Infobox Settlement
official_name = Ljubljana

image_caption = Triple Bridge above the Ljubljanica River and Prešeren Square

map_caption = Municipal location in Slovenia
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = Slovenia
established_title = First mention
established_date = 1144
leader_party = Lista Zorana Jankovića
leader_title = Mayor and governor
leader_name = Zoran Janković
area_total_km2 = 275.0
population_total = 267,920
population_as_of = 2007
population_footnotes =
timezone = CET
utc_offset = +1
timezone_DST = CEST
utc_offset_DST = +2
latd = 46 | latm = 3 | lats = 5 |latNS = N
longd = 14 | longm = 30 |longs = 20 | longEW = E
elevation_m = 298
area_code = 01
blank_name = Vehicle Registration
blank_info = LJ
website = [http://www.ljubljana.si www.ljubljana.si]
footnotes =

Ljubljana (Audio-IPA|Ljubljana-2.ogg| [ljuˈbljana] ) is the largest and capital city of Slovenia. It is located in the center of the country and is a mid-sized city of some 270,000 inhabitants. Ljubljana is regarded as the cultural, scientific, economic, political and administrative center of Slovenia, independent since 1991. Throughout its history, it has been influenced by its geographic position at the crossroads of Germanic, Latin and Slavic culture.

Its transport connections, concentration of industry, scientific and research institutions and industrial tradition are contributing factors to its leading economic position. Ljubljana is the seat of the central government, administrative bodies and all government ministries of Slovenia. It is also the seat of Parliament and of the Office of the President.

Etymology and symbol

Historians disagree about the origins of the city's name. Some believe it derives from ancient Slavic city called "Laburus".cite web |url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/tourism/ljubljana/general_info/name/default.html |title=Where Did Ljubljana Get Its Name From? |accessdate=2008-07-30] Others think the word comes from the Latin "Aluviana" following a flood in the town. It could also come from "Laubach" ("marsh"). Finally, some hypothesize the Slavic word "Luba" ("beloved") as its origin.. The old German name for the city is "Laibach".

According to the celebrated Greek legend, the hero Jason and his Argonauts, after finding the Golden Fleece in Colchis, ended up going northward by sailing on the Danube rather than returning toward the Aegean Sea.cite web |url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/tourism/ljubljana/general_info/symbol/default.html |title=Why is Dragon the Symbol of Ljubljana? |accessdate=2008-07-30] Going up, it is said they went toward its tributary the Sava and then to the source of the river Ljubljanica. They disembarked in order to carry their boat to the Adriatic Sea, located to the west, in order to return home. Between the present-day cities of Vrhnika and Ljubljana, the Argonauts found a large lake surrounded by a marsh. It is there that Jason struck down a monster. This monster was the dragon that today is present on the city's coat of arms and flag. Several winged dragons also decorate the Dragon Bridge ( _sl. "Zmajski Most"). This bridge, built between 1900 and 1901, is the work of J. Zaninovič. The dragon is also a symbol of the nearby Austrian city of Klagenfurt that was, through the centuries, Slovenia's great spiritual centre.Daniel Mallinus, "La Yougoslavie", Éd. Artis-Historia, Brussels, 1988, D/1988/0832/27, p. 37-39.]


Around 2000 BC, the Ljubljana Marshes were settled by people living in wooden structures on pilotis. These people lived through hunting, fishing and primitive agriculture. To get around the marshes, they used dugout canoes made by cutting out the inside of tree trunks. Later, the area remained a transit point for numerous tribes and peoples.cite web |url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/tourism/ljubljana/history/first-settlers/default.html |title=The First Settlers of Ljubljana |accessdate=2008-07-30] The land was first settled by the Veneti, followed by an Illyrian tribe called the "Yapodi" and then in the 3rd century BC a Celtic tribe, the "Taurisci".

Around 50 BC, the Romans built a military encampment that later became a permanent settlement called Iulia Aemona (Emona).cite web |url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/tourism/ljubljana/history/emona/default.html |title=The Times of the Roman Emona |accessdate=2008-07-30] This entrenched fort was occupied by the "Legio XV Apollinaris".fr icon Hildegard Temporini and Wolfgang Haase, "Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt". de Gruyter, 1988. ISBN 3-110-11893-9. [http://books.google.be/books?id=74vdDevajNoC&pg=PA343&lpg=PA343&dq=Emona+legion+XV&source=web&ots=Oz_GEBKbi_&sig=jODLhDZxfNwHfBW48cBMhE2GCs0&hl=fr&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result Google Books, p.343] ] In 452 it was destroyed by the Huns under Attila's orders, and later by the Ostrogoths and the Lombards. Emona housed 5-6,000 inhabitants and played an important role during numerous battles. Its plastered brick houses, painted in different colours, were already connected to a drainage system. In the 6th century, the ancestors of the Slovenes moved in. In the 9th century, the Slovenes fell under Frankish domination, while experiencing frequent Magyar raids.cite web |url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/tourism/ljubljana/history/middle-ages/default.html |title=Ljubljana in the Middle Ages |accessdate=2008-07-30]

The name of the city, "Luwigana", appears for the first time in a document from 1144. In the 13th century, the town was composed of three zones: the "Stari trg" ("Old Square"), the "Mestni trg" ("Town Square") and the "Novi trg" ("New Square"). In 1220, Ljubljana was granted city rights, including the right to coin its own money.

In 1270, Carniola and in particular Ljubljana was conquered by King Ottokar II of Bohemia. When he was in turn defeated by Rudolph of Habsburg, the latter took the town in 1278. Renamed "Laibach", it would belong to the House of Habsburg until 1797. The Diocese of Ljubljana was established in 1461 and the Church of St. Nicholas became a cathedral.

In the 15th century Ljubljana became recognized for its art. After an earthquake in 1511, it was rebuilt in Renaissance style and a new wall was built around it.cite web |url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/tourism/ljubljana/history/renaissance-baroque/default.html |title=Reformation and Counter-reformation; Renaissance and Baroque |accessdate=2008-07-30] In the 16th century, the population numbered 5,000, 70% of whom spoke Slovene as their mother tongue, with most of the rest using German. In 1550, the first two books written in Slovene were published there: a catechism and an abecedarium, followed by a Bible translation. By that time, the Protestant reformation had gained ground in the town. Several important Lutheran preachers lived and worked in Ljubljana, including Primož Trubar, Adam Bohorič and Jurij Dalmatin. Around the same time, the first secondary school, public library and printing house opened in Ljubljana. Ljubljana thus became the undisputed center of Slovenian culture, a position maintained thereafter. In 1597, the Jesuits arrived in the city and established a new secondary school that later became a college. Baroque architecture appeared at the end of the 17th century as foreign architects and sculptors came in.

The Napoleonic interlude saw Ljubljana become, from 1809 to 1813, the capital of the Illyrian Provinces.cite web |url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/tourism/ljubljana/history/18th-19th/default.html |title=Ljubljana in the 18th and 19th Centuries |accessdate=2008-07-30] In 1815, the city became Austrian again and from 1816 to 1849 was part of the Kingdom of Illyria. In 1821 it hosted the Congress of Laibach, which fixed European political borders for years to come.cite web |url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/tourism/ljubljana/general_info/introduction/default.html |title=Introducing Ljubljana |accessdate=2008-07-30] The first train arrived in 1849 from Vienna and in 1857 the line was extended to Trieste. Public electric lighting appeared in 1898. In 1895, Ljubljana, then a city of 31,000, suffered a serious earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale. Some 10% of its 1,400 buildings were destroyed, although casualties were light. During the reconstruction that followed, a number of quarters were rebuilt in Art Nouveau style.

In 1918, following the end of World War I and the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, the region joined the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.cite web |url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/tourism/ljubljana/history/20th/default.html |title=The Turbulent 20th Century |accessdate=2008-07-30] In 1929, Ljubljana became the capital of Drava Banovina, a Yugoslav province.cite web |url=http://www.clio.fr/CHRONOLOGIE/chronologie_slovenie_dans_la_yougoslavie_des_karageorgevitch.asp |title=Dans la Yougoslavie des Karageorgévitch |accessdate=2008-07-30 |language=French] In 1941, during World War II, Fascist Italy occupied the city, followed by Nazi Germany in 1943. In Ljubljana, the occupying forces established strongholds and command centers of Quisling organisations, the Anti-Communist Volunteer Militia under Italy and the Home Guard under German occupation. The city was surrounded by over convert|30|km|mi of barbed wire to prevent co-operation between the underground resistance movement (Liberation Front of the Slovenian People) within the city and the Yugoslav Partisans ("Partizani") who operated outside the fence. Since 1985, a commemorative path has ringed the city where this iron fence once stood.sl icon/en icon cite web|url=http://www.ljubljana-tourism.si/file/559602/2006-april-POT-SPOMINOV-IN-TOVARITVA-_2.pdf|title=The Path of Remembrance and Comradeship|accessdate=2008-07-30] .

After World War II, Ljubljana became the capital of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, part of Communist Yugoslavia, a status it retained until 1991, when Slovenia became independent. Ljubljana remained the capital of Slovenia, which entered the European Union in 2004.

Geography and climate

The city, with an area of convert|275.0|km2|sqmi, is situated in central Slovenia. Its location between Austria, Hungary, the Venice region in Italy and Croatia has strongly influenced its history. Ljubljana is located some convert|140|km|mi west of Zagreb, convert|250|km|mi northwest of Venice, convert|350|km|mi southwest of Vienna and convert|400|km|mi southwest of Budapest. [Approximate road distances calculated through Google Earth.]

Topography and hydrography

The city is located at an altitude of convert|298|m|ft in the valley of the river Ljubljanicacite web|url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/tourism/ljubljana/general_info/default.html|title=Location and General Data|accessdate=2008-07-30] between the Kras region and the Julian Alps.cite web|url=http://www.slovenia.info/?_ctg_kraji=2611|title=Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia|accessdate=2008-07-30] The castle, which sits atop a hill south of the city centre, is at convert|366|m|ft altitude while the city's highest point, called Janški Hrib, reaches convert|794|m|ft.cite web|url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/tourism/ljubljana/ljubljana_in_numbers/default.html|title=Ljubljana in Numbers|accessdate=2008-07-30]

Ljubljana is near the confluence of the rivers Ljubljanica and Sava, at the foot of Castle Hill. The Sava, in turn, flows into the Danube at Belgrade before reaching the Black Sea.


The city stretches out on an alluvial plain dating to the Quaternary era. The nearby, older mountainous regions date back to the Mesozoic (Triassic) or Paleozoic.cite web|url=http://english.fossiel.net/system/geolkaart/slovenie.jpg|title=Geological Map of Slovenia|accessdate=2008-07-30]

A number of earthquakes have devastated Ljubljana, including in 1511 and 1895.cite web|url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/tourism/ljubljana/general_info/default.html|title=Location and General Data|accessdate=2008-07-30] Slovenia is in a rather active seismic zone because of its position to the south of the Eurasian Plate.cite web|url=http://www.arso.gov.si/en/Seismology/|title=Seismology|accessdate=2008-07-30] Thus the country is at the junction of three important tectonic zones: the Alps to the north, the Dinaric Alps to the south and the Pannonian Basin to the east. Scientists have been able to identify 60 destructive earthquakes in the past. Additionally, a network of seismic stations is active throughout the country.


The city's climate and that of eastern Slovenia is of the continental type. In general, July is the hottest month while January and February are the coldest.cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_guides/results.shtml?tt=TT004670|title=Average Conditions: Ljubljana, Slovenia|accessdate=2008-07-30] The coldest temperature ever recorded was convert|-28|C|F while the warmest was convert|39|C|F. Frost is possible from October through May. The driest months are from January to April, with less than convert|100|mm|in of precipitation, while September and October are the wettest months.

Government and crime

Municipal elections take place every four years. Between 2002 and 2006, Danica Simšič was mayor. Since the municipal elections of 22 October 2006, Zoran Janković, an important businessman in Slovenia, has been the mayor of Ljubljana, having won 62.99% of the votes.cite web |url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/municipality/mayor/default.html |title=The Mayor of the City of Ljubljana |accessdate=2008-07-31] The majority on the city council (the mayor's own party) holds 23 of 45 seats. Among other roles, the council drafts the municipal budget, and is assisted by various boards active in the fields of health, sports, finances, education, environmental protection and tourism.cite web |url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/municipality/council/boards/default.html |title=Boards of the City Council |accessdate=2008-07-31] The Ljubljana electoral zone is also composed of 17 districts that have local authorities working with the city council to make known citizens' suggestions and prepare activities in their districts.cite web |url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/municipality/districts/default.html |title=District authorities |accessdate=2008-07-31]

The jurisdiction of the Ljubljana police ("Policija") covers an area of convert|3807|km2|sqmi, which represents 18.8% of the national territory.cite web |url=http://www.policija.si/portal_en/organiziranost/pu/lj/index.php |title=Police directorate Ljubljana |accessdate=2008-07-31] There are 17 police stations employing 1,380 individuals, of whom 1,191 are police officers and 189 are civilians. With around 45,000 criminal acts in 2007, the Ljubljana police district alone accounts for over 50% of the country's crimes.cite web |url=http://www.policija.si/portal_en/statistika/index.php |title=Annual Report on the Work of the Police 2007 |accessdate=2008-07-31] Slovenia and in particular Ljubljana have a quiet and secure reputation.cite web |url=http://www.var.fr/dispatch.do?sectionId=site/page_d_accueil_10772717277503/le_var_10772717703904/les_varois_dans_le_monde_1191224486801284/conseils___bons_plans_1191224797342285/slov_nie_1191225455611299&showSection=site/page_d_accueil_10772717277503/le_var_10772717703904/les_varois_dans_le_monde_1191224486801284/conseils___bons_plans_1191224797342285/slov_nie_1191225455611299 |title=Precautions to take |accessdate=2008-07-31 |language=French]


Ljubljana produces about 25% of Slovenia's GDP. In 2003, the level of active working population was 62%; 64% worked in the private sector and 36% in the public sector. In January 2007, the unemployment rate was 6.5% (down from 7.7% a year earlier), compared with a national average of 8.7%.cite web |url=http://www.ess.gov.si/eng/UnemplTrends/RegUnemplRO99.htm |title=Registered unemployment rates (%) by regional offices in 2006 and 2007 |accessdate=2008-07-31]

Industry remains the city's most important employer, notably in the pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and food processing. Other fields include banking, finance, transport, construction, skilled trades and services and tourism. The public sector provides jobs in education, culture, health care and local administration.

The Ljubljana Stock Exchange ( _sl. "Ljubljanska borza"), purchased in 2008 by the Vienna Stock Exchange,cite web |url=http://www.sloveniatimes.com/en/inside.cp2?uid=DCC97754-19B6-64BF-BC26-9760B7F88908&linkid=news&cid=ED4C6575-3589-840B-A072-1B6760015E2E |title=Austrians Buy Ljubljana Stock Exchange |accessdate=2008-07-31] deals with large Slovenian companies. Some of these have their headquarters in the capital region: for example, the retail chain Mercator, the oil company Petrol d.d. and the telecommunications concern Telekom Slovenije.cite web |url=http://www.ljse.si/cgi-bin/jve.cgi?doc=%208373&sid=qaKUUjazRohwRuAP |title=Ljubljanska borza d.d. |accessdate=2008-07-31] Over 15,000 enterprises operate in the city, most of them in the tertiary sector.cite web |url=http://www.wieninternational.at/en/node/4997 |title=Ljubljana: economic center of Slovenia |accessdate=2008-07-31]


The Academy of the Industrious ("Academia operosorum Labacensis") opened in 1693; it closed in 1801 but was a precursor to the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, founded in 1938. Today, students make up one-seventh of Ljubljana's population, giving the city a youthful character.cite web |url=http://www.uni-lj.si/en/about_university_of_ljubljana/ul_history.aspx |title=UL history |accessdate=2008-07-31] The University of Ljubljana, Slovenia's most important and Ljubljana's only university, was founded in 1919. As of 2008, it has 22 faculties, three academies and a college. These offer Slovenian-language courses in (among other subjects) medicine, applied sciences, arts, law and administration.cite web |url=http://www.uni-lj.si/en/about_university_of_ljubljana/statues_of_ul.aspx |title=Statutes of UL |accessdate=2008-07-31] The university has close to 64,000 students and some 4,000 teaching faculty.

In 2004, the national library and university library had 1,169,090 books in all. In 2006, the 55 primary schools had 20,802 pupils and the 32 secondary schools had 25,797.


Ljubljana has numerous art galleries and museums. In 2004, there were 15 museums, 41 art galleries, 11 theatres and four professional orchestras. There is for example an architecture museum, a railway museum, a sports museum, a museum of modern art, a brewery museum, the Slovenian Museum of Natural History and the Slovene Ethnographic Museum.cite web |url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/tourism/ljubljana/points_of_interest/museums/default.html |title=Museums |accessdate=2008-07-31] The Ljubljana Zoo covers convert|19.6|ha|acre and has 152 animal species. An antique flea market takes place every Sunday in the old city. In 2006, the museums received 264,470 visitors, the galleries 403,890 and the theatres 396,440.

Each year over 10,000 cultural events take place in the city; among these are ten international festivals of theatre, music and art generally. Numerous music festivals are held there, chiefly in European classical music and jazz, for instance the Ljubljana Summer Festival ("Ljubljanski poletni festival"). In the centre of the various Slovenian wine regions, Ljubljana is known for being a "city of wine and vine". Grapevines were already being planted on the slopes leading up to the Castle Hill by the Roman inhabitants of Emona.

In 1701, present-day Slovenia's first philharmonic academy opened in Ljubljana, which spurred the development of musical production in the region. Some of its honorary members would include Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven and Johannes Brahms, as well as the violinist Niccolò Paganini.

The National Gallery ("Narodna galerija"), founded in 1918, and the Museum of Modern Art ("Moderna galerija"), both in Ljubljana, exhibit the most famous Slovenian artists (among then Franz Caucig, 1755-1828). On Metelkova street there is a social centre dedicated to alternative culture, set up in a renovated former Austro-Hungarian barracks.cite web |url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/sights/20th_century_ljubljana/metelkova-mesto/ |title=Metelkova mesto alternative culture centre |accessdate=2008-07-31] This lively street has numerous clubs and concert halls that play various types of music, mainly alternative rock.cite web |url=http://www.metelkova.org/indexe.htm |title=AKC Metelkova mesto |accessdate=2008-07-31] In the 1980s, Ljubljana became the centre of the "Neue Slowenische Kunst", which among others included the music group Laibach and the painters of the IRWIN collective; the philosopher Slavoj Žižek was also associated with it.


Ljubljana's ice hockey clubs are HD HS Olimpija, ŠD Alfa, HK Slavija and HDD Olimpija Ljubljana. They all compete in the Slovenian Hockey League; HDD Olimpija Ljubljana also takes part in the Austrian Hockey League.cite web |url=http://www.hsolimpija.over.net/| |title=Hokejske Selekcije Olimpija |accessdate=2008-07-31 |language=Slovenian] The basketball teams are KD Slovan, ŽKD Ježica Ljubljana and KK Union Olimpija. The latter, which has a green dragon as its mascot, hosts its matches in the 6,000-seat Tivoli Arena ("Dvorana Tivoli"),cite web |url=http://www.union.olimpija.com/137/141/ | |title=Union Olimpija |accessdate=2008-07-31 |language=Slovenian] also the home rink of HDD Olimpija Ljubljana.

The city's football team which plays in the Slovenian PrvaLiga is Interblock Ljubljana.cite web |url=http://www.nkinterblock.eu/contents/index/63 | |title=NK Interblock |accessdate=2008-07-31] Olimpija Ljubljana play in the Slovenian Second League.

In alpine skiing, the athlete Urška Hrovat won various awards, including at the Alpine skiing World Cup. The closest alpine skiing slopes are located convert|30|km|mi to the northwest, near Kamnik. The "Krvavec" resort (convert|1450|m|ft-convert|1971|m|ft high) ten ski lifts for convert|35|km|mi of slopes.cite web |url=http://www.slovenia.info/?smucanje=0&lng=2 | |title=Skiing |accessdate=2008-07-31] cite web |url=http://www.rtc-krvavec.si/en/plan-smucisc | |title=RTC Krvavec |accessdate=2008-07-31]

The 100 and 200 m track athlete Merlene Ottey, formerly Jamaican, has lived in Ljubljana since she became a naturalised Slovenian citizen in 2002, and represents her new country in international competitions.


Ljubljana is at the centre of the Slovenian road network, which links the city to all parts of the country. Until July 2008, a toll booths were used, but were replaced by a system using stickers valid for a year or at least six months. The city, in central Slovenia, is linked to the southwest by A1-E70 to the Italian cities of Trieste and Venice and the Croatian port of Rijeka.Michelin, "Slovénie, Croatie, Bosnie-Herzégovine, Serbie, Monténégro, Macédoine", Cartes et guides n°736, Michelin, Zellik, Belgium, 2007, ISBN 978-2-06-712627-5] To the north, A1-E57 leads to Maribor, Graz and Vienna. To the east, A2-E70 links it with the Croatian capital Zagreb, from where one can go to Hungary or important cities of the former Yugoslavia, such as Belgrade. To the northwest, A2-E61 goes to the Austrian cities of Klagenfurt and Salzburg, making it an important entry point for northern European tourists.

The bus network, run by the city-owned Ljubljanski Potniški Promet, is Ljubljana's only current means of public transportation. Usually, the buses are called "trole" ("trolleys"), harking back to the 1901-58 days when Ljubljana had trolley service ("trole" is used to refer only to Ljubljana's buses, and not those in other Slovenian cities). One can also rent bicycles in the city,cite web |url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/tourist_services/lj-bike/default.html | |title=Ljubljana Bike |accessdate=2008-07-31] and there are numerous taxi companies.cite web |url=http://www.ljubljana.si/en/ljubljana_az/489/kategorija.html | |title=Taxi |accessdate=2008-07-31]

Ljubljana railway station is part of a railway network that links Germany to Croatia through the Munich-Salzburg-Ljubljana-Zagreb line. A second network is the Vienna-Graz-Maribor-Ljubljana one, which links Austria to Slovenia. A third is the Genoa-Venice-Ljubljana one, linking Ljubljana to Italy. Finally, a line goes to Budapest.

Ljubljana Airport (IATA code LJU), located convert|26|km|mi north of the city, has flights to numerous European destinations. Among the companies that fly from there are Adria Airways, Air France, Brussels Airlines, EasyJet and Finnair.cite web |url=http://www.lju-airport.si/eng/airliner.asp?IDD=12&IDM=209| | |title=Aerodrom Ljubljana, d.d. |accessdate=2008-07-31] Among the destinations served are Amsterdam, Belgrade, Brussels, Budapest, Helsinki, London, Paris, Prague and Vienna.

ister cities




See also

* List of people from Ljubljana

External links

* [http://www.ljubljana.si/en/municipality/ City of Ljubljana official site]
* [http://www.visitljubljana.si/ Official Ljubljana tourism site]

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