Top Historic Sights in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Explore the historic highlights of Ljubljana

Triple Bridge

The Triple Bridge is a group of three bridges across the Ljubljanica River. It connects the Ljubljana"s historical, medieval, town on one bank, and the modern city of Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, on the other. The central bridge is partly built from Glinica limestone. Other parts are built from concrete. The balustrades with 642 balusters are made of artificial concrete. The platform is covered with granite block ...
Founded: 1842 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Franciscan Church of the Annunciation

The Franciscan Church of the Annunciation is located on Prešeren Square in Ljubljana. Built between 1646 and 1660 (the bell towers following later), it replaced an older church on the same site. The early-Baroque layout takes the form of a basilica with one nave and two rows of side-chapels. The Baroque main altar was executed by the sculptor Francesco Robba. Many of the original frescoes were ruined by the cracks ...
Founded: 1646-1660 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana Cathedral

Ljubljana Cathedral, also named St. Nicholas" Cathedral, was originally a Gothic church. In the early 18th century, it was replaced by a Baroque building. It is an easily recognizable landmark of the city with its green dome and twin towers and stands at Cyril and Methodius Square by the nearby Ljubljana Central Market and Town Hall. The site was originally occupied by an aisled three-nave Romanesque church, the old ...
Founded: 1701-1707 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana Castle

Ljubljana Castle stands above the downtown of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Originally a Medieval fortress, probably built in the 11th century and rebuilt in the 12th century, it acquired its present outline with an almost complete overhaul in the 15th century, whereas the majority of the buildings date to the 16th and 17th centuries. At first a defense structure and since the first half of the 14th century the seat ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

St. James' Church

St. James's Parish Church was built in the Baroque style between 1613 and 1615 on the site of an older Gothic style church, erected in the early 15th century by the Augustinian Order. In 1598, the old church was acquired by the Jesuits and thus became the first Jesuit church in the Slovene Lands and one of the first in the Inner Austria. The interior was designed by the Italian architect Francesco Robba, who designed the ...
Founded: 1613-1615 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ursuline Church of the Holy Trinity

Ursuline Church of the Holy Trinity was built between 1718 and 1726 in the Baroque style. The church was designed by Carlo Martinuzzi, a Friulian architect, and is noted for its extensive altar made of African marble designed by Francesco Robba, who also built the Fountain of the Three Rivers of Carniola which stands on Town Square in Ljubljana. The original bell tower was destroyed in the Ljubljana earthquake of 1895. Th ...
Founded: 1718-1726 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

St. Florian's Church

The Church of St. Florian was commissioned by the citizens of Ljubljana in memory of the great fire which devastated the Stari trg and Gornji trg squares in 1660. Built after 1672, the church burnt down in 1774. Since then it has undergone several reconstructions. It was given its present appearance by the architect Jože Plečnik, who reconstructed it between 1933 and 1934. Plečnik had the former door recess fi ...
Founded: 1672-1696 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

National Museum of Slovenia

The National Museum of Slovenia has an extensive collection of archaeological artefacts, old coins and banknotes and displays related to the applied arts. The museum was founded in 1821. After the establishment of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, the name was changed to National Museum. In 1923 the ethnographic collections possessed by the museum were removed and placed in the new Slovene Ethnographic Museum an ...
Founded: 1821 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

National Gallery of Slovenia

The National Gallery of Slovenia was founded in 1918, after the dissolution of Austria-Hungary and the establishment of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. Initially, it was hosted in the Kresija Palace of Ljubljana, but moved to the present location in 1925. The gallery hosts a permanent art collection from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century. The original of the Baroque Robba fountain can also be seen in the ...
Founded: 1918 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Early Christian Centre

The Early Christian Centre occupied one of the Roman Emona"s building plots, which usually measured from 3,000 to 3,600 square metres and were demarcated by four roads. The Centre was located in the vicinity of the Forum and the western town wall, the remains of which have been preserved in the Erjavčeva cesta road across the way from the Cankarjev dom cultural and congress centre. Like most of the buildings in ...
Founded: 4th century AD | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia

Cekin Mansion on the northern edge of Tivoli Park houses the Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia. The mansion is named after Laurenz Szőgyény, the husband of Ivana Lamberg, who was given the building. The name Szőgyény was Slovenized by the townspeople into Cekin. The mansion was commissioned in 1720 by Leopold Lamberg based on plans by the Viennese Baroque architect Fischer von Erlach. Dur ...
Founded: 1720 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Tivoli Castle

Tivoli Castle is a mansion located in the Ljubljana's Tivoli Park. In the early 15th century, a tower stood in the woods above the site; it was owned by Georg Apfalterer, an ally of Duke Frederick (later Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III). The tower was destroyed by Frederick II, Count of Celje in 1440. The current structure was built in the 17th century atop the ruins of a previous Renaissance-period castle, the mansion ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Roman Town Walls

According to an inscription found next to the eastern town gate of Emona, on the site of the present Trg francoske revolucije square, the Roman town walls were built between 14 and 15 AD. The rectangular-shaped walls surrounding the town centre measured 2.4 metres wide and from 6 to 8 metres high. They included at least 26 towers and four main gates. The towers were erected at equal distances along the length of the walls ...
Founded: 14-15 AD | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Emona Archaeological park

The Jakopič Garden, named after the famous Slovenian Impressionist painter Rihard Jakopič, whose studio overlooked the garden, is the site of the remains of a terraced Roman house built in the 1st century AD as part of a larger building complex. In the times of the Roman Emona, the building, now referred to as House No. 15a, used to contain four apartments with a large shared atrium. The remains of the house, w ...
Founded: 0-100 AD | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

St. Peter's Church

St. Peter"s Parish Church is one of the oldest churches in Ljubljana. The original church at the site was presumably built near the city walls already at the turn of the 9th century on the order of Paulinus II, the Patriarch of Aquilea. It was the seat of the Primitive Parish of Ljubljana. The church was encircled by a cemetery that was the main town cemetery until 1779, when it was abandoned. The current building w ...
Founded: 1730-1733 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

St. Bartholomew's Church

St. Bartholomew's Church is one of the oldest church buildings in Ljubljana. The church was first mentioned in 1370, when in front of it a peace treaty between the Doge of Venice and Leopold III and Albert III of Habsburg was concluded by their representatives on 30 October 1370, in which the Austrians agreed to return the city of Trieste for the compensation of 75,000 florins. In 1526, its valuables were donated to a fu ...
Founded: 1370 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Fuzine Castle

Fužine Castle is Ljubljana's has retained its original Renaissance character. It was built by a crossing point over the Ljubljanica river's rapids between 1528 and 1557 on commission from the wealthy local merchants Veit Khisl and Hans Weilhaimer, the former of whom served several terms of office as Mayor of Ljubljana. A defence tower was built in each of the four corners of the castle building and another one over the e ...
Founded: 1528-1557 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Visitation of Mary Church

Visitation of Mary Church was already recorded on Rožnik Hill in a 1526 document, stating that it had to provide a copper chalice and three pounds of hellers for the war effort. This church was razed in 1740, and a new church was built in 1746 according to plans by Candido Zulliani (1712–1769) and consecrated by Bishop Ernest Attems (1742–1757) in 1747. The church was damaged by artillery fire during the Nap ...
Founded: 1746 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz

The Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz, located in Saxony-Anhalt in the Middle Elbe Region, is an exceptional example of landscape design and planning from the Age of the Enlightenment in the 18th century. Its diverse components – the outstanding buildings, English-style landscaped parks and gardens, and subtly modified expanses of agricultural land – served aesthetic, educational, and economic purposes in an exemplary manner.

The grounds, which had been divided into four parts since the constructions of a railway line and the Bundesautobahn 9 in the 1930s, were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.

For Prince Leopold III Friedrich Franz of Anhalt-Dessau (1740-1817) and his friend and adviser Friedrich Wilhelm von Erdmannsdorff (1736-1800), the study of landscape gardens in England and ancient buildings in Italy during several tours was the impetus for their own creative programme in the little principality by the rivers Elbe and Mulde. As a result, the first landscape garden in continental Europe was created here, with Wörlitz as its focus. Over a period of forty years a network of visual and stylistic relationships was developed with other landscape gardens in the region, leading to the creation of a garden landscape on a unique scale in Europe. In the making of this landscape, the designers strove to go beyond the mere copying of garden scenery and buildings from other sites, but instead to generate a synthesis of a wide range of artistic relationships. Among new and characteristic components of this garden landscape was the integration of a didactic element, arising from the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), the thinking of Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768), and the aesthetics of Johann Georg Sulzer (1720-1779). The notion of public access to the buildings and grounds was a reflection of the pedagogic concept of the humanisation of society.

Proceeding from the idea of the ferme ornée, agriculture as the basis for everyday life found its place in the garden landscape. In a Rousseauian sense, agriculture also had to perform a pedagogic function in Anhalt-Dessau. Through the deliberate demonstration of new farming methods in the landscape garden, developments in Anhalt-Dessau were not merely theoretical, but a practical demonstration of their models in England. It is noteworthy that these objectives - the integration of aesthetics and education into the landscape – were implemented with outstanding artistic quality. Thus, for instance, the buildings of Friedrich Wilhelm von Erdmannsdorff provided important models for the architectural development of Germany and central Europe. Schloss Wörlitz (1769-73) was the first Neoclassical building in German architectural history. The Gothic House (from 1774) was a decisive influence on the development of Gothic Revival architecture in central Europe. Here, for the first time, the Gothic style was used to carry a political message, namely the desire for the retention of sovereignty among the smaller Imperial territories. The churches in Riesigk (1800), Wörlitz (1804-09), and Vockerode (1810-11) were the first Neoclassical, ecclesiastical buildings in Germany, their towers enlivening the marshland, floodplain landscape in which they served as waymarkers. In parts of the Baroque park of Oranienbaum, an Anglo-Chinese garden was laid out, now the sole surviving example in Europe of such a garden in its original form from the period before 1800. The development of stylistic eclecticism in the 19th century had its roots in the closing years of the 18th century.

Another feature of the landscape is the integration of new technological achievements, such as the building of bridges, an expression of a continuing quest for modernity. Through the conscious incorporation of the older layouts at Oranienbaum and Mosigkau into a pantheon of styles, the landscape became an architectural encyclopaedia featuring examples from ancient times to the latest developments. Nowhere else in Germany or Europe had a prince brought such an all-embracing and extensive programme of landscape reform into being, particularly one so deeply rooted in philosophical and educational theory. With the unique density of its landscape of monuments, the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz is an expression of the enlightened outlook of the court at Dessau, in which the landscape became the idealised world of its day.

Through the conscious and structured incorporation of economic, technological, and functional buildings and parks into the artistically designed landscape, the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz became an important concourse of ideas, in that it facilitated the convergence of 18th century grandeur of design with the beginnings of 19th century industrial society. The reforming outlook of this period brought about a huge diversity of change in the garden layout, and this legacy can still be experienced today.