2 On The Road Blog

After 12 years of full-time rving, we've sold our truck and trailer but we're still traveling. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Ljubljana, Slovenia

From the port of Koper, Slovenia, I took a bus trip to tour the capital city of Ljubljana.  Like anywhere else, if the weather is nice, there's road construction. 

Don't know if this is sumac but, whatever it is, the fall colors made the hillside pretty. 

Once in Ljubljana, we exited the buses and headed to these little boats for a ride down the Ljubljanica River from Prule Bridge through the heart of the city to just past the Dragon Bridge. 

So the trip starts with buildings built back from the edge of the river. 

Seems Ljubjana, is often fog-bound the first half of the morning with the clouds clearing around 11 am. 

The ducks and swans were also enjoying the day. 

We started the float under the Prule Bridge.  Our second bridge was Hradeckega most.


Nothing like a balcony hanging over the river. 

Through the fog we could see the clock tower of Ljubljana Castle that sits on a hill surrounded by the old town.  

Butcher's Bridge, site where hundreds of lovers have symbolically padlocked their love and dropped the keys into the river Ljubljanica 

The Triple Bridge in the heart of Ljubljana.  In the middle of the 19th century, the old stone bridge could no longer withstand the flow of pedestrians and vehicles. However, the authorities did not dare to demolish it, as it was a valuable historical monument. Therefore, a unique project was developed. More modern concrete bridges decorated with snow-white Venetian-style railings began to adjoin the ancient structure. 

The Church of the Anunciation comes into view. 

Our trip takes us to Dragon Bridge where we turn around.  Any guess on why it's called Dragon Bridge?

Yes it has two Dragon sculptures on each end.  Dragons can be seen all around Ljubljana because there is a legend that Jason was the founder of Ljubljana, and he and his Argonauts killed a dragon.  According to local legends, when a virgin crosses the bridge, the dragons will wag their tails.  All joking aside, it was Ljubljana's first reinforced concrete structure and one of the largest bridges of its kind to be built in Europe when it was constructed between 1900 and 1901, At the time of its opening, it was called the Jubilee Bridge of Emperor Franz Joseph I. According to original designs, it was supposed to be adorned with winged lions instead of dragons. It was the first structure in Slovenia to be paved with asphalt. 

We went back past the Triple Bridge to a stairway that came down to the level of the boat.  This is where we disembarked and started our walking tour.  Here we are walking past Fishmarket Footbridge.  I saw several places selling roasted chestnuts. 

What the heck?  They built a trip hazard in the middle of an alley!  Ključavničarska ulica, or “Locksmith Street,” is a narrow alley in the medieval part of town. The start of the lane is marked with an image of a key, historically used to note the street name for those that couldn’t read. As you continue down the path, a mysterious sight unfolds.

Cutting through the middle of the cobblestoned street is a trough that appears to be flowing with hundreds of strange little faces. The bodyless bronze casts are highly expressive, almost theatrical. Some are happy, some crying, some almost grotesquely distorted. There are 700 of these bronze faces running through the center of the alley

The alley ends with a drinking fountain and a couple other odd sculptures, namely a bronze hand and a skeleton trapped in a cage

The alley ended at Mestni Trg, an old market street. 
An ingenious way to heat up an outside area on a cold day.  Saw lots of heaters and people sitting outside.

Another view of Ljubljana Castle as we cross back over the river on Cobbler's Bridge. 

Spomenik slovenskim vojnim dobrovoljcem.  Bet you understood that.  😁
This memorial commemorates all the victims of the First World War. There are many symbols in it including faces expressing torment and suffering.

Congress Square, or Kongresni Trg as it is called in Slovene, is one of largest squares in Ljubljana.  The square dates back to 1821, when it was built to host the Congress of the Holy Alliance, convened by Austria, Prussia, Russia and Naples. On October 29th, 1918, independence from Austrian-Hungarian rule and the establishment of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs was proclaimed on the square during mass demonstrations.  We entered at the Southeast corner (lower left). Obviously this photo was taken in the winter when all the leaves were off the trees.  Most interesting of all is that there is a parking garage under the square with an access stairway in the middle of the south side. 

University of Ljubljana (formerly the Carniolan State Mansion) is at the southeast corner of the Square.

Fountain in front of the University building.

Ursuline Church of the Holy Trinity is an 18th century baroque Catholic church that sits on the west side of the square. 

The water in Ljubljana is good for drinking and bottled water is a rarity in the city. 

Presherna Square, located in the historic center of the city, is named after the Slovenian poet.  He wrote the Slovenian national anthem.  The statue is connected with a romantic story.  The monument to the poet is set so that his gaze falls on the window of the house that belonged to his beloved, Julija Primic.

It is part of the pedestrian zone in Ljubljana’s Old Town and a very popular meeting point.  Great place for this bronze relief map of the Old City.  

Urbanc Palance. also located in Presherna Square is now the Galerija Emporium 

The Franciscan Church of the Annunciation and the adjacent Franciscan Monastery are located in Prešeren Square.  The church was first built in the seventeenth century and was later rebuilt in the baroque style in the nineteen century. The interior of the church was damaged during Ljubljana’s destructive earthquake in 1896, and new frescos were painted in 1936, by Slovenian painter Matej Sternen. The copper statue of St. Mary on the church’s roof is the biggest statue of Madonna in Ljubljana.

Bicycles were everywhere.

We started walking along the river again and could see buildings across the way.   This old building is now a shopping center on the bottom floors. 

Rental bikes in case you are visiting without one.

There were several interesting sculptures along the embankment. 

This one is on Butcher's Bridge.

View of Triple Bridge from Butcher's Bridge

View of Dragon Bridge from Butcher's Bridge.  If you double-click to enlarge this photo, you can see 1848 written on one side and 1888 on the other.  This is because the bridge was dedicated to Franz Joseph I of the Habsburg Dynasty to commemorate forty years of his rule from 1848 to 1888.

Crossing the bridge we ended up at the Farmer's Market.  Lots of produce and even clothing stalls on the far side. 

And everyone needs a candle to go to the church, so a wide variety was offered.

To me the most interesting thing was this fresh milk dispenser. 

And this egg dispenser.

Next we turned onto Mestni Trg.  A short walk led us to the Cathedral of St. Nicholas.  Like almost all of the cathedrals I've been to, it is on the site of earlier churches starting in 1262.  The present building was erected between 1701 and 1706 in the Baroque style.  It has a main hall with side chapels shaped in the form of the Latin cross.  Before the church's dome was built in 1841, a fake dome was painted on the arch above the center of the cross.  

The Cathedral's main entrance door relief depicts the history of Slovenia and was commissioned to mark the 1250th anniversary of Christianity in Slovenia.  You can really see the detail in the next photo if you double click to enlarge it.

Cathedral side door relief with portraits of bishops

Continuing our walk along Mestni Trg.

We walked past Robba Fountain for this photo looking back toward the Cathedral.  More on the fountain later.  Now it's time to eat. 

We were greeted at the door to the restaurant by this cheerful figure. 

The large crowd was taken upstairs and sat at long tables. 

The first course was soup in a bread bowl. 

The main entree was pork and potatoes

Don't ask me what was for dessert.  I just ate what they put in front of me. 

Heading back down the multiple layers of the historic building where the restaurant was located.  

One area had a skylight so there was an opening down to the lower level. 

In the center of Town Square is the Fountain of Three Carniolian Rivers (Robba Fountain), a top Ljubljana Baroque monument that was sculpted in the mid-1700’s.

On the way back to Koper, I finally got a photo of the exit signs.  Loved how they showed you what attractions could be found at the exit.