Green, active and healthy. That’s how Slovenia presented itself at Expo Milano 2015, promoting the awareness that everyone can do something useful for themselves and the Planet. The country was present at Expo with a Pavilion shaped like a pyramid broken into five pyramids, evoking the variety of the country’s landscapes: Alpine-type mountains, Pannonian plains, Mediterranean hills, cultivated fields and underground labyrinths of karstic caves. On one side of the Pavilion an open extension of soil contained olive trees, a 400-year-old vine, and a collection of plants and rocks typical of Slovenia’s countryside.
From salt flats to honey-making
The Pavilion extended on a single level, and the visit began with a wall which played host to a vertical garden that had a control unit to adjust its magnesium and sulfate levels. The first hall invited visitors to learn about Pirano Salt, also offering the highly relaxing possibility of walking on salt. This mineral, as well as the fleur de sel, was neither ground nor refined, being hand-processed and gathered every morning in a protected area inside the Nature Park. The visit continued with a display of nine different types of honey, which could be tasted in front of a wall of hive-shaped mirrors. Beekeeping and honey-making was an important activity in Slovenia, continuing a strong tradition begun in 1843.
Excursions for all… and outstanding mineral waters
The third theme covered in the Pavilion was water. Slovenia has abundant mineral water and thermal resources, making it an excellent provider of beneficent waters. Its 15 thermal spas and 87 natural springs encourage flourishing developments in thermal tourism. The country also produces a mineral water with a higher magnesium content than anywhere else in the world, and one specific kind extraordinarily rich in five minerals: sulfate, potassium, magnesium, chloride and bicarbonate. With 60% of its territory covered by woodlands, the country has ample options for hiking and trekking, especially in the area around its highest mountain, Mount Triglav: at 2,846 meters this offers walks, hikes and climbs for all tastes and abilities, from beginners to professional climbers. A section of this space was devoted to the underground galleries in the Postojna Caves.
Around the world measuring atmospheric pollution
The last theme focused on was a Slovenian scientific project for measuring air quality with a special aircraft, whose prototype was suspended in the hall. In 2013, a pilot with an ultra-light plane spent 369 hours flying over all the continents, measuring the concentration of Black Carbon in the atmosphere, which together with CO2 represents the main cause of global warming. The visit also included displays of various top quality products made by Slovenian companies (from ski to motorbike manufacturers) and the possibility of trying special glasses to look at 3D images of Slovenia’s urban and rural landscapes.
A dismountable Pavilion with highly digestible Slovenian dishes
The Pavilion was built with natural materials, including Slovenian wood, and fully fulfills the country’s goal of creating a prefabricated pavilion with low energy consumption. It is expected that the building will be transported to Slovenia, where it will be opened to the public. The last space on the visitor’s route contained a take-away restaurant offering typical local dishes such as Carniolan Sausage, vegetable soup with broccoli, or Smorn, a traditional dessert made with sugar and wild berries. An outdoor bar for coffee and cakes rounded off the culinary options.