection on the ground floor features a wide spectrum of exhibits belonging to the material and spiritual culture of the population of the wider Celje region (ploughing implements, small agricultural tools, milk processing implements, accessories for processing flax and wool, small kitchen utensils, lights and textiles, woodworking products) as well as a collection of folk art.

The museum has over 370 beehive panels from the Zadrečka dolina and Savinja valleys. The numismatic collection covers an area of 60 square metres and the period from the Late Iron Age until the 20th century. Celje is the only town in Slovenia that had its own mint twice in the course of two millennia (in the 1st century BCE under the Celts and again in the 15th century). The collection of old Savinja ceramics in the museum is one of the most exquisite and richest collections in Slovenia; it presents products from various ceramic factories established in the 19th century.

A special area on the ground floor of the Old Count’s Mansion is dedicated to Alma Karlin (1889–1950), a best-seller writer and globetrotter born in Celje who studied languages in London and brought back a substantial collection of objects from her extensive journeys around the world from 1919 until 1927.

The Princely Palace

The palace hosts three exciting exhibitions: Celeia – a town beneath today’s town, The Counts of Celje and From a Bone Needle to the Celje Stars. The latter presents prehistoric findings from the region including the Stone Age needle from the Potočka Zijalka Paleolithic Cave to the late Roman period and the city of Celeia.

In 2009 the basement of the palace was opened to visitors as the largest exhibition with in-situ preserved remains of ancient Celeia. Another attraction is The Counts of Celje exhibition. They were one of the most influential noble families in the Slovenian lands in the Late Middle Ages. The visit can be combined with the renovated Celje Castle, strongly connected with the dinasty.

Dislocated units

Archeological sites


The Schwentner House, The Vransko Museum Collection, Vransko is the homestead of Lavoslav Schwentner (1865–1952), a famous librarian and publisher from Ljubljana who was born in Vransko. He was also an important Maecenas of the literati of Slovene Moderna. The house of the Schwentner family, with its rich bourgeois interior, furniture and equipment from the beginning of 20th century has been preserved almost intact, showing the family’s lifestyle.

The Šmid Ethnological Collection, The Planina Museum Collection, Planina pri Sevnici presents the ethnological collection of Janez Šmid, who was dedicated to preserve the Kozjansko heritage of everyday life. The “Glaziers'” Church, The Šentjur Museum Collection, Loka pri Žusmu is a Church of St Leopold museum of glass products and crafts that were made in private glasshouses in the Kozjansko region from the 17th century on.

In Strmol Manor, Rogatec, some 40km from Celje, the Cookery Book exhibition is on display showing recipes, kitchenware, and how and what our grand grandmothers were cooking in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The exhibition guide is an interesting cookbook presenting the collection and old recipes.

Collaborations and Awards

From 1989 on the Celje Regional Museum has been traditionally collaborating with Verein Steiermarkisches Glaskunstzentrum und Glasmuseum, Bärnbach, Austria, where curator Jože Rataj and author Paul von Lichtenberg prepare exhibitions on glass making. In 1990 the museum was nominated for the European Museum of the Year award.


Celje Museum of Recent History



Muzej novejše zgodovine Celje

Prešernova ulica 17 3000, Celje

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As a public institution the Celje Museum of Recent History focuses on the cultural heritage of the town of Celje and the Lower Savinjska region from the beginning of the 20th century onward. The permanent exhibition presents the everyday life of the town and its inhabitants in the 20th century while the temporary exhibitions turn towards personal stories and cover pop culture, sports or various historical chapters. The museum’s distinguished feature is the Herman’s Den, the first Slovenian children’s museum.


The museum was established in 1951 as a department for the History of the National Liberation War at the Celje Municipal Museum. In 1963 it became an independent cultural institution and moved into the premises of the former town hall of Celje where it is still situated today.

Permanent exhibitions and museum branches

The museum’s permanent exhibition, Living in Celje, first opened in 2000, and was renovated and reopened in 2009. It features the Diary of Three Generations on the first floor, showing how each generation lived in Celje in the course of the 20th century. On the second floor is a reconstruction of Celjska Street as it looked in the period between the two World Wars. Visitors can walk through various trade shops, the market and a middle-class apartment.

Other permanent exhibitions include the museum’s Dentistry Collection, donated to the museum by the private collector Franc Štolfa (1993). Herman’s Den (since 1995) represents the first Slovenian children’s museum with a playroom, gallery and theatre. On the invitation of the Hamada Children’s Museum of Art in Japan, Herman’s Den was presented in Japan in 2009.

The Celje Museum of Recent History administers also two museum branches. The Josip Pelikan Photographic Studio, Celje, with a beautiful glass parlour and all original equipment, from the end of the 19th and early 20th century. The other is the Anti-Nazi memorial site Stari Pisker Prison, known by locals as “The Old Pot”. This former Minorite monastery was the site of Nazi violence during World War II, today it is a memorial for the several hundred people who were tortured and executed there.


The Celje Museum of Recent History has 17 main collections. Starting with the most general historical collection of items from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, it has also very specialised collections of such items and topics as: trade, goldsmith trade, postcards, money, the EMO factory kitchenware, arms, decorations and medals, scales, posters, farewell letters, children’s toys and crafts. The museum also has a photo and video archive that can be viewed and studied by appointment.

Especially worth mentioning is the Fund of Alma Karlin. It consists of 850 objects, books, drawings, sketches, photographic material and testimonies about an amazing woman, world traveler, writer and anthropologist from Celje, Alma Maksimiljana Karlin (1889–1950) and her close companion Thea Schreiber Gamelin. In memory of the 120-year-anniversary of Alma’s birth, the Celje Museum of Recent History published the anthology Alma’s Boundaries and Margins (2009).

Education and international cooperation

The museum put a great effort on its international educational programme called the Celje School of Museology in collaboration with Museumsakademie Joanneum Graz and Reinwardt Academie Amsterdam. In October 2009 the museum hosted the international museum workshop with the topic New Trends in Museology with Peter van Mensch and Léontine Meijer van Mensch from Reinwardt Academie Amsterdam. Its Summer School of Museology has grown into the International Summer School of Museology.

The Celje Museum of Recent History is a member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the Hands on! Association for Children’s Museums. With the Museum of Europe in Brussels they collaborated on the exhibition The European: His Story. Celje Museum was also a partner in the European project Museum Sign Language Guide, an education and museum guidance for people with hearing disabilities.

The JUMUM – Jugend und Musik und Museum project supported by the EU Culture Programme 2010–2012 and led by Austrian partner from Bad Ischl popularised the music genre of operetta. The exhibition and some performances took place in Bad Ischl on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Lehar Festival and in Eggenfelden, Germany, while in Celje some workshops and a school project The Faces of Operetta took place.


Days of Comedy

15. 03. - 26. 03. 2022



Dnevi komedije

Gledališki trg 5 SI-3000, Celje

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Days of Comedy was launched by the Slovene People’s Theatre (SLG) Celje in 1992. The festival quickly outgrew its local context and during the nearly three decades of its existence became the most prominent event of the comedy genre in Slovenia, presenting top quality productions of both institutional and non-institutional Slovene theatres. The side programme of Days of Comedy includes performances, concerts, and foreign productions. It takes place annually, in March.

Programme and awards

The programme of Days of Comedy is chosen by a selector and includes both a competition and a side programme. Performances in the competition programme compete for Gracious Comedy Awards in four sections, namely, for gracious comedy performance, gracious comedy director, and two gracious actors (male and female), all of which are granted by the expert jury. The festival also awards the Gracious Comedy Feather Award for best original Slovene comedy text. This award is granted biannually and is selected by the jury, appointed by the Slovene People’s Theatre (SLG) Celje. The festival also presents the Audience Award for best comedy.

Admission Free Festival

4. 06. - 5. 06. 2021



Vstop prost, festival urbanih umetniških akcij

SI-3000, Celje

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The Admission Free Festival is an annual art festival featuring artistic interventions, actions, performances, and installations in the urban context of Celje. The festival has taken place since 1990, but it only gained formal standing in 1999 as a project of the Art Society of Celje (DLUC), whose members run it in collaboration with the Celeia Celje Institute – Centre for Contemporary Arts, Art kino Metropol Celje, and (since 2012) the Celje Central Library.

Though centred on the Likovni Salon gallery, the festival invites different generations of visual and performance artists to turn the idea of the gallery inside out, so to speak, by moving the traditionally closed gallery space out onto the streets of the Celje town centre, where it becomes both a display space, a depository of art materials and a place of random encounters and exchanges. Visitors, both unintentional and intentional, are not meant to “follow” the events of the festival in a traditional, linear way, but to discover the festival and allow it to spark reflection about the manifold ways art interacts with everyday life.


The Admission Free Festival features a wide, constantly shifting selection of performances, exhibitions, installations, projections and public readings. Projects presented at the festival reflect the current affairs of Celje and its citizens as well as broader social developments. Each festival centres on a common theme decided upon in advance. The jubilee 10th edition of the Admission Free Festival in 2009 addressed “intolerance”, and other themes include “collectivism”, the impact of sound on art, and “shame”. The 2016 festival was themed “nature and light” and featured close cooperation with the Lighting Guerrilla Festival. The 2018 version was dedicated to long-time Art Society of Celje member Adolf Mljač, and the theme of the 20th anniversary was “a look back”.

The festival initially featured works primarily associated with the Art Society of Celje, with society members Franc Purg, Manja Vadla, Željko Opačak, Andreja Džakušič and Simon Macuh playing a very active role. As it has grown, its scope has broadened, and recent festivals have featured works by artists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Japan and Belgium. The participatory nature of the festival is underscored by the active participation of students from the local high school, who in recent years have had an opportunity to collaborate with established artists in workshops and street performances.


Festival interventions regularly involve the public. For example, at the 12th edition of the festival, visitors were asked to bring sleeping bags to participate in Simon Macuh’s work Bedroom – Good Night and Pleasant Dreams. In 2018, artist Jusuf Hadžifejzović set up his inquisitive Emptiness Shop in the framework of the festival, where guests could buy and sell “emptiness”.

An important aspect of many projects is also hospitality and gastronomy. At the inaugural festival in 1999, Željko Opačak hosted Take a Little Piece of my Heart: featuring works by Andreja Džakušič and Boris Oblišar, the installation expressed how the co-operative participation of food by both the artists and the public creates new social spaces. At the 2013 festival, Mark Požlep presented his Drunk Cook Book and Manja Vadla hosted a picnic.

Fantasy Literature Festival Fanfest

25. 09. - 26. 09. 2021



Slovenski festival fantazijske književnosti Fanfest

Gledališki trg 4 SI-3000 , Celje

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Fanfest is an international festival of fantasy literature, which has been taking place in Celje, in the third largest Slovene city, located in the region of Štajerska (Slovenian Styria). The festival has been running since 2017 and is organized by Celje’s Literary Society. It is the first and still the only literary festival of its kind in Slovenia, set as a multi-day, international literary event for authors and lovers of fantasy literature. Most of the events are aimed at the general public, but some activities, such as workshops, are for authors only.


The festival is intended for lovers and authors of fantasy literature. For a long time, the Slovene literary scene did not have a quality platform, for example, a magazine for fantasy literature or so-called speculative fiction, so in 2016 Celje’s Literary Society started publishing a magazine for speculative fiction Supernova twice a year, which offers space for publishing Slovene and international quality prose and poetry from the field of fantasy literature, which includes fantasy literature, science fiction and related genres. In 2017, Celje’s Literary Society also organized the first Fantasy Literature Festival Fanfest.


The festival is multi-day, so far four editions have taken place, most often in September, the events take place in Antika Antiquariat and Bookshop, Celje and Celjska kulturnica. The festival includes round tables and discussions on contemporary fantasy literature or its future, workshops, for example on archetypal characters and their implementation in literature or how to end a fantasy story, presentations of books and specialized magazines, and other events such as film screenings and art exhibitions.

The festival hosted many Slovene authors, editors, experts in the field of fantasy literature, such as Maja Mlakar, translator and editor of Polica Dubova Cultural and Artistic Association Tatjana Jamnik, poet Alenka Jovanovski, Martin Vavpotič, Samo Petančič, Bojan Ekselenski, Andrej Ivanuša. Mirko Grdinić from Croatia, Dragić Rabrenović from Montenegro and Tihomir Jovanović – Tika and Dr Zoran Živković from Serbia gave the festival an international dimension. Dr Živković, for example, is a European and world-famous author who has written more than 20 books in the field of science fiction. Renowned Czech writer Ivana Myšková was also a guest at the festival. The festival is always accompanied by music concerts, for example by Matej Krajnc.

The festival also organizes a competition for the best fantasy stories on various topics: in 2018, for example, the topic was Fantastic Ancient Celeia, in 2019 Ulrich II. of Celje survived.