I am very excited about the end of exams – more than just the simple fact I will no longer be taking exams and panicking about their impact – I will be of to a place I have never been before and I cannot wait!
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and and for a city with such a rich and diverse history it is amazing I hadn’t heard of it before. The Ancient Greek myths of Jason and the Argonauts were said to have established the city after fleeing from the King of Aetes having stolen the golden fleece. Having encountered a dragon whilst there the city’s “dragon bridge” is named after Jason’s victory over the monster – I will be sure to take a selfie!
However most accounts state that the city began in the 1st century AD as a Roman one ; highlighting on the trade route between Upper pannonia and the northern Roamn colonies of Norcicum and Aquilia. Roman walls and dwellings give physical evidence of this period unlike the supposed Greek settlement. Before the trade route was utilized the area was populated with celtic tribes since around 2000 BC ; the ground was largely marsh and dwellers were subsistence hunter-fishermen.
The germanic occupation began in the 6rd century; with them came rapid growth. I look forward to visiting many of the city squares of which most are from this era. The city developed despite battling to eventually come under Habsburg rule in 1335 and suffering a huge earthquake 1511. Rebuilding under renaissance style it will be interesting to see the contrast in architecture as the city changed hands frequently in the middle ages each bringing a unique style – that is if any of it survived through several earthquakes!
Since its founding the citys geographical position has made it strategically vital. The deterioration of the Western Roman Empire saw the destruction of much of the city as the Huns invaded. There are still early christian churches that remain – again more photo opportunities! the best example of it strategic importance would be the building of Ljubljana Castle in the late 15th century. This was in reaction to the threat of the turks who wanted control of the well connected city. The Castle is probably the thing I am most looking forward to visiting – who can resist a good medieval castle !
Ljubljana is a City where Slovenian nationality began. The Slovene language was said to be established here. The rich culture of the city is argued to have been established with the philharmonic in 1701. However it was not until more recent history, the 1860’s, that it truly became the slovenian cultural centre . The city gained true power status and recognition as it hosted the four members of the holy alliance in 1821 who met to discuss the democratic revolution and national movements of Italy and how to suppress them.
My favorate Ljubljana dweller by far is Tito ; the infamous Yugoslavian leader of the state post WW2 . The first World War had passed the city only indirectly affecting its residents ; the outbreak of the second would drive its path of history to the Right. The city was encircled by the Fascist by a 30m high wire fence to keep it isolated – commemorated in the path of Remembrance and Comradeship I am aiming to walk around the city following it. Tito died in the city leading to Yugoslavia’s unraveling – a tension during the Cold War straining the state’s relation with the USSR.
For a city with such rich history it is amazing I had not heard of it before ! I’m revising hard so I can pack up and go already … if you have ever been to this amazing city, live there or know someone else who has please leave a message or find me on twitter I would love to hear from you.
I will be posting videos and blog posts during my time there (at the end of the month) so be prepared and subscribe !