Location in Slovenia

Coordinates: 45°42′12.25″N 13°52′14.17″E / 45.7034028°N 13.8706028°E / 45.7034028; 13.8706028Coordinates: 45°42′12.25″N 13°52′14.17″E / 45.7034028°N 13.8706028°E / 45.7034028; 13.8706028
Country Slovenia
Region Slovenian Littoral
Municipality Sežana
  Total 15.3 km2 (5.9 sq mi)
Elevation 360.5 m (1,182.7 ft)
Population (2016)
  Total 5,665
Climate Cfb

Sežana (pronounced [sɛˈʒaːna]; Italian: Sesana) is a town in the Slovenian Littoral region of Slovenia, near the border with Italy. It is the seat of the Municipality of Sežana. Sežana is located on the Karst Plateau, 17 kilometres (11 miles) from Trieste, Italy, and 80 km (50 mi) from Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia.[2]


Sežana was attested in written sources in 1152 as in Cesan (and as Ses(s)ana in 1293 and Sexana in 1442). The name is of unclear origin. The early transcriptions do not support a connection with Saint Susanna or with the Friulian toponym Susáns. The presumed suffix -ana would indicate a Romance origin, making possible a derivation from the Latin personal name Sessius. Another possibility is derivation from the estate name *Sextiānum, and a Lombard origin of the name has also been suggested.[3] In the 19th century the names Sessana and Sehsana were in official use.[4]


Until 1918, the town was part of the Austrian monarchy (Austria side after the compromise of 1867), head of the district of the same name, one of the 11 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in the Austrian Littoral province.[5]

Sežana remained a small and rather insignificant village until the mid-19th century, when the Austrian Southern Railway, connecting Vienna to Trieste, was built next to it. Sežana thus became connected to major traffic and soon emerged as the most important center on the Karst Plateau, together with Opicina. After 1918, it was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy and included in the Province of Trieste. During the Fascist period, the population was subjected to a violent Italianization policy, and many locals joined the militant anti-fascist organization TIGR. During World War II, especially after 1943, the area became a battlefield between the Partisan resistance and the Fascist and Nazi German forces. In May 1945, Sežana was liberated by the Yugoslav partisans. Between June 1945 and September 1947, it was administered by the British and U.S. Army. In 1947, it became part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and in 1991 of independent Slovenia.

The Sežana railway station was opened in 1857, and forms part of the Vienna–Trieste railway. Since 1947, it has been that railway's border crossing point between Yugoslavia/Slovenia and Italy.


Many industrial enterprises are located in Sežana, including larger companies as well as many smaller enterprises. Sežana is also a center for the tourism industry. Its location between Ljubljana, Trieste, and the Adriatic coast and many important tourist sights in the vicinity, such as the Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Škocjan Caves, Vilenica Cave, and the fortified village of Štanjel, make Sežana an attractive tourist destination. Sežana is also an important agricultural center.


The town has a botanical park, a memorial room commemorating the poet Srečko Kosovel, a walking trail from Sežana to Tomaj dedicated to the poet,[6] and the Tabor nature trail.


Saint Martin's Church

The parish church in the town is dedicated to Saint Martin and was built in 1878 on the site of an older church from the early 16th century, after it became an independent parish.[7]

Twin cities

See also: Town twinning


  1. Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia
  2. Sežana Municipality site
  3. Snoj, Marko. 2009. Etimološki slovar slovenskih zemljepisnih imen. Ljubljana: Modrijan and Založba ZRC, p. 375.
  4. Handbook of Austria and Lombardy-Venetia Cancellations on the Postage Stamp Issues 1850-1864, by Edwin MUELLER, 1961.
  5. Die postalischen Abstempelungen auf den österreichischen Postwertzeichen-Ausgaben 1867, 1883 und 1890, Wilhelm KLEIN, 1967
  6. Karst Cultural Heritage site
  7. Sežana Parish site (Slovene)
  8. Sežana Municipality Committee for International Cooperation
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