by Zal Pogorevc and Luka Pavlič

In Slovenj Gradec the statue of the Venetian horse is one of the most well-known monuments.

The Venetian horse in Slovenj Gradec is the work of a sculptor Oskar Kogoj. Oskar Kogoj is a world -famous artist and a sculptor from Slovenia.

His sculpture of a horse beautifies the center of Slovenj Gradec from where we also see the main square and the church of St. Elizabeth. It was made in 1992 and put on a strong stone platform in front of Koroška museum.

The sculptor was so attracted by the shape of the horse that he tried to make an almost life-size figure of a Venetian horse. The artwork of the Venetian horse is one of the most pronounced artworks from the Early Iron (Hallstatt) period. To the Veneti, the ancient people of northeastern Italy, the horse meant an almost divine being.

The form reflects the horse and its spirited nature. This statue quickly attracted the attention of the public, and today its supernatural counterparts can be found in several places: in Ljubljana, in the City Square in Slovenj Gradec, in front of the United Nations Palace in Geneva, in Neburg at Sochi on the Black Sea and in front of the former parliament in Jerusalem.

It is also called “the horse of peace” or “the spiritual horse.” It embraces the ancient culture  of the Veneti and depicts the spirituality of man. Veneti were said to be the best in horse breeding.

It is in fact very interesting how a relatively small thing, such as a horse statue can (positively) mark a city in such a short time! It has quickly managed to become one of the most important cultural symbols of Slovenj Gradec.

Are the Slovenes descendants of Slavs or Veneti?

Have you ever heard of the Venetian theory?

There is a widespread autochthonous theory of the origin of Slovenes. Namely, in the 1980s some researchers hypothesized that Slovenes were not the descendants of the Slavic people, but of the Veneti. Slovenes are said to be the Proto-Slavic people of Veneti. The history and evidence speak in favour of the Slavic theory.