Discover Ljubljana, a city of stories, legends, architecture, culture, gastronomy, love, and dragons.
Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is one of the smallest, most welcoming, and charming cities in Europe. The most popular version of the name is that it comes from the word Ljubljena, which means “beloved”. Indeed, such a picturesque little city will make you fall in love. The river that runs through it, the Ljubljanica, is known as “the river of love”. In addition, the city is enchanted by many legends related to dragons, so it is said that Ljubljana is the city of love and dragons.
Romanticism is a very settled feature in the culture of the country. The importance they attach to their poets coincides with their vision of love about the Ljubljanica River. This river has many underground parts, so it is no longer seen, which is why Slovenians say that love “comes and goes”.
Such a small city and has so many stories … Visit Prešeren Square, one of the most important squares in the city, where you will enjoy the Franciscan church. This is the Church of the Annunciation, and it is pink! The Franciscans tried to paint it red, like the color of the order, but time has faded it to a much clear color.
This square is surrounded by amazing modernist buildings and in the center, the statue of the Slovenian poet France Prešeren. They consider him the most important person in history with a very interesting biography. The statue also depicts a naked muse just behind him covered by a tall tree on the side of the pink church, so that the Franciscan archbishop would not see her and not complain that she was naked. And if you follow his gaze, we can find a small statue of Julija, the woman he sighed for, on one of the balconies of the surrounding building.
Crossed by the river, the Slovenians, instead of making a large bridge to connect the sides of the square made three small ones called: The Triple Bridge. The architect to which they owe it, Jože Plečnik, also designed many of the modern buildings of the city; extravagant, with oriental touches, and unbalanced geometries.
Discover the Central Market, designed by the famous architect Jože Plečnik, is the place where the locals like to shop, but at the same time meet and socialize. It encompasses the outdoor market and the buildings of the covered markets. Every Friday from mid-March until the end of October, the market hosts the Open Kitchen food market. Nearby is one of the new bridges where you can find some very interesting statues, do not miss them. They will shock you!
Standing on the hill above the city for about 900 years is Ljubljana’s main attraction. You can reach it by a funicular railway or climb it on foot. The castle’s tower and ramparts offer the most beautiful views of the city. There are two permanent museum exhibitions, two restaurants, and a café. Whenever you get there, make sure you take a good picture on your mind of the impressive views.
The mythical bridge of Ljubljana, however, is the Bridge of Dragons. Ljubljana is the city of dragons. Dragons are so important in Slovenia because Jason, the Greek hero, was supposed to bring a treasure to his king. The great treasure was defended by a Slovenian dragon who lived hidden in Slovenia’s numerous caves. The story goes that the hero eventually defeated the dragon, but the Slovenians think that thanks to the dragon, the treasure of their lands remains intact.
The legend says that if you are engaged but not a virgin, and you dare to pass by the bridge, the dragons will rise from their statues to devour you. That is why promised Slovenian couples always try to find another bridge to pass, just in case.
Ljubljana’s central park is a popular place for socializing and relaxing. An outdoor gallery at the Jakopič Promenade regularly exhibits interesting large-format photos. Tivoli Park is crisscrossed with walking and recreational paths that continue into the slopes of Rožnik hill and allow an escape to nature from the heart of the city.
Ljubljana is a world in miniature and offers culinary adventurers a rich and diverse range of foods to suit all tastes and all pockets. Whether you are looking for authentic local cooking or haute cuisine, trendy brunches or traditional breakfasts, a romantic corner, or a lively dinner with friends, you are in the right place. Ljubljana’s food scene is like the city itself: ancient but youthful, refined but boisterous, local but cosmopolitan. Ask our concierge for recommendations and let us delight you.
The festivals held in Ljubljana range from prestigious cultural events featuring excellent artists, such as the Ljubljana Festival. In the summer, many free festivals are held on open-air stages and on city streets, such as Summer in Ljubljana Old Town and Nights in Ljubljana Old Town. One of the most interesting is the ever-surprising Ana Desetnica street theatre festival.
At the end of the year, the center of Ljubljana hosts a festive fair and countless entertainment events as part of the December in Ljubljana festival. The festive atmosphere reaches its climax with the New Year’s Eve celebrations held in several centrally located squares.
Ljubljana is full of experiences and countless fascinating stories and legends. Write your own.
Hotel Zlata Ladjica
Jurčičev trg 1