Ljubljana is a charming city full of artists, museums, and galleries. With a population of 300,000, it is classified as a mid-sized European city. However, it has preserved its small-town friendliness and relaxed atmosphere while providing all the facilities of a modern capital. It is a very unique city full of pleasant picturesque places where you can expect all kinds of nice little surprises. During winter, its dreamy central European character prevails, and during summer its relaxed Mediterranean feel. Ljubljana is the winner of European Green Capital Award 2016 and a green city in more than just one sense of the word. For one, it’s a city with amazingly preserved green areas.
Ljubljana has preserved evidence of a five thousand year history including, among others, the remains of the Roman city of Emona and the old city centre with its medieval castle, Baroque façades, decorative portals and uneven roofs. Other significant bits of the city mosaic are picturesque bridges across the Ljubljanica river and the vast Tivoli park, which stretches into the very city centre. Ljubljana’s present appearance is partly due to the Italian Baroque and partly to Art Nouveau, which found expression in numerous buildings constructed after the earthquake of 1895. In the second half of the 20th century, it was the world famous architect Jože Plecnik that put an indelible personal stamp on his native Ljubljana. The city’s appearance was further shaped by his students and a new wave of renowned young Slovenian architects.
Ljubljana’s character is mainly due to a unique and felicitous mixture of two very different but complementary features: on the one hand, the city is famed for its historical heritage and tradition, but on the other, it is a relatively young city with a modern lifestyle whose residents’ average age is only slightly above 30.
The famous symbol of Ljubljana is the dragon. The history of the iconic monster dates back to tales of Jason and the Argonauts. It’s said that Jason sailed up the Danube, then the Sava and then the Ljubljanica before finally having make the journey to the Adriatic with their dismantled boat being dragged with them. On route they came across a lake that housed the Ljubljanan dragon. The gallant Jason is said to have fought bravely against the beast before finally slaying it. It has thus become a symbol the city.