Thursday 27 Jul 2017

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LJUBLJANA

Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and is located next to the river Ljubljanica. The  Ljubljanica is also called the river with seven names, because it disappears several times underground and appears again under a different name. The three bridges in the center of Ljubljana are a famous tourist attraction.

Ljubljana is a small and beautiful city full of surprises. During the summer months there’s a relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere in the city. The city has a rich tradition, youthful liveliness, cultural creativity, feel for entertainment, and there are many green locations.
Ljubljana is a modern capital, with a special town center with many sites of cultural interests. Ljubljana is a city of culture. There are many theaters and galleries, and the city has one of the oldest philharmonics of the world. Downtown is car-free and forms a great attraction for people to come and stroll around. One can relax on a terrace on the river promenade and enjoy the old architecture. There are many unique buildings in Ljubljana (often a mix of Baroque and Art Nouveau) designed by great architects such as Jože Plečnik. In the heart of the city, along the Ljubljanica River and around Tromostovje (three bridges) and the market, are many beautiful buildings of high historical and cultural value.

Ljubljanski Grad

The castle hill, with Ljubljana Castle on top, dominates the cityscape. The castle is one of the most popular attractions in the city. It can be reached by foot or with a rail lift. Due to its location one can enjoy inside the castle magnificent views over the city and the Alps. According to archaeological excavations, the castle hill was already inhabited in the period of the Urnfield culture (1300 to 950 BC). The oldest known fortification on the hill was made by the Illyrians. Also the Celts and probably the Romans built a fort here to protect their territory. Duke Frederich III built in the 15th  century a small version of the present castle. Afterwards, different persons owned the castle. Until 1814, the castle served as a garrison and then and afterwards it became a provincial prison . In 1848, the Panorama Tower (Razgledni Stolp) was added to the castle . In 1905 the municipality bought the castle. Today the castle is used for cultural purposes.

The Bridges of Slovenia

The triple bridge or Tromostovje is a group of three bridges over the Ljubljanica River. The bridge links the old town with the main square and the modern city. In 1929 Plečnik redesigned the existing bridge over the Ljubljanica River and added, two diagonal bridges to it. The central bridge, of these three bridges, was standing here since 1842. In between 1929 and 1932 the two diagonal bridges were added to the original stone bridge. Plečnik removed the metal railings of the old stone bridge and adorned the three bridges with massive stone balustrades and lamps. From the 2 diagonal bridges steps are leading terraces just above the river. The 2 diagonal bridges are only used by pedestrians and vehicles use the bridge in the middle. This part of the city today is car-free.

In 1888 was decided to build a new Jubilee Bridge  at the edge of the old town in honor of the fortieth anniversary of the reign of Emperor Franz Joseph. The bridge replaced an old oak bridge called Mesarski most (Butchers Bridge).
The concrete structure was very innovative for that time, and was designed in Vienna. For economic reasons, the municipality took the decision to build with concrete instead of a more expensive stone. The four corners of the bridge are decorated with dragons. These are symbols of Ljubljana, which can also be found on the shield of the city. The name of the bridge was unofficially changed to Dragon Bridge.

The Cobblers Bridge or Shoemakers Bridge is one of the oldest bridges over the Ljubljanica river in Ljubljana. The history of the bridge goes back to the 13th century. In the Middle Ages, the bridge was known as the Upper Bridge (Zgornji most).
It was a wooden bridge with a butcher on top of it.. The smell of the meat was so strong that the emperor ordered the butcher to move. From then the kiosks on the bridge were taken over by shoemakers.
Over the years, the bridge was reconstructed several times. In 1867 an iron bridge was built. This bridge got replaced in 1931 by the current stone bridge designed by architect Jože Plečnik.

Franciscan Church of the Annunciation

The Franciscan church, built by the Augustinians, is today one of the main symbols of the city, because of its central location on Preseren Square and because of the striking color of the church. The triple staircase that faces the square, is a popular spot for street artists and local seniors. From here there’s a beautiful view over Tromostovje  the square and the locals who stroll through the city.

Prešeren Square

The Preseren square is the main square of Ljubljana, dedicated to the greatest Slovenian poet, Dr. Francek Preseren. His statue stands in the middle of the square and is surrounded by beautiful secession building from the early 20th century. Tromostovje connects the square with the old town.

The Ursuline Church of the Holy Trinity

The church was built between 1718 and 1726. It is one of the most extraordinary and most beautiful baroque monuments in the city. The wavy roof, the front façade and the masterpieces in the church make this church so special. In the church is a huge altar made of African marble and designed by Francesco Robba.

    

 

 

                                                                                                 

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