Fun things to do in Ljubljana

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Ljubljana

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    Grand Hotel

    by solopes Updated Dec 28, 2013

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    The Grand Hotel Union is a four-star hotel near the center of the city of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.

    Built about a block from the city's central Prešeren Square between 1903 and 1905, it is notable for having been Ljubljana's first modern hotel, as well as - for a few years after its construction - the city's largest building.

    Designed by the architect Josip Vancaš, it is a good example of the Vienna Secession style, with the long facade and complex iron roof structure considered a technical achievement.

    If you decide to do more than to look, you may... use it. It is still working, and for about 250 €...

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    Boat tours

    by solopes Updated Dec 28, 2013

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    The views to the river are very beautiful. Form the river... we don't know, because we skipped the boat ride.
    However, if we knew what i know now, maybe we should have tried - the tourist office provides FREE boat rides. Why not then?

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    Free walking tours

    by solopes Updated Dec 28, 2013

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    I decided to join one of the advertised "free walking tours" starting in front of Franciscan church. Well, it is a somewhat long experience in a short area, with many larges stops to explain some arguable details. It was only two hours and I didn't stay until the end - a polite excuse, a discreet tip sliding to the guides hand, and I moved away, in my quicker rhythm.
    A few things, however, I kept from that visit:
    The story of Julia Primic, the description of St Nicholas church, the confirmation that Ljubljana is so easy to visit that we may easily do it by ourselves and that I didn't miss any of the city's highlights.

    However, for someone without a book guide and any preparation these tours are a very good way to start the visit.

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    Julia Primic

    by solopes Updated Dec 28, 2013

    The protagonist of Ljubljana's love story is Preseren, the poet represented in the statue in the central square of Presernov. His love, Julia Primic was the daughter of a rich merchant, so, for many years, he was inspired in his poems by their impossible love. Recently, Tone Demsar decided to celebrate this forbidden love conceiving her bust in a window looking in the direction of his statue. It may be seen in Wolfova street, but, without warning, you risk to miss it.

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    Ribji trg

    by solopes Updated Dec 28, 2013

    Linked to Kongressini Trg by a wooden footbridge plenty of flowers, the fish square has the oldest house in Ljubljana. A small nice fountain with statue was hidden by the esplanades of two restaurants occupying most of the square.

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    St Florian church

    by solopes Updated Dec 28, 2013

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    St. Florian church was built after the great fire of 1660 that destroyed Gornji and Stari squares and it burned down in another fire of 1774. The actual look, after many restorations, was given by Pleènik 1934. He also transformed the surroundings, and was responsible for the placement of Robba's John Nepomuk statue in front of the church. Inside there are Baroque frescoes and sculptures.

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    Butchers bridge

    by solopes Updated Dec 28, 2013

    Planned by Plecnik and never built because of WW2, this footbridge was finally constructed in 2009 with a new project. Its oddest detail, besides a few modern sculptures, is the presence of hundreds of padlocks in its steel wired fences. It seems to be a new tradition, with the padlocks meaning the eternal love of those who leave them.

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    St Nicolas cathedral

    by solopes Updated Dec 28, 2013

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    Saint Nicholas Cathedral is the main church in Ljubljana, located near Ljubljana Central Market.
    Several churches occupied the space and were destoyed until 1701 when the Jesuit architect Andrea Pozzo started designing a new Baroque church with the common shape of a Latin cross. The dome was built in 1841, and the interior was decorated with Baroque frescos by Giulio Quaglio 1721-1723

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    Ljubljana Free Walking Tour

    by Ines_ Written Sep 12, 2012

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    Ljubljana free tour was one of the best that I did. The guides are from Slovenia and they know pretty much everything there is to know about the city. The tour takes 2/3 hours and you’ll hear about the Slovenia and Ljubljana’s history, architecture and the most important symbols and must see of the city. The tour covers pretty much the whole city with the exception of the castle because it is a steep and “long” walk.

    The guides work for tips and if you think the trip was worth it you can give them whatever you want. They work every day and in summer they have two tours: one at 11 am and the other at 3 pm.

    After the tour the guide will stay there to answer all the questions you may have. I think it’s a great way to discover and learn things that you wouldn’t otherwise.

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    Napoleon Column

    by egonwegh Updated Jul 30, 2012

    Elsewhere, I have placed a description of what I call the Napoleon Trail (see for example my pages on Paris, the Pyramids at Gizeh (2000), Waterloo (2003), Elba (2007) ...).Much to our surprise we found this interesting spur trail in the town of Ljubljana. We came across a column - the Illirija Column - erected in honour of Napoleon Bonaparte on Trg Francoske Revolucije, the Square of the French Revolution.

    To quote a website on this subject, "[Napoleon] is still a bit of a hero in these parts; he made Ljubljana the capital of his Illyrian provinces, and allowed the Slovene language to be taught in schools"

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    Delight in gorgeous Art Deco detail

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Jun 4, 2011

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    Art Deco is big in Ljubljana, which is one of the many reasons that I love the place!

    I am no architectural fundi, but one of the aspects that I love most about Art Deco is the exquisite detailing. Looking for these little architectural 'grace notes' as you wander around brings a whole new dimension to your enjoyment of a town, and what's more, it's free!

    Believe it or not, the photo of the gorgeous Art Deco canopy was taken from the McDonalds across the road, providing a good example of how the contemporary and the historic manage to harmoniously coexist in Ljubljana. The lovely street lamp is on the Dragon Bridge.

    By the way, if Art Deco is your thing, I can also highly recommend Riga in Latvia and Budapest in Hungary.

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    The imposing door of St Nicholas's cathedral

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Jun 4, 2011

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    You don't even need to set foot inside St Nicholas' cathedral to be impressed by the sculpture, as it literally leans out over you from the strikingly modern church door!

    The new door was commissioned to celebrate a papal visit in 1996, and depicts a select band of significant figures from over 1000 years of Slovenian ecclesiastical history. The imposing design in bronze has the heads and shoulders of the six gentlemen in question leaning out over passersby (which must have presented quite a technical challenge, as presumably this protruding weight would need to have been counterbalanced?), and the overall impression is both impressive and intimidating. It certainly conveys a sense that the Church is actively watching over you, and I for one would feel uncomfortable misbehaving within view of these eminent gentlemen!

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    Revert to your childhood at the railway museum!

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Jun 4, 2011

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    The heavens opened on the day we had set aside to explore Ljubljana, and as we drove towards the city, I nervously rifled through the guidebook in the hopeful expectation of finding something to do that would be both kiddy-friendly and under cover. So, you can imagine my relief when I caught sight of a fleeting reference to a railway museum! Those who have read my travel pages elsewhere will already be well aware that I have a passion for rail travel, so here was my opportunity to indulge my passion, be a good mother to my children by allowing them to do something that interested them, and keep dry all at the same time!

    Ljubljana's railway museum is fairly small, but well stocked with locomotives that - joy of joys - visitors are actively encouraged to clamber into! The scale of the locos (many of which are Russian) is imposing, and it doesn't take much imagination to conjur up images of how impressive they must have been in full steam! There is also a model railway that kept the kids mesmerised for ages.

    The weekend that we visited (at the end of June) happened to be an 'open weekend' for all the museums in Ljubljana. This seems to be an annual event, and allows all visitors access to museums free of charge - the opening hours also seem to have been extended so that visitors can take maximum advantage of this opportunity. Even better, there were also science-based activities which our two kids embraced enthusiastically despite the language barrier. The only downside? The damp weather sapped our camera battery, so there is precious little photographic evidence of the good time that was had by all!

    This is how museums are meant to be run, and I was hugely impressed at the trouble that had been taken to make kids feel welcome in a museum (for a stark contrast, see my travel tip on our less than welcoming experience at MuseumAfrica in Johannesburg). I was brought up to consider visits to London's Natural History Museum as a staple component of our school holidays, and I believe that if kids are exposed to museums - and the information and understanding that they impart - at an early age, chances are that they will become lifelong museum goers. So hats off to Ljubljana, and I trust you will enjoy revisiting your childhood (first or otherwise), even if you don't have kids along with you as an excuse!

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    Go up the funicular.

    by leics Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    I'm not entirely sure whether I like the aesthetics of the new funicular which goes from just behind the market square up to the castle, especially as the 'tourist train' provided a perfectly adequate service for those who did not want to walk up. However, it certainly provides a very good view of the city and the mountains beyond and provides easier disabled access.

    A return trip to the castle costs 2 euros, but with enough time I think it would be nicer to walk down the wooded hillside back to the city.

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    Cathedral of St. Nicholas

    by Vanity666 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The church which originally stood at the site of the present Cathedral (Stolnica), which is also referred to as the Church of St. Nicholas (Cerkev sv. Nikolaja), was a Romanic church with three naves, whose earliest mention was in 1262. After the fire of 1361 it was re-vaulted in Gothic style. When the Diocese of Ljubljana was established in 1461, the church underwent several alterations and a number of extensions were added to it. In 1469 it was probably burnt down by the Turks. In 1701 it was pulled down.

    Between the years 1701 and 1706, a new Baroque hall church in the shape of the Latin cross with side chapels was built by the Jesuit architect Andrea Pozzo. Originally painted on the arch above the crossing was a fake dome, while the present real dome was only built in 1841. Apart from the frescoes by Giulio Quaglio painted from 1703 to 1706 and from 1721 to 1723, the surviving Baroque interior decoration notably includes the statues of four bishops of Emona by the sculptor Angelo Putti, which were built beneath the beams of the dome between the years 1712 and 1713, Putti's 1715 painting of Dean Janez Anton Dolnièar, who initiated the rebuilding of the church in 1701, the altar angels in the left part of the nave, sculpted by Francesco Robba in the period from 1745 to 1750, and the altar angels in the right part of the nave, which were sculpted by the brothers Paolo and Giuseppe Groppelli in 1711.

    A host of other pieces of art were added later. One of the more interesting ones is the dome fresco painted by Matevž Langus in 1844. The most outstanding 20th century additions include the main entrance door, which shows the history of Slovenia and was on the 1250th anniversary of Christianity in Slovenia created by the sculptor Tone Demšar, and the side doors by the sculptor Mirsad Begiæ, which feature portraits of bishops.

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