Ljubljana – Architecture and lifestyle25.02.2015
Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is a small but attractive city that enchants visitors with its sophisticated architecture and original features. At first glance you might think it was an Austrian city, but it soon reveals its own special flair. In a fascinating way it combines five thousand years of history and tradition with youthfulness, fresh impetus and modernity. The city’s origins go back to 3,600 BC, and the remains of the Roman town of Emona, the well-preserved old town and the imposing mediaeval castle on the Castle Hill all bear witness to the city’s varied history. The cityscape has also been influenced by other epochs such as the Italian Baroque and Art Nouveau. But no-one else shaped Ljubljana’s appearance as extensively as the architect Jože Plečnik did. Taking his inspiration from ancient Athens, at the start of the 20th century he designed, altered and constructed buildings and bridges in which he combined classical elements of form in a highly individual, modern manner. Today, Plečnik’s Ljubljana is a globally significant, unified artwork of the 20th century. Visitors shouldn’t miss the National and University Library, the central market square, the Križanke Summer Theatre, Žale Cemetery and St. Michael’s Church.
Much of the city’s life, one might say, flows through the Ljubljanica. While the river was once the city’s most important trade and supply route, thanks to its inviting riverside promenades it is now an important recreational space and also a meeting place for young and old. It is spanned by several picturesque bridges. Some of the best-known of these – designed by Plečnik, of course – are the Triple Bridge, the Dragon Bridge and the Cobblers’ Bridge. Summer is the best time of all, when the temperate climate spreads a Mediterranean flair in the city and the many outdoor cafés along the river exert a magical draw on both locals and visitors. One can also take a boat tour (preferably in a tourist panorama boat) to get a unique view of the old town with its pretty building facades and attractive bridges. Another great option for relaxing and discovering something new is provided by the fine parks close to the river and in the city: top of the list are the Tivoli Park which extends into the city centre and the Botanical Gardens which date back to 1810.
The city has a population of around 280,000 while the average age of the residents is just 30. The lively and creative atmosphere in the city attracts young people, scientists and artists, along with business experts and professionals. The city’s universities are among the biggest in Europe, with almost 65,000 students enrolled there. The river, the parks: for both residents and visitors there is so much to experience and enjoy. And in the summer, music events in the old town and at the castle add even more to the mix.
Excursions to other parts of the country
Slovenia is a country with a small area and short distances but it still boasts many varied landscapes. Thanks to its central positon in the country, Ljubljana is a good starting point for excursions to other parts of Slovenia. From here it’s just a short trip to the Slovenian Adriatic coast, the mountain realm of the Alps and many other fine natural features such as glacial lakes and dripstone caves. What’s more, the country offers a wide range of sports and leisure activities as well as various cultural and architectural attractions.
Ljubljana Airport (LJU) is about 15 kilometres to the north of the city centre, and is also the home base of the national Slovenian airline Adria Airways. As per 24 April 2015 the airline will be connecting Berlin and Ljubljana with flights departing from Berlin-Tegel on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.