The large sectors built in the inter-war period often include a personal touch by the architects Jože Plečnik and Ivan Vurnik. In the second half of the 20th century, parts of Ljubljana were redesigned by Edvard Ravnikar.
|Prešeren Square. Photo: Viktorija Rozman|
Ljubljana Castle (Ljubljanski grad) is a medieval castle with Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance architectural elements, located at the summit of the Castle Hill that dominates the city center. The area surrounding today's castle has been continuously inhabited since 1200 BC. The castle was built in the 12th century and was a residence of the Margraves, later the Dukes of Carniola. The castle's Outlook Tower dates to 1848; this was inhabited by a guard whose duty it was to fire cannons warning the city in case of fire or announcing important visitors or events, a function the castle still holds today. Cultural events and weddings also take place there. Since 2006, a funicular has linked the city center to the castle atop the hill.
|Robba fountain. |
Photo: Viktorija Rozman
|Cathedral. Photo: Viktorija Rozman|
|Skyscraper. Photo: Viktorija Rozman|
Nebotičnik (pronounced [nɛbɔtiːtʃniːk], "Skyscraper") is a thirteen-story building that rises to a height of 70.35 m (231 ft). It combines elements of theNeoclassical and the Art-Deco architecture. Predominantly a place of business, Nebotičnik is home to a variety of shops on the ground floor and first story, and various offices are located on floors two to five. The sixth to ninth floors are private residences. Located on the top three floors are a café, bar and observation deck. It was designed by the Slovenian architect Vladimir Šubic. Construction began in July 1930 and the building opened on 21 February 1933. It was for some time the tallest residential building in Europe.
Parks and other green spaces:
The Tivoli Park (Park Tivoli) is the largest park in Ljubljana. It was designed in 1813 by the French engineer Jean Blanchard and now covers approximately 5 km2 (1.9 sq mi). The park was laid out during the French imperial administration of Ljubljana in 1813 and named after the ParisianJardins de Tivoli. Between 1921 and 1939, it was renovated by the Slovene architect Jože Plečnik, who designed a broad central promenade, called the Jakopič Promenade (Jakopičevo sprehajališče) after the leading Slovene impressionist painter Rihard Jakopič. Within the park, there are different types of trees, flower gardens, several statues, and fountains. Several notable buildings stand in the Park, among them the Tivoli Castle, the National Museum of Contemporary History and the Tivoli Sports Hall.
The Tivoli–Rožnik Hill–Šiška Hill Landscape Park is located in the western part of the city.
The University Botanic Gardens (Slovene: Univerzitetni botanični vrt Univerze v Ljubljani) stretch on 2.40 hectares (5.9 acres) next to the junction of the Gruber Canal and the Ljubljanica, to the south of the Old Town. These are the central Slovenian botanical garden and the oldest cultural, scientific, and educational organisation in the country. It started operating under the leadership of Franc Hladnik in 1810. Of over 4,500 plant species and subspecies, roughly a third is endemic to Slovenia, whereas the rest originate from other European places and other continents. The institution is a member of the international network Botanic Gardens Conservation International and cooperates with more than 270 botanical gardens all across the world.
Streets and squares:
Existing already in the 18th century, the Ljubljana central square, the Prešeren Square's modern appearance has developed since the end of the 19th century. After the 1895 Ljubljana earthquake, Max Fabiani designed the square as the hub of four streets and four banks, and in the 1980s, Edvard Ravnikar proposed the circular design and the granite block pavement. A statue of the Slovene national poet France Prešeren with a muse stands in the middle of the square. The Prešeren Statue was created by Ivan Zajec in 1905, whereas the pedestal was designed by Max Fabiani. The square and surroundings have been closed to traffic since 1 September 2007. Only a tourist train leaves Prešeren Square every day, transporting tourists to the Ljubljana Castle.
Republic Square, at first named Revolution Square, is the largest square in Ljubljana. It was designed in the second half of the 20th century by Edvard Ravnikar. Independence of Slovenia was declared here on 26 June 1991. The National Assembly Building stands at its northern side, and Cankar Hall, the largest Slovenian cultural and congress center, at the southern side. At its eastern side stands the two-storey building of Maximarket, also work of Ravnikar. It houses one of the oldest department stores in Ljubljana and a cafe, which is a popular meeting place and a place of political talks and negotiations.
Congress Square (Kongresni trg) is one of the most important centers of the city. It was built in 1821 for ceremonial purposes such as Congress of Ljubljana after which it was named. Since then it became an important center for political ceremonies, demonstrations and protests, such as the ceremony at creation of Kingdom of Yugoslavia, ceremony of liberation of Belgrade, protests against Yugoslav authority in 1988 etc. The square also houses several important buildings, such as University of Ljubljana, Slovenian Philharmonic, Ursuline Church of the Holy Trinity, and Slovenska matica. Star Park (Park Zvezda) is located in the center of the square. In 2010 and 2011, the square was heavily renovated and is now mostly closed to road traffic on ground area, however there are five floors for commercial purposes and a parking lot located underground.
Čop Street (Čopova ulica) is a major thoroughfare in the center of Ljubljana. The street is named after Matija Čop, an early 19th-century literary figure and close friend of the Slovene Romantic poetFrance Prešeren. It leads from the Main Post Office (Glavna pošta) on Slovenian Street (Slovenska cesta) downward to Prešeren Square and is lined with bars and stores, including the oldest McDonald's restaurant in Slovenia. It is a pedestrian zone and regarded as the capital's central promenade.
The Triple Bridge over the Ljubljanica River in the city center.
The most notable Ljubljana bridges are the Triple Bridge (Tromostovje), the Trnovo Bridge (Trnovski most), the Dragon Bridge (Zmajski most), the Hradecky Bridge (Slovene: Hradeckega most), and the Butchers' Bridge (Mesarski most). The Trnovo Bridge crosses the Gradaščica, whereas the others cross the Ljubljanica.
The Triple Bridge is a group of three bridges, connecting two parts of Ljubljana's downtown, located on both banks of Ljubljanica. There was originally only one bridge, which linked Central Europe and the Balkans. In order to prevent a 1842 stone arch bridge from being a bottleneck, two additional pedestrian bridges on either side of the central one were added in 1932 according to the Plečnik's 1929 design. He decorated them with large stonebalusters and lamps. There are two staircases, leading to terraces above the river, the banks with poplars, and the Ljubljana fish market. Two Plečnik's urban axes of Ljubljana, the water axis and the Ljubljana Castle–Rožnik Axis, cross at the bridge.
The Trnovo Bridge
The Trnovo Bridge is the most prominent object of Plečnik's renovation of the banks of the Gradaščica. It is located in front of the Trnovo Church to the south of the city center. It connects the neighborhoods of Krakovo and Trnovo, the oldest Ljubljana suburbs, known for their market gardens and cultural events. It was built between 1929 and 1932. It is distinguished by its width and two rows of birches that it bears, because it was meant to serve as a public space in front of the church. Each corner of the bridge is capped with a small pyramid, a signature motif of Plečnik's, whereas the mid-span features a pair of Art-Deco male sculptures. There is also a statue of Saint John the Baptist on the bridge, the patron of the Trnovo Church. It was designed by Nikolaj Pirnat.
The Dragon Bridge, built by Josef Melan and designed by Jurij Zaninović, is often regarded as the most beautiful bridge produced by the Vienna Secession. It is located in the northeast of Vodnik Square (Vodnikov trg) It is a triple-hinged arch bridge and has a span of 33.34 meters (109 ft 5 in). When opened in 1901, it had the third largest arch in Europe. Today, it is protected as a technical monument. The chief attraction of the bridge are four sheet-copper dragon statues, which stand on pedestals at its four corners and have become a symbol of the city.
The Hradecky Bridge
The Hradecky Bridge is one of the first hinged bridges in the world, the first and the only preserved cast iron bridge in Slovenia and one of its most highly valued technical achievements. It has been situated on an extension of Hren Street (Hrenova ulica), between the Krakovo Embankment (Krakovski nasip) and the Gruden Embankment (Grudnovo nabrežje), connecting the Trnovo District and the Prule neighbourhood in the Center District. The Hradecky Bridge was manufactured according to the plans of the senior engineer Johann Hermann from Vienna in the Auersperg iron foundry in Dvor near Žužemberk and installed in Ljubljana in 1867, at the location of today's Cobblers' Bridge.
The Butchers' Bridge
The Butchers' Bridge is a footbridge crossing the river Ljubljanica River. It connects Ljubljana Central Market (Osrednja ljubljanska tržnica) and thePetkovšek embankment (Petkovškovo nabrežje). It was officially opened in July 2010 and completes Plečnik's plans from the 1930s. The largest sculptures on the bridge, created by the sculptor Jakov Brdar, represent figures from Ancient Greek mythology and Biblical stories. Shortly after the opening, padlocks of couples in love started appearing on its steel wires, symbolizing declarations of eternal love, a phenomenon similar to the one on the Parisian Pont des Arts.