A city by the river on which the mythological Argonauts carried the Golden
Fleece, a city by a moor where the crannog dwellers once lived, a city with
the rich heritage of Roman Emona, a city that was once the capital of the Province
of Carniola and the capital of Napoleon’s Illyrian Provinces, a city of
Renaissance, Baroque, and especially Art Nouveau facades, a city that boasts
the greatest exhibition of the architecture of the master Joe Plecnik—all
this is Ljubljana.
Ljubljana lies in a basin between the Karst and the alpine regions at 298 metres
above sea level. We like to say it is sufficiently large to contain everything
that a capital should have, and small enough to preserve the individuality of
its inhabitants. It is a city with a soul, featured by the Baroque Old Town
which is nestled at the foot of Castle Hill, the Art Nouveau mansions as well
as some of the masterpieces of the world renowned architect Joe Plecnik.
If one is to believe the legend, then the founder of Ljubljana was the Greek
prince Jason, together with his companions, the Argonauts. According to the
legend, Jason and the Argonauts, while fleeing from King Aites, from whom they
had stolen the golden fleece, sailed from the Black Sea up the Danube, from
the Danube into the Sava, and from the Sava into the Ljubljanica.
Around about here Jason encountered a terrible monster, which he fought and
slew. This monster was the Ljubljana dragon, which now has its permanent abode
on top of the castle tower on the Ljubljana coat of arms. At a national referendum
held on December 23, 1990, the people of Slovenia voted for independence and
sovereignity and on June 25, 1991, the Republic of Slovenia proclaimed its independence.
With this, Ljubljana became the capital of the new state, the heart of the political,
economic, cultural and scientific life of the Slovene nation.
The significant mile stone for Ljubljana was Slovenia's accession to the European
Union on 1 May 2004.
Ljubljana, with only some 276.000 inhabitants, combines the compactness of a
small city with the facilities of a metropolis and, compared with other European
capitals, remains a city on a human scale.