Lime tree has always been a tree of the Slavic people, while the oak was symbolising Germanic people. It grows mostly in the central and southern Europe. In antique days the lime tree symbolised friendship, it was the symbol of conjugal love, hospitality, kindness and modesty. Later the Slavic people lifted the importance of the tree into a tribal object and was worshipped on numerous occasions. Lime tree is a true symbol of Slovenia. Already in the time of the national revival you can find them on the symbolical coat-of arms of Slovenian lands. Most often we think of the lime leaves from the TV commercial “Slovenia, my land” that was the first tourism promotion clip created for the country back in the 1980s. Because it appeared so much everywhere – on TV, on leaflets, tourism brochures and maps, it grew very fondly in our hearts. As kids we lovingly wrote Slovenia and instead of writing the letters “love” we just draw a lime leaf, because they are heart-shaped. When our first currency was being introduced the idea was to call it LIPA – a Slovenian word for lime tree, but that didn’t go thru and we have got Tolars instead. And when finally on June 25th 1991 our independency was proclaimed, there was a lime tree planted in front of our parliament and since years have passed until today, that tree has grown a bit already with many more years to come.
As a side kick I love telling the story about the famous Lipizzaner horses to our guests. Everybody knows them, right? And everybody is sure they are Austrian. Which is and isn’t right. At the time when Lipica stud farm was opened, we were in the year 1580 – at that point Slovenia was ruled by Habsburgs, well at least that part of it. The little town of Lipica and now the hint is in the name, refers to a town with a little, small lime tree. We already know that lipa translates into lime tree, lipica is a denominative of a lime tree, meaning a small lime tree. And since the stud farm was created in that town, no wonder that the horses, that were originally brought from Spain, were called Lipizzaners – horses from Lipica. We can’t claim everything over here, only the origin of the name Lipizzan horse, but the breed as known today was fully developed in the time of Maria Theresa of Austria, whose husband was a big fan of horse-breeding. To cut the long story short. We have given the stallions the name that is known worldwide and I am glad to help you understand, what that name stands for.