Trip Start Sep 05, 2011
19Trip End Sep 27, 2011
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Drive to Ljublijana
Detailed history of the Country of Slovenia can be found here
Culturally and demographically, Slovenia has been a border area throughout its history. Here, four linguistic and cultural groups of the continent have been meeting: Slavic, Germanic,Romance and Uralic. The population of Slovenia has become more diverse in regard to its language and ethnic composition through recent decades but is still relatively homogeneous. Approximately 83% of inhabitants considered themselves Slovenes in the 2002 census. Another major group are immigrants from the countries of Former Yugoslavia.Slovenia is a largely secularised country; however, major religions are politically and legally privileged. Roman Catholicism is the most prevalent religion. The development of the Slovenian identity was also markedly influenced by Protestantism in the centuries past.
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and its largest city. It is the centre of the City Municipality of Ljubljana. It is located in the centre of the country in the Ljubljana Basin, and is a mid-sized city of some 270,000 inhabitants. Throughout its history, it has been influenced by its geographic position at the crossroads of Germanic, Latin and Slavic cultures.
Top: Skyline of Ljubljana, middle left: University of Ljubljana, middle right: National Assembly Building of the Republic of Slovenia, bottom left: Statue of the Ljubljana Dragon, the symbol of the City, at the Dragon Bridge, bottom right: Triple Bridge
lSaint Nicholas CathedralSaint Nicholas Cathedral (Stolnica svetega Nikolaja) serves the Archdiocese of Ljubljana. Easily identifiable due to its green dome and twin towers, it is located on the Cyril Methodius Square by the nearby Ljubljana Central Market and the Ljubljana Town Hall.Originally, the site was occupied by a three-nave Romanesque church first mentioned in 1262. After a fire in 1361 it was re-vaulted in Gothicstyle. The Diocese of Ljubljana was set up in 1461 and eight years later, a new fire presumably set by the Ottomans once again burnt down the building.Between 1701 and 1706, the Jesuit architect Andrea Pozzo designed a new Baroque church with two side chapels shaped in the form of a Latin cross. The dome was built in the centre in 1841. The interior is decorated with Baroque frescos painted by Giulio Quaglio between 1703–1706 and 1721-1723.Dragon BridgeThe Dragon Bridge (Zmajski most) was built between 1900 and 1901, when the city was part of Austria-Hungary. Designed by a Dalmatianarchitect who studied in Vienna and built by an Austrian engineer, the bridge is considered one of the finest works in the Vienna Secessionstyle. Some residents nicknamed the bridge "mother-in-law" in reference to the fearsome dragons on its four corners.Tivoli ParkJakopič Promenade in Tivoli ParkThe Tivoli Park (Park Tivoli) is the largest park in Ljubljana. The park was designed in 1813 by the French engineer Jean Blanchardand now covers approximately 5 km2 (1.9 sq mi). It has three main avenues, planted with chestnut-trees. Within the park, there are different types of trees, flower gardens, several statues, and fountains.At the edge of Tivoli Park is a fish pond, dating back to 1880. On one side of the pond is a small botanic garden, on the other side is a children's playground. Between 1921 and 1939, Jože Plečnik designed a broad central promenade, called the Jakopič Promenade (Jakopičevo sprehajališče) after the leading Slovene impressionist painter Rihard Jakopič.Butchers' BridgeSculpture on Butcher's BridgeThe Butchers' Bridge (Mesarski most) is a footbridge crossing the river Ljubljanica. It connects Ljubljana Central Market and the Petkovšek embankment. It is decorated with the works by the Slovenian sculptor Jakov Brdar and completes the plans of the Slovene architect Jože Plečnik from the 1930s. It was officially opened on July 10, 2010.Shortly after the opening of the bridge padlocks of couples in love started appearing on its steel wires, symbolizing declarations of eternal love, a phenomenon similar to the one on the Parisian Pont des Arts.