I admit it, I got a bit ‘late to tell you about this city.
Three months late.
Some things, however, are valid throughout the year … I would say all , except maybe the lighting.
Those blue and white lights that illuminate every corner of Ljubljana, between the streets and the sky, in the period between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. There are points where it seems to walk among the stars. The city lights itself up, literally, on shop windows , on trees, on street lamps , hanging on the streets, on the roads, on the kiosks , on the statues, on bridges, on the river… I do not remember a single corner that was not illuminated.
Too bad there was not snow, it would have been an incredible sight.
it’s nice to pass New Year’s Eve in Ljubljana in the squares and strolling around the streets. There are stalls, shops open with tables outside and, above all , a different concert in each place , from popular music to opera! And then , in the square, you can see a show that is definitely worth seeing: the fireworks above the castle. There is only one thing missing: the countdown. Nobody does, not even from the stage into the streets, and we figured the stroke of the midnight only thanks to the fireworks explosion.
One particular thing of Ljubljana are its bridges.
The city grew on the banks of the river Ljubljanica, a river which passing through the city reflects the colors of the seasons, as if it itself was to decide the mood and theme of the Slovenian capital.
Each bridge has its own peculiarities , but two in particular deserve a special attention: the Bridge of Dragons (Zmajski Most) and the Triple Bridge (Tromostovje).
The first, the Dragon Bridge, is the work of Jurij Zaninović on the project of Josef Melan. It was the first concrete construction of the city, one of the largest bridges in Europe at the times in which it was built (1900) and the original name is Bridge Jubilee of Emperor Franz Joseph I.
Being below those dragons gives a sense of unease , especially if, like us, you find yourself there on a gray day, with the sky covered with threatening clouds. They are so well-made that, without forcing too much your imagination, one can even believe them to be real ready to come to life at any moment.
The Triple Bridge instead had a fundamental importance: it used to unite the Balkans to Western Europe. It was a single bridge, made of wood, and in 1929 Plečnik thought to change it, creating the two adjacent bridges for pedestrians, thus creating a uniqueness of Ljubljana. Today, the bridge connects Prešernov Square (Trg Prešernov) at Civic Square (Trg Mestni).
Another bridge to see is the Cobblers’ Bridge, the oldest of the city. Even today there are old wash houses, where it is easy to imagine the women of the time at work. In the Middle Ages here stood the workshops of shoemakers , from which the bridge is named. Architecturally it is more characteristic of the other , thanks to the typical high columns and balustrade with a ball on top. The ideal place from which to look out and enjoy views of the city and the river.
The Castle – The Ljubljanski grad is at the top of the hill in the historic center of the city and this is his first peculiarity . it’s possible to get there – and recommended, if you do not want to miss a beautiful view of the city – thanks to the funicular , at a cost of 8 € (castle entrance included).
It ‘s the symbol of the city, an imposing medieval fortress consisting of four towers and a large courtyard . From one of the towers you can see the whole city at 360 °. And, I must say, I think it’s the only thing that is worth the climb to the Castle, because in addition to this there is only a small museum about Slovenia history (also really small), the Chapel of St. George, of which by now has been little or nothing; the prisons, of which you can see only two cells and a video from a window of a door, which tells how the prison was exploited during the Second World War.
In December , from 13th to 30th , at the Castle you can see the Fairy Wood. A truly unique and romantic atmosphere, where you can also express a desire to leave to the fairies, who will hand it over to the sky!
Along the river. Walking along the river Ljubljanica you’ll see the most lively city. Here, in fact, pubs, clubs, restaurants, outdoor cafes are concentrated. Citizens’ meeting point for young people and for tourists who can also take a boat to visit a different part of town. From here you can admire the bridges, you get to the squares… From here the city breathes and comes to life.
One of the things that impressed me was the care and the tidiness of the city almost to the levels of Vienna or Bratislava!
The public transports are punctual, even at night, and steady. You won’t need them a lot, though, because the city can be visited with no problems by feet, and it is the best way to see it, but anyway you know that you can count on them! It’s a city full of everything: lights, history, life, culture.
A city to be lived, in all senses .