My first visit to Ljubljana (after previous visits as a child), was under an hour between arriving at the central station and leaving for the east of the country. I walked to the central part of the city, and at once felt at home in this easy-to-grasp, compact, and pretty place, and looking forward to a longer visit later that week. When we came back to the Slovenian capital on a summer afternoon, the city was remarkably quiet, compared to some of the busier places we had seen around the country. We decided to follow our intuition, and strolled around Ljubljana without a clear goal, merely enjoying the sights. We crossed the Dragon Bridge, or Zmajski Most, topped by four fierce bronze dragons, the symbol of Ljubljana. Locals claim that whenever a virgin crosses the bridge, the dragons wag their tails. The bridge offers a good view of the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, as well as the castle on top of the hill to the south.
Not far from the bridge, we bought a tasty ice cream, and walked past the statue of Prešeren, the most famous Slovenian poet. His muse is depicted right above him, while his lover is sculpted in a wall on a house across Prešernov square. On the other side of the square is the pink baroque Church of the Annunciation. We crossed the Triple Bridge, three almost parallel bridges spanning the Ljubljanica river. We arrived in the old part of town, where we walked the main street towards the real centre of the old town, Stari Trg, or Old Square. Most buildings are baroque, although some medieval houses can still be spotted. The light of the late afternoon was lurking around the flowers and lanterns hanging from the buildings, and casting long shadows on the cobble stone streets.
It was time to walk up to Ljubljana Castle, passing some more lovely houses. A path runs around the castle on top of the hill, offering sweeping views over Ljubljana, as well as views up to the tall walls of the castle, and its tower with a flag. Walking around it, offers views of Ljubljana in all directions. The 16th century building now is a lively place where preparations were made for an open-air cinema. We sat on the western side of the wall, watching the sun go down, and were back early next morning on the other side to see the sun rise again. The contours of the Alps seemed very close, and with the city awakening below us, we descended again to walk around the empty streets of the old town of Ljubljana. How pleasant to be able to criss-cross a town, coming back to the same places, seeing it from different angles, and just soak in the beauty of the place without a plan! We ended our tour of the old town at the Dragon Bridge, where the dragons were basking in the morning sun.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Ljubljana Old Town (). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Ljubljana Old Town.
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