The end of the 19th century saw a series of events that could only be seen as bad omens. In Celje, like in other towns of Austria of that period, there was a severe escalation of national sentiment, leading to conflict. In a matter of years, the citizens of Celje were divided into Germans and Slovenians. Each Celje resident, regardless of status or social standing, was forced to make a choice and until the disintegration of the monarchy, the political and social scene in Celje was controlled by two slogans: the German "Hie Deutsche – hie Slowenen", and the Slovenian "Each to his own". A number of clashes cast a bad light on the town and its residents. Slovenian–German conflict, embodied by two buildings – the Slovenian Narodni dom (built in 1896) and the German Deutsches Haus (built in 1907) – could not be alleviated even by modernization, sanitation, and other advancements of the time, including the first telephone in town in 1902 and introduction of a power distribution and generation system in 1913.

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