Location of the town of Žiri in Slovenia

Coordinates: 46°03′N 14°06′E / 46.050°N 14.100°E / 46.050; 14.100Coordinates: 46°03′N 14°06′E / 46.050°N 14.100°E / 46.050; 14.100
Country  Slovenia
Traditional region Upper Carniola
Statistical region Upper Carniola
Municipality Žiri
  Mayor Bojan Starman
  Total 7.9 km2 (3.1 sq mi)
Population (2013)[1]
  Total 3,591
  Density 457/km2 (1,180/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+01)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+02)

Žiri (pronounced [ʒiˈɾiː] or [ˈʒiːɾi]; formerly also Žir,[2] locally Žier,[3] German: Sairach[2]) is a town in northwestern Slovenia. It is the administrative centre of the Municipality of Žiri, created in 1994. Prior to this the town belonged administratively to the area of Škofja Loka.[4]


The town of Žiri lies in the extreme southwest part of the Upper Carniola region on the borders with the Inner Carniola and the Littoral regions in the Žiri Basin (Slovene: Žirovska kotlina) at the end of the Poljane Valley (Poljanska dolina). A number of tributaries join there to become the Poljane Sora (Poljanska Sora).


Bilingual name in 1911, Carniola province.

The name of the settlement was first attested in 1291 as Syroch (and as Seyroch in 1307 and Syroch in 1318). It is probably derived from a plural form of the hypocorism *Žirъ, and the name would therefore mean 'Žir and his people'. An alternative, less likely theory, connects the name to the Slovene common noun žir 'beech nuts'.[3]

An Austrian post office was established in Žiri in 1871 under the name Sairach, district of Loitsch (Logatec). The Slovene name was added to the postal name at the end of the 19th century.[5]


The parish church in the town of Žiri is dedicated to Saint Martin and belongs to the Archdiocese of Ljubljana.[6]

Notable people

Notable people that were born or lived in Žiri include:


  1. "Žiri, Žiri". Place Names. Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  2. 1 2 Intelligenzblatt zur Laibacher Zeitung, no. 141. 24 November 1849, p. 5.
  3. 1 2 Snoj, Marko. 2009. Etimološki slovar slovenskih zemljepisnih imen. Ljubljana: Modrijan and Založba ZRC, pp. 490–491.
  4. "Žiri municipal site". Ziri.si. 2013-01-22. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
  5. Klein, Wilhelm. 1967. Die postalischen Abstempelungen auf den österreichischen Postwertzeichen-Ausgaben 1867, 1883 und 1890. (German)
  6. "Žiri parish site". Zupnija-ziri.si. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
  7. Paternu, Boris, Helga Glušič, & Matjaž Kmecl. 1967. Slovenska književnost 1945-1965, vol. 1. Ljubljana: Slovenska matica, p. 422.
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