Even in the high season, Ljubljana is quiet, cozy, and uncrowded: a great place to break out of the rhythm of life in megacities and relax. Its old and narrow streets are a pedestrian zone, they are in harmony with Baroque churches, little boutiques, and cafes, creating a unique flavor of the South Slavic city.
Ljubljana is the capital and largest city of Slovenia, and one of the smallest, greenest, and safest capitals in Europe. According to local legends, the city was founded by the hero of Greek myths, Argonaut Jason, who went north from Colchis. Residents believe that Jason killed the dragon in Ljubljana, whose image can be seen on the city’s coat of arms and flag.
Historical facts about Ljubljana
- The territory of the modern city was already inhabited in the 2nd century BC by the Venetian tribes and then by the Celts.
- In the 1st century BC here stood the ancient Roman city Emona which was destroyed by barbarians in the 1st century.
- The first Slavic tribes settled in this area in the 4th century.
- The first written record of the city called Luwigana dates back to the 12th century.
- Between the 14th and 18th centuries, Ljubljana – then Laibach – was under the rule of the House of Habsburg /Austria.
- In the 19th century, it was the capital of the Kingdom of Illyria.
- After the Second World War, Ljubljana became the capital of the Yugoslavian Socialist Republic of Slovenia; since 1991, it has been the capital of the Republic of Slovenia.
The main attractions of Ljubljana are concentrated in the historical core of the city located between Castle Hill and Tivoli Park.
Useful information about Ljubljana
Area: 164 km² / 63 sq mi
Elevation: 295 m / 967 ft
Coordinates: 46° 3′ 25″ N, 14° 30′ 20″ E
Ljubljana is located on the banks of the Ljubljanica River in a picturesque valley and surrounded by the Alps and the Karst, in central Slovenia.
The capital of Slovenia is small, calm, and green, with very beautiful surroundings. I spent almost a week in Ljubljana and was happy here as I like hill places so much. Standing next to the castle on a large hill and looking at the historic city below and the blue Alps in the distance, I felt a sense of bliss, serenity, and a feeling of oneness with the world. If you like cities without thousands of tourist flows, Ljubljana is definitely for you.
I hope you enjoyed my Exploring Slovenia: Ljubljana post. If you like Slovenia, here are a few more posts that I recommend you read next:
What to buy in Ljubljana?
Dragon souvenir. The dragon is one of the main symbols of Ljubljana and you will see its figures wherever you go.
Rogaška crystal. With a tradition of 350 years, Rogaška Glassworks fosters and continues the art of making crystal ware in Slovenia. The brand’s premium home and lifestyle products in a high-quality crystal have been successfully exporting from the very beginning.
Chocolate Gorenjka. Offering a variety of chocolates of various sizes and flavors, Gorenjka – the most recognized chocolate brand in Slovenia – has been satisfying lovers of this snack since 1958.
Bovec cheese. Locally know as Bovški sir, the Bovec cheese is a traditional Slovenian cheese. It is made out of raw sheep’s milk and classified as full-fat hard cheese.
Pumpkin seed oil. Slovenian pumpkin oil is produced only from handpicked pumpkin seeds of the highest quality and well known for its intense nutty taste; it is completely natural and rich in vitamins and anti-inflammatory agents along with linoleic and oleic acids.
Piran salt. This salt is formed on the surface of Salinas Basin in the southwestern part of Slovenia and is gently harvested by hand, using the same salt panning methods and tools that have been in use for over the last 700 years. It is mild in flavor and varies in subtle undertones of a distinct sea aroma.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase or sign up for a program, I get a small commission at no additional cost to you.