Monday, January 4, 2016

Ljubljana, Slovenia's Stunning Capital

A relatively small, but charming city, Ljubljana (pronounced something like lyoo-BLAYH-nuh)  hardly seems like a national capital. Its population is only a little over 272,000. Of course, that's because Slovenia didn't become a country until the breakup of Yugoslavia. But while Ljubljana may not be large, it delivers great pleasure in walking its old town, exploring the heights of its castle, or simply sitting at a sidewalk cafe near the river.  

Another blogger called it "The Cutest Capital You Can't Pronounce," and it is, indeed, cute.

I fell in love with the dragons on Ljubljana's Dragon Bridge.  Isn't this guy magnificent?

The bridge was built at the beginning of the 20th Century, but the dragon legend extends back into the mists of history. The story is that Ljubljana was founded by Jason of the Argonauts, while he was searching for the golden fleece.  He reportedly killed a dragon in the vicinity, and the dragon has been associated with this picturesque city ever since.

We walked all over town, and soaked in the autumn sunshine.

Franciscan Church of the Annunciation
We spied a  beautiful hand-crafted wooden bicycle on the street...

...And satisfied our search for a good wine at a shop near our studio apartment. The owners were Italian, and they were very friendly. I like the photo Kevin took of us. (I call it "Men in Black with One Woman.")

We paid a visit to Ljubljana's cathedral, or the Church of St. Nicholas, constructed in the 18th Century on the site of an earlier church. It is, deservedly, a city landmark.

We did not sample the horse burger, however, which was down the street from us.

Ljubljana has a lot to offer, and it's easy to see in just a day or two, but a person could do worse than to linger a little longer. The beautiful buildings, the dragons, and the warm people make it a rewarding place to stay. I was more than a little sad to say goodbye.

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