A Travellerspoint blog

Slovenia

Liubljana and day trips.

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Ljubljana is the capitol city of Slovenia. It is also its bigger city.

I visited it long ago and I liked it much. Its old core is compact and easy to navigate.

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The main square in Ljubljana is the Preseren square. Here you can see the Franciscan church. A red - pink church. It was built between 1646 and 1660 on the fundations of a previous church.

From this square you could start to explore Ljubljana.

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The Ljubljanjca river flows through the center of of Ljubljana. It is crossed by 17 bridges. The most popular of them are the Triple bridge, the Dragon bridge and the Cobblers' bridge.

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The Triple bridge is formed by three bridges. The central one has stood in its place since 1842, It replaced an old Medieval bridge. Between 1929 and 1932 two side bridges were added to the original stone bridge from a design by the architect Joze Plecnik.

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The Dragon bridge was constructed in 1901 over a wooden one which was built in 1819. Four green dragons statues stand at its four corners.

The Cobblers' bridge, or shoemaker' s bridge was named for the shoemakers whose booths once occupied the bridge.

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There is a large market in this city. The central market. It was designed by Joze Plecnik between 1940 and 1944.

It is made by a covered market and an open one.

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Here you can find almost everything you like.

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Cruises on the Ljubljanica river are scheduled all the year; even in the winter. The boats used for these trips are heated.

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Departures for these boat trips start from Ribji trg pier. If you buy a Ljubljana card you are entitled to a free of charge ride.

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The castle is one of the main sights in Ljubljana.

Its first construction began in the 9th century; except the Chapel of S. George that was consecrated in 1489. The other buildings were built or rebuilt in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The castle was used as fortress, garrison, prison and apartments block. Today it is a site of exibitions, weddings and various cultural events.

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Entering the castle area is free of charge. You have to pay a fee to climb the lookout tower and to watch the 3D show about the story of the city.

From the top of the lookout tower you will enjoy the landscape over Ljubljana and surroundings.

Inside the castle there is a cafe, toilets and a souvenirs shop.

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We travelled to the castle by a tourist train. There is also a funicular to get there.

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Restaurant Sokol is one of the most popular places to have a good meal in Ljulbjana. I have been therer some times.

It is situated in the city center.

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Tivoli Park is a good place to have a rest. It is a very large park.

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There is a small lakem, a playground area for kids and some buildings into the park.

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Skofja Loka is one of the most ancient towns in Slovenia. There is a castle here. It was built before 1202 and rebuilt after the earthquake of 1511. Today it hosts an archaeological, ethnological and historical collection of items.

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Other things worth a look in this town are; the capuchin' s bridge, Homan' s House ( there is a cafe - restaurant inside) and some churches.
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Homan House.

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I attended an interesting event some years ago in Skofja Loka; the Venus Trail. It is a Medieval festival with music, stalls and other happenings.

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This event is held in seven Slovene towns every year.

The idea about it came from a poem about a 13th century's knight and ministrel who dressed as a woman and travelled 52 towns of what are now located in four countries; Italy, Austria, Slovenia and Czech Republic.

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The Venus Trail is usually scheduled the last weekend of june every year in Skofja Loka.

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Bled is a village situated in northwestern Slovenia. It is well known for its lake.

On this lake there is the only island in Slovenia. There is a church on it. It dates from the 17th century and it was built on an earlier church from the 9th century.

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Bled has also a castle. It is said this is the most ancient castle in Slovenia.

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After a long stroll on the path looking on the lake I went to Slastcarna (confectionery) Smon and had a kremna rezina.

This is typical cake from Bled. It is made of a layer of vanilla custard and another of whipped cream between two layers of flaky pastry.

I had lunch at a restaurant opposite the bus stop. I think its name was Pla Princu. I had a very good rice with seafood.

Both Skofja Loka and Bed are easily reachable from Ljubljana by coach.

Posted by Maurizioagos 11:49 Archived in Slovenia Tagged slovenia ljubljana skofja loka bled. Comments (8)

Koper.

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Koper is a nice town located in the south western part of Slovenia. It is only twenty kilometers far from Trieste; in Italy.

I have visited Koper some times; as day trip from Portorose. It is easy to go to Koper from Portorose. There are several buses that operate between these two towns every day.

This town has a nice old core; some nice squares and a museums (or maybe some more).

Titov trg is the main square in Koper. It is bordered by several buildings.

Here you can visit the cathedral of the Assumption. It was rebuilt in the XVIII century and is dedicated to Saint Nazarius; Koper' s patron saint.

Beside the church there is a bell tower that was originally separated from the church.

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Near the bell tower we see the Praetorian Palace. This was the residence of the podestà; the ruler of the town who was chosen directly by the doge (the ruler) of Venice. Its current structure dates from the mid 15th century.

This palace was built on the site of two XIII century houses. In the second half of the XIII century these were joined. Today the Praetorian Palace houses the town hall and some rooms opened to visitors. Ask at the tourist office on the ground floor for a guided tour of the palace.

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Opposite this palace there is a loggia. It was built in 1463 and renovated in the 17th century. Today it houses a modern cafe.

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The regional museum is housed inside the Belgramoni - Tacco Palace. It was built around 1600 on the site of a previous building.

Inside you can see an archaeological collection with items found in Istria and also wooden statues, paintings and various furniture. There are also various musical instruments and a rich collection of weapons.

The Belgramoni - Tacco Palace is also used for cultural and musical event.

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Don't miss the beautiful door knocker of the main door of this palace.

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Behind the palace there is a nice garden which is now used as lapidarium. It is part of the palace.

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Walking in the old core of Koper it seems to be in an old village.

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There are even some Medieval houses in Koper.

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Preseren square was named after the famous poet France Presernov. It is located at the southern end of the old town.

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At Preseren square you can see the Da Ponte fountain It was built in the 1666. It supplied the town with drinkable water for several centuries.

At one end of the square there is the Muda Gate. It is the last remaining gate of the old Koper. It was also the main gate of the town. There were twelve of them. On Preseren square there is also a church; Saint Basso church.

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Carpaccio square takes its name from Vittore Carpaccio (1460-1525); a famous Venetian painter. Here you can see the house where he was born. It is located at number 6. Probably it was his son Benedetto who lived there.

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At this square there is also a well taken from Venice; a column built in the 1571 and erected to commemorate the naval victory against the Turks at Lepanto.

There is a old salt warehouse built in the 17th century on this square. Today it is used as an exposition site.

Koper has a large bus station. Unfortunately it is quite far from the town center. I think it is could be two kilometers far. Thus I' d suggest to take a bus to the town center from there. This station has a vending machine for a hot drink and a convenient cafe located outdoor.

Posted by Maurizioagos 10:27 Archived in Slovenia Tagged koper slovenia. Comments (2)

Piran.

sunny

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Piran ia beautiful small town in southwestern Slovenia; on the Adriatic coast.

I have visited it as a day trip from Portorose several times. Portorose is a sea side resort some ten minutes far from Piran, by bus.

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The old core of this town is made of a maze of narrow streets. There you will find cafes, restaurants and shops.

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Tartini square is the main square in Piran. It was named after the violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770) who was born in this town.

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Long ago this square was a harbour for fishing boats. In 1894 it was filled in because of bad smell, filth and for health and sanitary reasons.

Tartini Square is surrounded by various colorful houses, the New Town Hall, the Court Hall; Tartini' s birthplace and the Venetian House.

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The Venetian house is a red palace built in the middle of the 15th century. It is the oldest preserved house on this square. It was built by a merchant for his mistress.

As a response for the gossips about this relationship a stone inscription with the words "lassa pur dir" (= let them say) was put on its facade.

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There are several churches in Piran. There is even a cathedral; t. It is dedicated to Saint George. This church was probably built in the XII century. The present building dates back to the year 1637.

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Inside there is a beautiful organ, some interesting paintings and the Crucifix of Piran made in the 14th century. It is a very moving masterpiece.

Next to the church stands a bell tower built in the 1608. It is said this is a very good viewpoint over the town.

Another building near the cathedral is the baptistery; built in the 1650. Adjacent to the cathedral there is a small museum with some interesting works of art and the crypt.

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Just outside the Cathedral there is a viewpoint where you can see most of Tartini Square and some areas in Piran.

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Saint Francis' church was built originally in the early 14th century; enlarged and renovated over the centuries. The present interior dates from the 17th century and the exterior from the 19th century. This church belongs to a Minorite monastery.

Tartini' s family members are buried under a slab below the floor of this church.

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What I liked much of this church is a painted inner dome.

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Next to the church there is a white cloister that is used for concerts in the summer. In a small room near the cloister there is a collection of paintings and some ancients statues.

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There is a beautiful aquarium in Piran. It is housed inside Villa Piranesi; not far from the harbour.

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You can' t compare it with the aquariums in cities as Valencia or Lisbon. This is a small aquarium with 25 tanks where around 140 sea creatures live.

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Here you won' t find tropical fishes, but local sea animals.

I think the aquarium is a good place to spend one hour or more. It is the right attraction to take your kids.

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On my second visit to Piran I had a stroll to the Punta lighthouse area. It is located on the tip of the Piran peninsula.

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Beyond the lighthouse there is a church formerly consacrated to Saint Clement. In the 17th century it was renamed as Our Lady of Health because of the plague that propagated throughout Istria. This church was first mentioned in the 13th century.

At the lighthouse area there is a good choice of restaurants and a concrete beach.

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The Maritime Museum Sergej Masera is housed in the Gabrielli Palace. It was built in the middle of he 19th century.

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Here you can see exibits on marine archaeology under a ground floor covered with glass; a collection of ancient model ship replicas; tools for repairing and building ships, navigational instruments, sailors uniforms and many other things.

I am not into "maritime things", but I liked this museum anyway. The statue you see in the second pic was one of the things I liked most here

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The 1st of May square was the administrative center of Piran until the 13th century. Here stood the old town hall.

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On this square you see the deconsacrated church of Saint Donat (1325) which houses an art gallery; some restaurants and a supermarket.

In the middle of the square there is a stone cistern surrounded by four statues. The bigger ones depict law and justice; the others two cherubs.

The cistern was built after the severe draught in 1775. Gutters were connected to the statues from the surrounding roofs in order to collect rain water. Then it was purified through sand.

Posted by Maurizioagos 08:30 Archived in Slovenia Tagged piran portorose slovenia. Comments (11)

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