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Ljubljana: an Old Town with baroque churches and palaces

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Ljubljana (270,000 inhabitants) is the largest city and the capital of Slovenia. The city is located between the Alps and the Karst in a flat area at about 300 meters above sea level along the banks of the Ljubljanica river.

Ljubljana originated in Roman times as a small military settlement with the name of Iulia Aemona. However, it wasn’t until the 13th-14th century that it became a city of some importance. At that time it began to be part of the Habsburg Empire and was known by the old German name of Laibach. This name kept it until the fall of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and with this name it is still known today in Germany and Austria.


The city is famous for its architectural monuments, as well as for its well-preserved historic center. The architecture of the city is a mix of styles and eras. There are Roman ruins, medieval, Baroque and Austrian-style buildings. The historic center of Ljubljana features interesting Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings. The appearance of the city recalls that of the cities of neighboring Austria.

Among the medieval buildings above all noteworthy is the Castle (Ljubljanski grad). A building dating from the twelfth century and overlooking the city from a hill.

The Town Hall (Ljubljanski rotovž), whose first construction dates back to the 15th century, but whose current appearance in the Venetian Baroque style is from the 18th century.

In Baroque style are the 18th century Cathedral of St. Nicholas (Ljubljanska stolnica) and the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation (Frančiškanska cerkev) which was built in Baroque style in the 17th century. The fountain in Mestni Trg, a 18th century work by the Venetian Francesco Robba, is also in Baroque style. The Bridge of Dragons (Zmajski most), the work of the early twentieth century, is probably the most valuable construction of the city in Art Nouveau.

Ljubljana has numerous art galleries and museums. Among the most important museums of the city we find first of all the national gallery (Narodna Galerija) and the museum of modern art (Moderna galerija). But the city hosts among others: a museum of architecture and design (Muzej za arhitekturo in oblikovanje (MAO)), a museum of the theater (Slovenski gledališki muzej), a museum of contemporary art (Muzej sodobne umetnosti Metelkova), a museum of the school (Slovenski šolski muzej), a natural history museum (Prirodoslovni muzej Slovenije) and finally an ethnography museum (Slovenski etnografski muzej).

Official page of the Municipality of Ljubljana.



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