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April 18, 2019

Slovenia: Ljubljana

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, Photography, Slovenia, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 9:39 am

Ljubljana with its famous triple bridge partially obscured by the buildings.

Before our road trip in the fall of 2018 we new little about Slovenia. We lumped Slovenia together with the conglomeration of countries that calved off when the Yugoslavian state ceased to exist.

Slovenia has a population of around two million; outisde of the Continent’s micro-states it is one of the smallest countries population-wise in Europe. The low number of residents makes the country easy to overlook. And its location, tucked in between its better known neighbors Austria, Italy, Hungary, and Croatia, doesn’t help to raise the country’s profile. But Slovenia shouldn’t be overlooked; it is a very beautiful country with lots to offer. It is one of Europe’s lesser discovered beauties.

Welcome to Slovenia

The capitol of Slovenia is Ljubljana. Ljubljana feels like a small city. Indeed, its population of around 290,000 qualifies it as one of the smaller European capitols. What Ljubljana lacks in size it makes up for in quality.

Repairs from damage from an 1895 earthquake coupled with a large scale remodel guided by Ljubljana’s famous architect, Jože Plečnik left the city’s old town with a pleasing mix of architectural styles. Near the banks of the Ljubljanica River are the old town’s Baroque buildings and a combination of structures built in various early 20th Century styles including Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Vienna Secessionist. Plečnik successfully integrated this all together and added key features to link it all together. Somehow in the end the mix works. Indeed, Plečnik was so successful in shaping Ljubljana’s architectural style that there’s almost a Disney-esque quality to the place: It seems a little too perfect. It seems a little too idealized.

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Perhaps Ljubljana’s most famous structure is the city’s triple bridge. Plečnik’s design here is emphatically fanciful: Other than aesthetics, a bridge with three tightly spaced spans fanning out from the river’s right bank serves no particular practical purpose: A bridge with a single span would have worked as well. But the triple bridge is there and it is perfect for the spot. In that respect it is much like Ljubljana itself.

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We visited Ljubljana Slovenia in October of 2018.

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