Over the weekend, the Park of Military History was abuzz with a diverse array of museum-related activities. The team of the Park collaborated with the Slovenian Armed Forces, the Slovenian Police, Atmosferci, and partner museums – the Military Museum of the Slovenian Armed Forces, the Idrija Municipal Museum, the Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia, the Technical Museum of Slovenia, the National Museum of Slovenia, and the Notranjska Museum Postojna – to organize ZgodoVikend, a multi-day museum event arranged to encourage intensive exploration and experience of history.
To kick off ZgodoVikend, the museum complex hosted the traditional Vestirnga 2023 on Friday. During the festive event, the Postojna Defense Administration welcomed the military conscripts of the 2005 generation. On this occasion, they arrived in elaborately decorated draft wagons, reminiscent of generations from the past.
Saturday’s events were significantly marked by the Open Day at the Stanislav Požar Barracks in Pivka, which, primarily due to tank rides, attracts a substantial number of visitors from both near and far each year. The day was also filled with activities in the Park, such as the guided hike to the underground fortifications at Primož that was organized in the morning. Throughout the day, guided tours of the museum exhibitions took place. The pinnacle of Saturday’s activities, however, was the unveiling of the new exhibition by the Military Museum of the Slovenian Armed Forces, titled “Faster, Higher, Stronger! Elite Sports in the Slovenian Army.” The exhibition, curated by Senior Curator Rok Filipčič of the Military Museum of the Slovene Armed Forces, was ceremoniously opened to the public by Slovenian Olympic champion in shooting sports and retired member of the Slovenian Armed Forces Sports Unit, Rajmond Debevec.
ZgodoVikend concluded in grand style on Sunday with various engaging activities presented by the participating partners that enriched the museum experience. As part of the central program, the Slovenian Armed Forces and the Slovenian Police were presented to the visitors. In addition to the static display of their equipment, the participating units also prepared dynamic demonstrations of field operations. The Air Police Unit and the Mountain Police Unit staged an exercise involving the rescue of an injured person with a helicopter, while the Specialized Military Police Unit, in collaboration with the 15th Regiment of Military Aviation, simulated a helicopter counter-terrorism operation. Enthusiasts of military-technical heritage were particularly captivated by the dynamic demonstrations on the training ground, featuring driving displays of fully functional armoured vehicles from the vehicle collections of the Military Museum of the Slovenian Armed Forces and the Park of Military History. This year’s ZgodoVikend also gained prominence thanks to the participation of Atmosferci, a renowned trio of online content creators who produce one of the most successful podcasts in the country. On this occasion, they conducted interviews with two men previously featured on their most-watched podcasts on the topic of military history and technology. The event was further enriched with a diverse supporting program, including gatherings of vintage cars, guided tours through museum collections and exhibitions, a mini book fair specializing in military history literature, a militaria fair, workshops for children, and various other captivating attractions.
During ZgodoVikend, a new exhibition about Admiral Horatio Nelson, one of the most renowned naval commanders of all time, was presented to the broader public for the first time. The exhibition was initiated and assisted by The Nelson Society from the United Kingdom. It was initially unveiled in early September at Hotel Slon in Ljubljana, coinciding with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque marking the illustrious admiral’s stay in August 1800. The exhibition is accompanied by a documentary film titled “Horatio Nelson: Britain’s Greatest Admiral,” produced by The People Profiles.
During ZgodoVikend, visitors could once again view the IAR-93 Vultur/Orel aircraft, which had been temporarily absent from public display for several months due to refurbishment. The aircraft arrived at the Park from Romania nine years ago and required extensive restoration after being exposed to the elements. The exhibit was meticulously restored by the Military Museum of the Slovenian Armed Forces.
ZgodoVikend, which has taken on a new identity following the former Military History Festival, drew more than 4,000 visitors to Pivka this past weekend. The Sunday festivities were attended by the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, Boštjan Poklukar, and the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia, Marjan Šarec. Visitors departed from the Park contented, basking in the abundance of sunshine and the company of roaring armoured vehicles, along with the low-flying helicopters. They returned home enriched with a plethora of new museum experiences.