When you look at the map, you can’t immediately notice that the small country named Slovenia resembles a chicken in shape. Designed in the form of a star, Ljubljana is located in the center of this “bird”. In addition to the unusual shape on the map, the main highlight of the city is the dragon that can be found everywhere. According to legends, a huge green dragon lived in the local caves and burned castles, thereby scaring people. In turn, the hero named Jason defeated him and founded the city in this area. Enveloped in secrets, the mysterious Ljubljana considerably differs from other cities in Europe. On the one hand, it is the administrative center of the country; on the other hand, it is a small town of a tremendously little size with a quiet and calm atmosphere. Today, a weekend in the capital of Slovenia can be considered the best solution for people who aim to explore mesmerizing caves and medieval castles.
Districts of Ljubljana
Bezigrad is located on the northern outskirts of the capital. Stadium Bezigrad, an exhibition and congress center, and many picturesque villas of the late XIX - early XX century are located there among the apartment buildings.
In Trnovo, you can visit the Church of St. John the Baptist on the banks of the Ljubljanica.
Despite the size of the capital, the city fascinates with medieval houses, monuments, unusual bridges, and castles. Walking through the cobblestone streets of Ljubljana, you can just enjoy its calm and cozy atmosphere. And the mysterious caves and medieval fortresses remind you of the ancient history of the capital, which you can explore in detail for hours.
Population of Ljubljana
In the VII-VIII centuries, the area of modern Ljubljana was repeatedly under the rule of different states. Closer to 1125, a stone structure was built on Castle Mountain, around which the medieval city began to develop.
In 1335, the city passed to the Habsburg dynasty and was named Laibach. After 176 years, there was an earthquake, which destroyed many of the buildings. Later, some of them were reconstructed in the Renaissance style, and in the surrounding area, a new fortress wall was built.
The development of culture and art marked the XVIII century. A philharmonic society was opened; the first newspaper was published; the Italian sculptor Francesco Robba created the fountain of the three Slovenian rivers.
In the XIX century, the railway connection appeared in the city, new industrial enterprises and residential quarters grew. Until 1918, Laibach grew rapidly.
Later, Ljubljana became the administrative center of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. And already in 1991, with the declaration of national independence, it became the capital of the sovereign Republic of Slovenia.
The best time to visit Ljubljana
The capital's main attraction, Ljubljana Castle, turns into an open-air movie theater in summer. For three whole months, Ljubljana hosts the Film pod Zvezdami festival, where new releases from the world of cinema are shown.
There is an unusual construction on the main square of Ljubljana, which always arouses the interest of tourists, but not everyone can guess what it is for. This is a working cyanometer invented to determine the color of the sky.
You can buy a special Ljubljana Card in Ljubljana. It gives travelers discounts on visits to the city's museums, galleries, and restaurants. Another nice card bonus is free rides on local buses and four hours of bike rentals.
It is best to climb the mountain to Ljubljana Castle at sunset. The light and atmosphere at this time perfectly bring out the beauty of the scenery.
Things to do in Ljubljana
- The first thing to do is to go up to the medieval Ljubljana Castle, which towers over Ljubljana and is considered its main symbol. It offers a beautiful view of the Old Town.
- Walk across the impressive Triple Bridge with stone balustrades and lanterns. It spans the main river in the form of a fan.
- See the four frightening creatures that stand guard over the Bridge of Dragons. They are the emblem of Ljubljana and are found throughout the city.
- Take a walk along Cankarjevo Nabrezje, a pedestrian street that stretches along the Ljubljanica River. It's a great place to start your day with breakfast, a coffee break, or a drink of wine at the end of the day.
- Enjoy a meal of national cuisine. There are enough restaurants and cafes in the center of the capital that offer prsut (dried pork ham), "gobova Juha" (mushroom soup in bread), and "jota" (bean stew with cabbage).
- Admire the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation, made in the early Baroque style of the middle of the XVII century. The pastel red color of its façade stands out against the other buildings in the city's central square. The building is decorated with spires, pilasters with Ionic capitals. The statue of the Virgin Mary with the child is located at the entrance.
- Step into Slovenia's main historical and art museum, which displays works from the Middle Ages to the early XX century. Here you can see more than 600 works: from Gothic liturgical art to displays of Italian artists and sculptors of the Baroque period. You can also get a closer look at the works of Slovenian artists.
- Taste the honey gingerbread lect and take it with you as a souvenir.
- Visit the cave called "Postojna jama". Over 500 thousand people visit it every year, and there is a reason for that. Inside, visitors will find spacious halls of stalactites and stone tunnels, which plunge into a fascinating mystical atmosphere, and the legends about dragons seem real.
- Visit Metelkova Mesto Street, where the former army barracks from the Austro-Hungarian Empire were transformed into a trendy modern center. It's an alternative haven where almost every wall is covered in graffiti and creative murals, and there's a boutique or cafe on every corner. In the evening, you can enjoy live performances by musicians and DJs.