Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, lies in the heart of Europe, halfway between the Alps and the Mediterranean sea. It is the centre of the Central Slovenia region, which is known for its diverse landscape and nature. It is a vibrant city which is developing with a clear vision, putting the quality of life at the forefront. With 286.000 residents, it does not rank among the major European capitals, yet combines many facilities and services of a larger city with the relaxed ambience and safety of smaller towns. Its image features a harmonic blend of Baroque, Art Nouveau and newer styles, complemented by a medieval hilltop castle and a river. A rich agenda of cultural events, a lively café society and an active youth scene fuelled by 50,000 university students contribute to Ljubljana’s dynamic flair. It is also distinguished by an attractive historic quarter with a cosy, lounge-style feel, which is ideal for networking, and also offers very good value for money. In the winter its dreamy central European character prevails, while the summer brings out its relaxed Mediterranean feel.
The European Commission has awarded Ljubljana with the prestigious title of European Green Capital 2016, while the World Travel and Tourism Council has named it winner of the Tourism for Tomorrow 2015 award in the destinations category. Both are an important recognition of Ljubljana’s sustainable development strategy and its visible results.
Basic information on Ljubljana
- The capital of the Republic of Slovenia (Slovenia has been a European Union member since 2004.)
- Area: 275 km2
- Population: 283,000
- Average temperature in January: – 0.3 °C
- Average temperature in June: 20.7 °C
LJUBLJANA’S TOP ATTRACTIONS
1. Ljubljana Castle
Ljubljana Castle, standing on a hill above the city for about 900 years, is Ljubljana's main attraction. The castle's Outlook Tower and ramparts offer some of the most beautiful views of the city, while the castle houses a museum exhibition on Slovenian history, a puppet museum, and a number of historical rooms such as the Chapel of St George, the Prison, and a video presentation room called Virtual Castle. Ljubljana Castle's Outlook Tower offers the most beautiful views of Ljubljana and its surrounding areas. It stands on a site originally occupied by the Pipers' Tower, which was pulled down in 1813 following the French occupation, and later by a fire lookout tower, home of the city's fire watchman.
2. Zmajski Most (Dragon Bridge)
The Dragon Bridge, adorned with famous dragon statues, appears in the most recognizable images of Ljubljana. If you haven't been photographed next to a Dragon Bridge dragon, you can hardly claim that you have visited Ljubljana. The four dragon statues, which look slightly terrifying and almost real, are a masterpiece which has been exciting imagination since the bridge was built. Constructed between 1900 and 1901, it was Ljubljana's first reinforced concrete structure and one of the largest bridges of its kind to be built in Europe.
© Luka Esenko
3. Prešernov Trg Square with the Franciscan Church
The Prešernov trg square developed from a road junction in front of one of the city gates leading to medieval Ljubljana. Next to the junction, a Franciscan church of the Annunciation was built in the 17th century, but the junction was turned into a square and paved only after the city walls were pulled down in the middle of the 19th century. The squares' Prešeren Monument, designed by the architect Maks Fabiani and the sculptor Ivan Zajc, was unveiled in the autumn of 1905. It depicts the greatest Slovenian poet, France Prešeren (1800-1849), and the muse of poetry holding a spring of laurel above his head.
© Dunja Wedam
4. Town Hall
Ljubljana's Town Hall (locally referred to as Mestna hiša, Magistrat or Rotovž), is the seat of the Municipality of Ljubljana. It was built in the late 15th century by the master builder Peter Bezlaj. The Town Hall façade reflects Venetian architectural influences. The vestibule provides space for a late Gothic plaque with a coat of arms surviving from the original Town Hall building and a 17th century statue of Hercules with a lion, previously a part of the Hercules Fountain which used to stand in the middle of the nearby Stari trg square.
© Dunja Wedam
5. Tivoli Park
Tivoli Park is Ljubljana's largest and most beautiful park, stretching right into the city centre. It was designed in 1813 by the French engineer Jean Blanchard and created by joining together the parks which had surrounded Podturn and Cekin Mansions. The park, covering an area of approximately five square kilometres, is crossed by three grand horse chestnut tree-lined walks and landscaped with ornamental flower beds, interesting trees and numerous statues and fountains. The park area blends into the slopes of the Rožnik hill, to which it is connected by several walking paths and a trim trail with several exercise stations along its length. Tivoli Park's scenic Jakopič Promenade designed by the architect Jože Plečnik in the central part of Tivoli Park, has become a well known outdoor venue for exhibitions of large-format photographs, open throughout the year.
© Dunja Wedam
6. Central Market
Ljubljana's Central Market is more than just a place to shop. Traditionally, it has also been a place for the locals to meet and enjoy themselves together. The Central Market consists of an open-air market, located in the Vodnikov trg and Pogačarnev trg squares, a covered market situated in between the two squares, and a series of small food shops along the river Ljubljanica, which are referred to as 'Plečnik's Covered Market' as they are located in a colonnade designed by Ljubljana's famous architect Jože Plečnik. The Central Market offer is supplemented by catering establishments and street food kiosks.
© Nea Culpa
Vir: ©Turizem Ljubljana