DEVELOPMENT OF OPHTHALMOLOGY IN SLOVENIA AND UNIVERSITY EYE HOSPITAL IN LJUBLJANA (1890–2010) At the 120–th anniversary of the University Eye Hospital in Ljubljana

  • Zvonka Zupanič Slavec
  • Ksenija Slavec
  • Lejla Peternelj Uran


Slovenian ophthalmology developed much at the same time as in the rest of the Central Europe). The first Slovenian ophthalmologist was Dr Ludvik Grbec (1805–1880). The first Slovenian eye department was established within the Ljubljana civil hospital in 1890, and initially counted 34 hospital beds. Under Dr Emil Bock, the department grew to 120 beds by 1916 and saw a number of surgical procedures performed (mainly cataract operations). Dr Bock also founded a department for the treatment of ocular tuberculosis in children. From 1920 to 1958, the department was resumed by Dr Leopold Ješe, a pioneer of Slovenian ophthalmology, the first professor of ophthalmology at the Ljubljana University Faculty of Medicine (1945), author of the first ophthalmology textbook for students (Ophthalmology, 1946), and the father of Slovenian ophthalmological terminology. This article describes the development of ophthalmology in Slovenian hospitals to this day, especially in the Ljubljana Eye Hospital. It remembers the most prominent figures and professional, educational, and scientific achievements. Now in 2010, Slovenia has over 130 ophthalmologists, two departments teaching ophthalmology (within Ljubljana and Maribor University Faculties of Medicine), an internationally recognised ophthalmology specialisation programme, and influential research work published in various journals indexed by Science Citation Index.

Key words: history of ophthalmology, 19th – 21st century, ophthalmologists, Ludvik Grbec, Emil Bock, Leopold Ješe, Ljubljana Eye Clinic, Slovenia