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Saturday, October 22, 2016


Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is a city of 270,000. It has a charming Old Town that is predominantly pedestrian-only. The city is so clean and such a pleasure to explore. Plan on a full day of sightseeing. Two days would allow you to enjoy it at a more leisurely pace.

We stayed near the Triple Bridge in the center of town. Everything was within walking distance. The Triple Bridge, which spans the Lujbljanica River, was designed by native son Joze Plecnik. The center bridge already existed but the two side bridges were built to accommodate the 6 streets of traffic from the west side of the river to the 1 street on the east side of the river.

A statue of poet France Preseren dominates Preseren Square at the base of the Triple Bridge. 

The statue shows Preseren with a naked muse above him. This created quite a controversy when it was first installed because it was scandalous to have a naked statue occupying the same square as a church.

Near Preseren Square is a yellow house with a woman in a frame. This is Julija, Preseren's unrequited love. They met when he was in his 30s and a teacher at her father's house when she was only 4. Later in life, she married for wealth and status but she still inspired his poetry.  Preseren can still see her from Preseren Square.

In the center of the square is an area that rains every few minutes. The sign said this was a microclimate. Overhead sprinklers indicated otherwise. It does provide respite from the summer heat.

Franciscan Church of St. Mary facing the square.

Also in the square is Galerija Emporium--the town's first post-quake department store built in 1895. 

Look inside to see the Grand Staircase.

Model of the city center in Preseren Square.

Copova Street is one of the 6 streets that fans from Preseren Square. A century earlier, this was the route of the Sunday promenade. People would put on their Sunday best and stroll from the bridge to Tivoli Park. Nowadays, it is chock full of locals and tourists. You can stop at the McDonald's on this street to get a "Puff," sugary fried dough.

Miklosiceva Cesta is another one of the 6 streets fanning from Preseren Square. Grand Hotel Union sits on this street, which leads to the train station. This building had a prominent dome with spires, which was modeled after buildings in Prague. For a while, all corner buildings in Ljubljana had to have spires.

2016 09 04

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