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Sights and Sounds of Ljubljana

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Ljubljana’s city center is concentrated within a small area—you can easily cover all of its major sights on foot. See the slideshow.

Cevljarski most (Cobbler’s Bridge)
Linking the old and new sides of town, this romantic pedestrian bridge was built in 1931 according to plans by the architect Joze Plecnik. The name is derived from a wooden structure that once stood here and was lined with shoemakers’ huts. Between Tromostovje and Cevljarski most.

Franciskanska cerkev (Franciscan Church)
This massive, pink, high-baroque church was built between 1646 and 1660. The main altar, by Francesco Robba (1698–1757), dates from 1736. The three sets of stairs in front are a popular meeting place for students. Persernov trg 4. Daily 8-6.

Gornji trg (Upper Square)
This cobbled street, just around the corner from Stari trg, is where you’ll find some of the capital’s finest restaurants and a small but growing collection of design and art studios.

Krizanke Poletno Gledalisce
In the courtyard of an 18th-century monastery, this open-air theater was constructed according to plans drawn up by Joze Plecnik. It was completed in 1976, nearly two decades after the architect’s death. The theater seats 1,400, and there’s a movable roof in case it rains. Trg Francoske Revolucije.

Ljubljanski grad
Ljubljana’s hilltop castle affords magnificent views over the river and the Old Town’s terra-cotta rooftops, spires, and green cupolas. On a clear day, the distant Julian Alps are a dramatic backdrop. The castle walls date from the early 16th century, although the tower was added in the mid-19th century. The surrounding park was landscaped by Plecnik in the 1930s. Studentovska ul, uphill from Vodnikov trg. 01/432-7216. Apr.-Oct., daily 9 a.m.-11 p.m.; Nov.-Mar., daily 10-7.

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Robbov Vodnjak (Robba’s Fountain)
When the Slovene sculptor Francesco Robba saw Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers on Piazza Navona during a visit to Rome, he was inspired to create this allegorical representation of the three main Kranjska rivers—the Sava, the Krka, and the Ljubljanica—that flow through Slovenia. Mestni trg.

Stari trg (Old Square)
More a narrow street than a square, the Old Square is lined with cafés and small restaurants. In good weather, tables are set out on the cobblestones.

Stolnica sveti Nikolaja (Cathedral of St. Nicholas)
This proud baroque cathedral overshadows the daily market on Vodnikov trg. Building took place between 1701 and 1708, and in 1836 the cupola was erected. In 1996, in honor of the pope’s visit, new bronze doors were added. The main door tells the story of Christianity in Slovenia, whereas the side door shows the history of the Ljubljana diocese. Dolnicarjeva 1. 01/234-2690. Daily 7 a.m.-noon and 3-7.

Tromostovje (Triple Bridge)
This striking structure spans the River Ljubljanica from Presernov trg to the Old Town. The three bridges started as a single span, and in 1931 the two graceful outer arched bridges, designed by Plecnik, were added.

Vodnikov trg (Vodnik Square)
This square hosts a big and bustling flower, fruit, and vegetable market. An elegant riverside colonnade designed by Plecnik runs the length of the market, and a bronze statue of the Slovene poet Valentin Vodnik, after whom the square is named, overlooks the scene. Market Mon.-Sat. 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

Photo Caption: Cathedral of St. Nicholas, courtesy of Jaap Hart

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