Ljubljana, Slovenia

The Ljubljana Tri Bridge across the Ljubljanica River

Ljubljana, or Laibach in German, is the capital of Slovenia with a quarter of a million inhabitants. It has been a national capital since Slovenia secceded from Yugoslavia in 1991. According to the Slovene Tourist Office, Ljubljana means "The Loved One", but another possible origin is from the Slavic deity Laburus, who was at one time considered the protector of the town. This is architect Jože Plecnik's Triple Bridge, or Tromostovje, which is World famous in Slovenia. There was a wooden bridge at the location as early as 1280 AD, but the present day Tri Bridge was finished in 1932.The pink building on Preseren Square to the left is The Franciscan Church or Franciškanska cerkev.

The Ljubljana Castle

Ljubljana has been in existence at least since the Bronze Age, and became a Roman settlement called Colonia Iulia Aemona in 15 AD. Ljubljana has experienced several earthquakes, being sacked by Attila the Hun and been a regional capital of the Austrian Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. For a few years between 1809 and 1813, in Napoleanic times, it was the capital of the French Illyrian provinces, and after World War II and an Italian and then German occupation it became the capital of the Yugoslav Socialist Republic of Slovenia until the 10 day battle with the Yugoslav Army in 1991 when Slovenia became a new, independent country.

The Cobbler's Bridge across The Ljubljanica in Ljubljana

Today Ljubljana is a beautiful little city centered around the Ljubljanica River and its bridges. This is The Cobbler's Bridge or Cevljarski Most.

The Town Hall in Ljubljana

This is The Ljubljana Town Hall in the Old Town just below the Ljubljana Castle and some 100 meters away from The Tri Bridge.

The Stari Trg pedestrian street below Ljubljana Castle in the old town

Old town Ljubljana offers a lot of narrow, cobblestoned streets and some decent shopping opportunities. Note that prices in Ljubljana are about half of those in eg. nearby Salzburg or Venice - with the exception of the hotels, your money go a long way in Ljubljana and Slovenia.

The East river bank of the Ljubljanica River in Ljubljana

Ljubljana is closer to most of Western Europe than most think - Salzburg is 280 kilometers away by car, Munich 400 kilometers and Venice 220 kilometers. The highway between Villach, Austria and Ljubljana through the new border tunnel is very good. Ljubljana and the Slovene Mediterranean towns will become very popular tourist destinations in the coming decades.

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