We had four days in Ljubljana (pronounced Lube-lee-yana), and were very impressed with the beauty of the city. To be honest, it reminded us a bit of home, because it is so green. As a matter of fact, it was voted Europe’s Green Capital of 2016! This is because the city center (which is small) is mostly pedestrian, they’ve embraced recycling (many places in Europe that we visited aren’t there yet!) and there are so many green spaces.
Slovenia like many other countries we’ve visited has a long history of being conquered by other cultures. The first record of Ljubljana is from around 2000 BCE, and they’ve changed “owners” many times since then. This includes Romans, Germans, Austro-Hungarians, Napoleon… and the list goes on. More recently they were part of Yugolslavia until Slovenia attained their independence in 1991.
Ljubljana’s other main trademark is the dragon, which is the city’s emblem. It signifies strength, courage and might.
You see this cute little cartoon dragon on maps and promotional materials, but you’ll also find this other dragon which Steve liked much more!
This is dragon bridge, which has two large dragons on each end of the bridge.
Ljubljana is a city with many beautiful bridges. The “Triple Bridge” is right in the center of town, and as described is three bridges right beside each other 🙂
They also have a bridge where people are doing the locks… like the Paris bridge. This seems to be turning into an epidemic, as we’ve seen it in many places now.
The edges of this bridge are transparent, which is a bit scary… and also funny once you go underneath it and realize you can see up through it 🙂
Underneath this bridge is where you can catch an hour long river cruise. We decided to do this because it was only 8 Euros, and it is always interesting to see the city from the water. You can buy the tickets right up on this bridge just before you go.
We went down to the boat a few minutes early so we could get good seats and ended up right in the front 🙂
We totally enjoyed this river cruise. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous!
We saw many bridges, buildings, and a few other river boats.
This is almost to the point where the river boat turned around. It seemed like we were out of town at this point… in any case it was much less developed.
This is close to the main center of town, which is easily recognizable by the big pink church. This is a helpful landmark to orient yourself!
After our river cruise we decided to get some lunch. You are spoiled for choices in this city, and there are many outdoor patios that line the riverbank. The food was also quite good, and relatively inexpensive… definitely cheaper than Croatia!
You can get up to the top by taking a funnicular. At the bottom you can buy a ticket that includes castle entry for 10 Euros.
Honestly, the best thing about being at the top was the view. There are a few small museums, and the castle is just pieces that have been mostly modernized to hold said museums. Don’t go if your purpose is to see a “castle”; however, 10 Euros and a funnicular ride to see the view, is worth it to me 🙂
Another thing we did in Ljubljana is visit St. Nicholas Cathedral. It has the most amazing door called the “Holy Door”. The bronze doors are fairly new and were commissioned for a recent pope visit.
There had previously been another cathedral on this site, the first was built in the 1200’s which suffered extensive damage in a fire in 1361. After major restoration this church was also burnt down in 1469. This time the Turks were suspected of arson. The current cathedral was built between 1701 and 1706. The inside of this cathedral was built in the Baroque style… my favourite style of church… it was incredibly ornate and beautiful.
The other activity we did the most was just walk. This is a great town for walking. There are interesting markets, beautiful buildings to admire, plenty of shopping (I even found a store with English books that wasn’t too expensive!), and beautiful green spaces. Here are a few photos from around the city centre.
There were many more things to see that we just didn’t make it to (Tivoli Park, many museums, the “skyscraper”)… but you know what I say… always leave a reason to come back to a place you like 🙂