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Slovenia

Beautiful Bled.

Day Trip from Ljubljana.

all seasons in one day

Bled Castle looming over Lake Bled. - Bled

Bled Castle looming over Lake Bled. - Bled

Beautiful Bled.

We went to Bled for the day. We took a bus from the main bus station in Ljubljana. I think the ticket was 7 Euros 60 per person. The bus took just over an hour and was very crowded with lots of people standing. The older I get, the less I am liking crowded, touristy places, so I was feeling negative even on the bus journey and could not help comparing it with our bus journey to Kranj the day before when we had almost a whole bus to ourselves. On arrival my mood did not improve. I wanted to go swimming and to walk around the lake. When we reached the lake, we saw lots of no swimming signs and when we went to the official swimming area, we found it was quite expensive with additional costs for everything. Now that may have been fine if we had intended to swim and sunbathe for several hours but we wanted a quick swim and then to go walking. I know I am sounding moany and negative, but as we started walking around the lake, I could not help but be charmed by the magical scenery: medieval castle perched on the hill, clear blue lake waters, island in the distance with tall church spire.

The further away we got from the main town of Bled, the happier I became. We found people swimming for free in the lake, sometimes next to the no swimming signs and I could not resist joining them, though my more law abiding husband did not. We found a Mercator Supermarket and bought a picnic to eat by the lakeside. When we had walked right round to the island, we found another swimming area where you could swim for free or just pay for sun bed and sun umbrella hire. I liked the far side of the lake much more than the town end. We realized then that we were near the Bled Jezero Train Station and decided to take a train back from there rather than travel back on a crowded bus again. This station was only about 10 minutes walk away from the swimming area at the island end of the lake, but trains from here are not frequent, so you do have to know the times. Also the train will take you to Jessenice and you have to change there. The train journey was slower than the bus, but it was not crowded and the scenery on both journeys: bus and train was lovely. Bled Jezero to Ljubljana on the faster train costs 8 Euros 39 and on the slower one 6 Euros 59. We treated our day in Bled differently from the non­stop sightseeing of our other days, as we wanted a change. We did not go to the castle, or take a boat to the island. It was a walking and swimming and enjoying the scenery laid back restful sort of day. For my husband Bled was the highlight of our whole holiday. It was certainly beautiful.

Bled Castle.

This stunning castle stands perched on a rock towering over Lake Bled. The castle looks different from different angles as you walk around the lake and in different weather conditions. On our one day visit we had brilliant sunshine, rolling clouds, heavy rain and actually the changes these brought to all the scenery was worth experiencing in itself. We did not climb up to the castle, but apparently there are three different paths to Bled Castle. All of these are sign posted Grad which means castle. The first walk begins in the car park behind Bledec Hostel; the second is a very steep path beginning at the Castle Baths; and the third starts near the Church of St Martin. Bled Castle was originally built in the early eleventh century, though much of the current castle was built in the sixteenth century after the castle was damaged in an earthquake in 1511. For eight hundred years Bled Castle was the seat of the Bishops of Brixen.Nowadays Bled Castle is a museum with a beautiful chapel and stunning views over Bled Lake and island.

Bled Castle - Bled

Bled Castle - Bled

Bled Castle - Bled

Bled Castle - Bled

Bled Castle - Bled

Bled Castle - Bled

Bled Castle with Pletnas. - Bled

Bled Castle with Pletnas. - Bled

The Church of St Martin.

In Bled town you can visit the Parish Church of St Martin, which was created by Friedrich von Schmidt in 1905. Von Schmidt also designed the town hall and the Votive Church in Vienna. We just looked at the church on our way past without going in as we had been doing day after day of non­stop sightseeing and wanted just to enjoy the natural scenery of Bled rather than the sights.

The Church of St Martin

The Church of St Martin

The Church of St Martin

The Church of St Martin

The Church of St Martin

The Church of St Martin

Lake Bled.

For us the main reason to go to Bled was to walk round the lake and go for a swim in it. It is a wonderful feeling to swim in clear blue waters and look up to see an ancient castle looming over you or a distant island with its tall church spire. It reminded me a little of swimming in the Alpsee with Neuschwanstein looming nearby. Bled Lake is 2km by 1.4km. It is a 6km walk to go right round with paths by the shore all the way. As you walk around, the castle and island look different from different angles. There are two officially designated swimming areas with other more expensive hotel owned ones. The swimming area in the main town near the castle is quite expensive but has facilities. At the swimming area near the island end you can swim free just paying for sun beds and umbrellas if you hire these. Swimming in clear blue waters next to a picturesque island with an ancient castle towering nearby. Just lovely! What an absolutely perfect way to spend a glorious sun­filled day. We later had a picnic by the lake, too. Directions: If you walk or drive around the lake, you will see where people swim.

A Pletna Heading for the Shore. - Bled

A Pletna Heading for the Shore. - Bled

Lake Bled - Bled

Lake Bled - Bled

Lake Bled - Bled

Lake Bled - Bled

Pletna on Lake Bled - Bled

Pletna on Lake Bled - Bled

Lake Bled - Bled

Lake Bled - Bled

Swimming in Lake Bled

Swimming in Lake Bled

Swimming in Lake Bled

Swimming in Lake Bled

Swimming in Lake Bled

Swimming in Lake Bled

Bled Island.

You can hire a boat called a pletna to go out to Bled island. We did not; we just viewed it from the shore. Like the castle, the island looks very different when viewed from different sides. When you are right in front of it you can see the stairway leading up to the Church of the Assumption. The stairway dates from 1655.The lovely church dates from the seventeenth century. However there has been a church at this site since the ninth century. Inside the church there are fragments of frescoes and a wishing bell which you can ring to make your wish come true. While you are on the island, you can also visit the Chaplain's House and the Provost's House. The island was also a place of worship in ancient times when Ziva goddess of love and fertility was worshiped here.

Bled Island. - Bled

Bled Island. - Bled

Bled Island - Bled

Bled Island - Bled

The Island on the Lake. - Bled

The Island on the Lake. - Bled

Bled Island - Bled

Bled Island - Bled

Bled Island - Bled

Bled Island - Bled

Bled Island - Bled

Bled Island - Bled

Bled Island - Bled

Bled Island - Bled

Cream Cakes.

Bled is famous for its mouth ­wateringly yummy cream cakes like this one. We did not actually try any but they certainly look good. I feel I was a very good girl for resisting the temptation to eat several of these.

Cream Cakes

Cream Cakes

Posted by irenevt 20:10 Archived in Slovenia Comments (2)

Skofja Loka and Kranj.

Day trips from Ljubljana. 2014.

sunny

Visiting Kranj.

Looking towards Kranj. - Kranj

Looking towards Kranj. - Kranj

We wanted to visit some places close to Ljubljana while we stayed there so we did a day trip to the town of Kranj and thenearby town of Skofja Loka. Kranj occupied us for about half a day. Kranj is the fourth largest city in Slovenia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Kokra Rivers in the shadow of the Slovenian Alps. Kranj is a pleasant place with an old town, beautiful squares, fountains, three churches and a castle which like many Slovenian castles looks more like a big house than a castle. Slovenia's most famous poet, France Preseren, died in Kranj after living here for the last three years of his life. He is buried in Preseren Grove, a cemetery north of Kranj. Preseren's last house is now a museum. There is a theatre in town named after Preseren with a larger than life statue of Preseren striding along with his hair and coat blowing in the wind. We went to Kranj by bus from Ljubljana's Main Bus Station and left by taking a train to Skofja Loka.

Slovenski Trg.
Our bus let us off at Slovenski Trg (Slovenia Square) before continuing to the bus station. Slovenski Trg was redeveloped after World War II. It is the location of Kranj's best secondary school and home to several wonderful sculptures by Lojze Dolinar. Several of the buildings on the square were designed by architect Edvard Ravnikar. These include the Creina Hotel, City Hall and the former Globus shopping centre, which is now home to Kranj City Library.

Slovenski Trg

Slovenski Trg

Slovenski Trg

Slovenski Trg

Slovenski Trg

Slovenski Trg

Slovenski Trg

Slovenski Trg

Slovenski Trg

Slovenski Trg

Glavni Trg.

Glavni Trg is Kranj's main square. It is home to Kranj's town hall, the beautiful St Kancijan Church, the Prešeren Theatre, museums, cafes and a fountain. This square houses a weekly farmers' market. It was restored fully in 2013. Kranj's tourist office is located here.

Glavni Trg

Glavni Trg

Glavni Trg

Glavni Trg

Glavni Trg

Glavni Trg

Glavni Trg

Glavni Trg

Glavni Trg

Glavni Trg

St Kancijan Church.

St Kancijan Church is located on Kranj's main square. It was the only one of Kranj's churches which was open during our visit and it was lovely and peaceful inside. The church was founded in the 5th century, but most of the current building dates from the 15th century.

St Kancijan Church

St Kancijan Church

St Kancijan Church

St Kancijan Church

St Kancijan Church

St Kancijan Church

Preseren In Kranj.

Preseren, Slovenia’s most famous poet, lived in Kranj for the last three years of his life and died here. His final house is located at number seven Presernova ulica. The house has been made into a museum and displays some of Preseren’s furniture. It also contains his manuscripts, diaries and letters. Preseren is buried in a small cemetery called Preseren Grove about 500m north of Kranj.

Preseren In Kranj

Preseren In Kranj

Preseren In Kranj

Preseren In Kranj

Preseren Theatre.

Next to St Kancijan Church there is a large and impressive monument of Slovenia's most famous poet, Preseren, striding down the street with his hair and coat blowing in the wind. This monument is next to the rather impressive looking Preseren Theatre. The colonnaded façade of Prešeren Theatre, which was added during major renovations in the early 1950s was designed by famous Slovenian architect, Joze Pleznik.

Preseren Theatre

Preseren Theatre

Preseren Theatre

Preseren Theatre

Preseren Theatre

Preseren Theatre

Preseren Theatre

Preseren Theatre

Preseren Theatre

Preseren Theatre

Khislstein Castle.

The castle in Kranj’s town centre is called Khislstein Castle. It is now a museum. We did not go inside. Kranj’s castle like many Slovenian castles is more like a big house than a castle. The lower parts of Kranj's castle are an integral part of Kranj's defensive walls. Khislstein Castle takes its name from its 16th ­century owner Janez Khisl. In the castle grounds there was a weird sculpture of a bishop ­like person being devoured by octopuses, or should that be octopi, while a woman possibly the Virgin Mary prayed nearby. Apparently it shows St John of Nepomuk being thrown to a watery grave in the Vlatava River by King Wenceslas.

Khislstein Castle

Khislstein Castle

Khislstein Castle

Khislstein Castle

Khislstein Castle

Khislstein Castle

Khislstein Castle

Khislstein Castle

View over Kranj from the castle. - Kranj

View over Kranj from the castle. - Kranj

The Church Of The Holy Rosary.

The Church of the Holy Rosary is a beautiful looking building. It was built at the beginning of the 16th century as a place of worship for Kranj's Protestants. This church was restored in the 17th century and completely renovated again in the 1890s. The church is next to a colonnade designed by Pleznik and a pretty fountain topped by a rooster. It was closed when we visited.

The Church Of The Holy Rosary

The Church Of The Holy Rosary

The Church Of The Holy Rosary

The Church Of The Holy Rosary

The Church Of The Holy Rosary

The Church Of The Holy Rosary

The Church Of The Holy Rosary

The Church Of The Holy Rosary

The Church Of The Holy Rosary

The Church Of The Holy Rosary

The Church On Pungert.

This church on Pungert was built in1470. At the time of the church's construction, the town was in the grips of a terrible plague. The church is sacred to St.Fabijan, St.Sebastijan and St.Rok. These saints were believed to protect the faithful from the plague. The church was closed during our visit. There was a colourful painting on the outside of the church. Near the church there is an old tower. This is one of seven that were parts of the city walls. There is also a viewing platform with views over the Kokra River.

The Church On Pungert

The Church On Pungert

The Church On Pungert

The Church On Pungert

The Church On Pungert

The Church On Pungert

The Church On Pungert

The Church On Pungert

The Church On Pungert

The Church On Pungert

The Sava River.

We walked across this river and took some pictures back towards the town. I had seen lovely pictures of Kranj with mountains towering behind it. I think to get a shot of this you have to go down the steps and facing the river and go off to the right. I say think because we did not do this and missed the picture of Kranj with towering mountains though I did try to get it not altogether successfully from a train window and later from a bus window.

The Sava River

The Sava River

The Sava River

The Sava River

The Sava River

The Sava River

The Sava River

The Sava River

The Sava River

The Sava River




Studenty, Arty Area.

I don't entirely know what this building near Kranj Railway Station is but I do know that it reminded me of the studenty, arty, squat area in Ljubljana. It was filled with weird and wonderful works of modern art

Studenty, Arty Area

Studenty, Arty Area

Studenty, Arty Area

Studenty, Arty Area

Studenty, Arty Area

Studenty, Arty Area

Skofja Loka .

A Skofja Loka Rose. - Skofja Loka

A Skofja Loka Rose. - Skofja Loka

After visiting Kranj, we visited Skofja Loka for half a day. We got there by train from Kranj. Skofja Loka Train Station is a long way from Skofja Loka old town. I think it was a long, hot half hour's walk. The bus station is right next to the old town. Skofja Loka means Bishop’s Meadow. It is 19KM northwest of Ljubljana. The town is located on the confluence of the Selska Sora and the Poljanska Sora Rivers. The old town looked extremely beautiful and impressive as we approached from a distance. Its best features, in my opinion, were the lovely Capuchin Bridge, its hilltop castle, andthe nearby village of Pustal’s Devil’s Bridge. Other plus points of the town were some lovely churches, painted houses and pretty squares. Down points were several parts of the town were being restored; meaning some roads were inaccessible – of course restoration has to be done and it is just a matter of luck whether it is going on when you visit or not. The other down point was there were quite a lot of cars roaring around the town, so it was quite heavy on traffic.

The Church Of St Ann.

The Church of St Ann is located near the Capuchin Bridge. This was the only church we went in to and it was very pleasant. The church dates from the early eighteenth century. Worth visiting if you get the chance.

The Church Of St Ann

The Church Of St Ann

Near the Capuchin Bridge. - Skofja Loka

Near the Capuchin Bridge. - Skofja Loka

The Capuchin Bridge.

The Capuchin Bridge is a lovely part of town. You have beautiful views up and down the Selska Sora River and if you wander down the river a little, you have a beautiful view back towards the bridge. The bridge was built by Bishop Leopold and dates from the fourteenth century. In the middle of the bridge is statue of saint John of Nepomuk. A saint who met a watery end as I found out when writing my Kranj tips.

The Capuchin Bridge

The Capuchin Bridge

The Capuchin Bridge

The Capuchin Bridge

The Capuchin Bridge

The Capuchin Bridge

The Capuchin Bridge

The Capuchin Bridge

The Capuchin Bridge

The Capuchin Bridge

Mestni Trg.

Mestni Trg is the main square in Skofja Loka. It is where you will find the town hall, a fountain, a and some of Skofja Loka’s painted houses. Most of the buildings on this square were constructed in the early and mid sixteenth century. They were built to replace previous buildings destroyed by a powerful earthquake in 1511. Homan House is located at the north end of the square. This manor house was once the home of the painter Ivan Grohar. The square also has a plague column erected to thank the Virgin Mary for deliverance from the last bout of plague in 1751.

Mestni Trg

Mestni Trg

Mestni Trg

Mestni Trg

Mestni Trg

Mestni Trg

Skofja Loka Castle.

Skofja Loka Castle is an attractive looking building set on a hill. It was closed when we got to it, which did not bother us as we just wanted to look at it from the outside. There were lovely views in both directions from the castle. There was also a little café next to the castle. Skofja Loka Castle was the residence of the Bishops of Friezing from 973 until 1803. The castle has been a museum since 1959.

Skofja Loka Castle

Skofja Loka Castle

Skofja Loka Castle

Skofja Loka Castle

Skofja Loka Castle

Skofja Loka Castle

Skofja Loka Castle

Skofja Loka Castle

Skofja Loka Castle

Skofja Loka Castle

Pustal.

Pustal is a village on the other side of the Poljanska Sora River from Skofja Loka. Pustal has a castle which is more just like a big house. It has a pretty looking hilltop church called the Church of the Holy Cross and it has the Devil’s Footbridge. I would recommend visiting this long wooden bridge as the views from it are very pretty.

Pustal

Pustal

Pustal

Pustal

Pustal

Pustal

Pustal

Pustal

Pustal

Pustal

Scenery from the Devil's Footbridge. - Skofja Loka

Scenery from the Devil's Footbridge. - Skofja Loka

Posted by irenevt 19:39 Archived in Slovenia Comments (0)

Ljubljana.

sunny

Detail from a building in the old town. - Ljubljana

Detail from a building in the old town. - Ljubljana

Lovely Ljubljana.

We spent four nights in Ljubljana using some of our time to look at Ljubljana, plus using Ljubljana as a base to visit Bled, Skofja Loka and Kranj. This was our second visit to Ljubljana. We first came here in the eighties when it was still part of Yugoslavia. That was a short visit. At the time I was a student in Scotland and my husband was working in Istanbul. We travelled by train from Istanbul to Thessaloniki in Northern Greece; stayed overnight in a hotel in Thessaloniki. Then we took a train from Thessaloniki to Belgrade. We spent the day looking at Belgrade. Then we travelled overnight to Ljubljana, so when we arrived in Ljubljana we were very tired after two nights of sleeping on trains. I know we visited Preseren Square on our first visit as I have photos of the church there. I also remember climbing up to the fortress. My other memory is of visiting an art gallery with some very disturbing, gruesome and violent pictures in it, which actually upset me for most of the day. My impression and lasting memory of Ljubljana from our first visit was that it was like a run down version of Salzburg. That is certainly no longer the case. Ljubljana old town has been beautifully restored and is now in great condition. We returned for our third visit in July 2015. We stayed two nights. This was a very relaxed visit. We decided not to travel anywhere else and we set no itinerary for things to see. Instead we enjoyed our lovely hotel, swimming pool and wandered
at leisure around the old town, fortress and park. Ljubljana consists of a fortress on a hilltop. Nearby is the Ljubljanica River. On the fortress side of the river there is a long thin old town consisting of many long open squares lined with cafes and restaurants. In this part of town you will find the town hall, the cathedral, several churches and the marketplace. The river is crossed by several bridges including the dragon bridge, butchers’ bridge, triple bridge and the shoemakers’ bridge. On the non-fortress side of the river you can visit Preseren Square with its monument, church, department store and colourful buildings. There is also Kongresni Square with its university, church and Roman remains. Republike Square was being restored during our visit. This has communist style architecture and monuments plus the parliament building. French Revolution Square has a monument to Napoleon and some attractive old buildings.

Central Hotel Peaceful, Pleasant Hotel.

We stayed in this hotel for four nights. The hotel is easy to walk to from the train or bus station. Exit the station, go right, cross road and walk down Miklosiceva Street. The street the hotel is on is famous for Secessionist Architecture and has some lovely buildings. It is also very close to the historical centre of Ljubljana so the hotel's location is excellent. Check-in was friendly and pleasant. Our room was clean, comfortable and pleasant. It was also very quiet at night and we slept really well. The room had a fridge, a room safe, tea/coffee making facilities and free wifi which worked very well. The hotel does not have a swimming-pool but it has an arrangement with the nearby Grand Union Hotel that guests can use the indoor pool there for free. We did and it was lovely. I would strongly recommend this. Breakfast was good in this hotel. There was a selection of hot food, cereal, bread, cheese, cold meat, cake, coffees, teas, juices. We ate inside each day but had a fruit juice on the balcony prior to leaving to test the weather. The only odd thing about breakfast was the choice of music playing while we ate. It was rich in swear words and sexual references and certainly surprised me for a hotel breakfast room. Address: Miklosiceva 9, Ljubljana 1000.

large_7177452-Our_Room_Ljubljana.jpg

large_7177460-Our_Room_Ljubljana.jpg

Pool in Grand Union Hotel - Ljubljana

Pool in Grand Union Hotel - Ljubljana

Breakfast on the Balcony - Ljubljana

Breakfast on the Balcony - Ljubljana

The Grand Union Hotel - Ljubljana

The Grand Union Hotel - Ljubljana

Hotel Centre: Friendly Hotel.

We stayed here for one night in July 2014. The staff of this hotel were very pleasant and friendly. Water bottles are placed near the entrance and you can help yourself as you go in or out. Our room was small, but very clean. It did not have air-con, but we were provided with a fan. We were also provided with tea and coffee making facilities. The location of the hotel is excellent. It is close to the train and bus station and the historical centre. There are restaurants and supermarkets nearby. We left early to catch a train to Zagreb so did not eat breakfast here. Free wifi is provided and it works well. Check out works well. You have to pay in cash here. Credit cards are not accepted. Address: Slovenska 51, Ljubljana 1000.

large_7177459-Hotel_Entrance_Ljubljana.jpg

Things to Do.

Ljubljana Fortress - Ljublanski Grad.

Ljubljana Fortress stands on top of a hill and you can see it from many parts of the city. It is possible to walk to the fortress or get there by funicular. We walked. It is not a difficult walk even though you are going uphill and it is well signposted. You can go in the courtyard of the fortress without payment. If you pay you can go inside the buildings and seem to be shown round by actors playing the roles of characters from the past. We just looked at the free parts. The fortress has been restored and actually looks modern rather than like an old building; much of the courtyard is a restaurant and shops. There was a viewing platform overlooking modern Ljubljana. You can see views over the old town as you walk up to the fortress or from the outside of the fortress. The fortress dates from the tenth century, but most of the existing buildings date from sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The fortress was originally built to defend the Austro-Hungarian Empire against Ottoman invasion and peasant revolt. Throughout its eventful history the fortress has been used as an arsenal, a military hospital and a prison. The funicular to the castle was built in 2006. Outside the castle there is a monument by the sculptor Stojan Batič; dedicated to the Slovene peasant revolts . This sculpture was made in 1974. Ljubljana Castle Revisited. Later we re-visited Ljubljana Castle for a third time. This time we went up by funicular. The castle was looking a lot better than last year. Especially the area behind it which was still in the process of being renovated last year. I was much more impressed with the castle on this visit than on previous ones.

Ljubljana Fortress - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Fortress - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Fortress - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Fortress - Ljubljana

Views from the fortress. - Ljubljana

Views from the fortress. - Ljubljana

Views from the fortress. - Ljubljana

Views from the fortress. - Ljubljana

Views from the fortress. - Ljubljana

Views from the fortress. - Ljubljana

Views from the fortress. - Ljubljana

Views from the fortress. - Ljubljana

Views from the fortress. - Ljubljana

Views from the fortress. - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Fortress - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Fortress - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Fortress - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Fortress - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Fortress - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Fortress - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Castle Revisited - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Castle Revisited - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Castle Revisited - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Castle Revisited - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Castle Revisited - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Castle Revisited - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Castle Revisited - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Castle Revisited - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Castle Revisited - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Castle Revisited - Ljubljana

Fortress with zoom. - Ljubljana

Fortress with zoom. - Ljubljana

From the free viewing platform inside the castle you get a view over Ljubljana new town. On the walk up to the fortress and from the area behind the fortress you get views over the old town. Directions: Tourist Train from Prešeren Square or Walk up from Ciril Metodov Trg. Address: Castle Hill.

Views Over Ljubljana

Views Over Ljubljana

Views Over Ljubljana

Views Over Ljubljana

Views Over Ljubljana

Views Over Ljubljana

Views Over Ljubljana

Views Over Ljubljana

Views Over Ljubljana

Views Over Ljubljana

The Market.

The old town on the fortress side of the river contains the market. Some of this is in Vodnikov Trg and some of it is in the colonnade that runs along the river. There were also flower stalls next to the cathedral. When we visited on a Friday the area between the colonnade and the cathedral had an open kitchen event. This was very popular with lots of people buying cooked food from here.

The Market - Ljubljana

The Market - Ljubljana

The Market - Ljubljana

The Market - Ljubljana

The Cathedral of St Nicholas.

The Cathedral of St Nicholas is next to Ljubljana's central market. It is a beautiful building. It has very impressive doors with 3-d depictions of religious scenes on them. These were added to the cathedral in 1996 when the pope visited it. The current cathedral has a baroque interior with wonderful paintings. This cathedral dates from the early eighteenth century and occupies the site of an earlier gothic church. I thought the cathedral was very beautiful and peaceful and well worth a visit.

The Cathedral of St Nicholas - Ljubljana

The Cathedral of St Nicholas - Ljubljana

The Cathedral of St Nicholas - Ljubljana

The Cathedral of St Nicholas - Ljubljana

The Cathedral of St Nicholas - Ljubljana

The Cathedral of St Nicholas - Ljubljana

The Cathedral of St Nicholas - Ljubljana

The Cathedral of St Nicholas - Ljubljana

The Cathedral of St Nicholas - Ljubljana

The Cathedral of St Nicholas - Ljubljana

Open Kitchen - Ljubljana

Open Kitchen - Ljubljana

The cathedral from the other side of the river. - Ljubljana

The cathedral from the other side of the river. - Ljubljana

The Cathedral and Market - Ljubljana

The Cathedral and Market - Ljubljana

The Town Hall.

The town hall is near the cathedral. Outside it there is a lovely fountain of the three rivers. We had a look at the free exhibition in the town hall which was OK but had no English information. The town hall was built in 1484 and was later extended in the early eighteenth century by Gregor Macek. Address: Mestni Trg.

Old Town - Ljubljana

Old Town - Ljubljana

own Hall square and Fountain - Ljubljana

own Hall square and Fountain - Ljubljana

own Hall square and Fountain - Ljubljana

own Hall square and Fountain - Ljubljana

Detail of fountain. - Ljubljana

Detail of fountain. - Ljubljana

Town Hall square and Fountain - Ljubljana

Town Hall square and Fountain - Ljubljana

Old Town - Stari Grad.

As you wander the old town, take your time and look at the details. It could be a carving of a face on the wall, intricate metal work on a railing, a statue, a fountain. The beauty of Ljubljana is in the detail. When we travelled to Bled we heard the man sitting behind us tell two young English visitors not to bother looking at Ljubljana and head straight to the cave area as there was nothing to see in the city. Personally, I could not disagree
more. The old town may be small, but it was beautiful. The squares and streets of the old town are filled with cafes and restaurants.

Old Town Streets

Old Town Streets

Old Town Streets

Old Town Streets

Old Town Streets

Old Town Streets

Old Town Streets

Old Town Streets

Old Town - Ljubljana

Old Town - Ljubljana

Old Town - Ljubljana

Old Town - Ljubljana

Old Town - Ljubljana

Old Town - Ljubljana

Old Town - Ljubljana

Old Town - Ljubljana

Old Town Streets

Old Town Streets

Street details old town. - Ljubljana

Street details old town. - Ljubljana

The Bridges of Ljubljana.

Dragon Bridge marks one end of Ljubljana old town.There are four fearsome looking dragons one on each corner of the bridge. Butchers’ Bridge is near the market and presumably was once the meat selling area. It is lined with statues and like so many bridges nowadays covered with lovers’ padlocks. Triple Bridge is a three part bridge leading from Preseren Square to the old town. Shoemakers Bridge is a bridge lined with columns. It was being dug up when we visited. At one end there were some hanging shoes for decoration. Presumably in the past you had shoes made or repaired here.

Triple Bridge - Ljubljana

Triple Bridge - Ljubljana

Butchers' Bridge - Ljubljana

Butchers' Bridge - Ljubljana

Butchers' Bridge - Ljubljana

Butchers' Bridge - Ljubljana

Shoemakers' Bridge - Ljubljana

Shoemakers' Bridge - Ljubljana

Dragon Bridge - Ljubljana

Dragon Bridge - Ljubljana

Peter on Triple Bridge - Ljubljana

Peter on Triple Bridge - Ljubljana

Triple Bridge - Ljubljana

Triple Bridge - Ljubljana

Preseren Square.

Preseren Square has a statue of France Preseren, Slovenia’s most famous poet overshadowed by the poetic muse. In a corner of the square his lover gazes across at him. Preseren Square is surrounded by beautiful buildings such as the salmon pink Franciscan Church, which is lovely and peaceful inside. This church dates from the seventeenth century. There is also the oldest department store in Ljubljanaa beautiful art nouveau building with a statue of the god Mercury on its roof and a lovely ornate staircase inside. There are also several beautiful ornate and colourful buildings such as Hauptmann House. This house was built in 1873 and then later renovated in 1904 in the Secessionist style by the architect Ciril Metod Koch.

The franciscan Church - Ljubljana

The franciscan Church - Ljubljana

preseren and the poetic muse - Ljubljana

preseren and the poetic muse - Ljubljana


Preseren Square - Ljubljana

Preseren Square - Ljubljana

The love of Preseren's Life - Ljubljana

The love of Preseren's Life - Ljubljana

Mercury flying over the department store - Ljubljana

Mercury flying over the department store - Ljubljana

Miklosiceva Cesta.

Miklosiceva Cesta runs from Preseren Square to the street where you can find Ljubljana’s train and bus stations. It is a lovely street with art nouveau architecture.

Miklosiceva Square - Ljubljana

Miklosiceva Square - Ljubljana

Store on Preseren Square near Miklosiceva Cesta - Ljubljana

Store on Preseren Square near Miklosiceva Cesta - Ljubljana

Miklosiceva Cesta - Ljubljana

Miklosiceva Cesta - Ljubljana

Miklosiceva Cesta - Ljubljana

Miklosiceva Cesta - Ljubljana

Kongresni Square.

Kongresni Trg is a lovely square with some university buildings, a church and some Roman remains. The church here is the early Baroque Ursuline Church of the Holy Trinity. There is a gold statue of an ancient Roman man here. It is based on a real statue found in the excavation of the remains of Emona.

Kongresni Square - Ljubljana

Kongresni Square - Ljubljana

Kongresni Square - Ljubljana

Kongresni Square - Ljubljana

Kongresni Square - Ljubljana

Kongresni Square - Ljubljana

Kongresni Square - Ljubljana

Kongresni Square - Ljubljana

Fortress from Kongresni Square - Ljubljana

Fortress from Kongresni Square - Ljubljana

Republic Square.

Republike Trg was being restored when we visited. The parliament is here and there are some stark Soviet style buildings plus some typical communist style sculptures.Republic Square used to be known as Revolution Square. This is the largest of all Ljubljana's squares. It was designed in the late 20th century by Edvard Ravnikar. Slovenia declared its independence in this square on the 26th of June 1991.

Republic Square - Ljubljana

Republic Square - Ljubljana

Parliament, Republic Square - Ljubljana

Parliament, Republic Square - Ljubljana

Republik Square Revisited - Ljubljana

Republik Square Revisited - Ljubljana

Republik Square Revisited - Ljubljana

Republik Square Revisited - Ljubljana

Republik Square Revisited - Ljubljana

Republik Square Revisited - Ljubljana

Republik Square Revisited - Ljubljana

Republik Square Revisited - Ljubljana

French Revolution Square.

French Revolution Square has a column commemorating Napoleon and some lovely museums. It was quite pleasant just to wander around this area.

French Revolution Square - Ljubljana

French Revolution Square - Ljubljana

Republic Square - Ljubljana

Republic Square - Ljubljana

Near French Revolution Square - Ljubljana

Near French Revolution Square - Ljubljana

French Revolution Square - Ljubljana

French Revolution Square - Ljubljana

French Revolution Square - Ljubljana

French Revolution Square - Ljubljana

Enjoying the old town at leisure.

I am terrible for running us around lots of sights when we visit a place. So much so that I must admit I love going back to places we have already been and doing them again at leisure. If I have seen them fairly thoroughly on an earlier visit I can view them again in a much more relaxed and enjoyable way. For example revisiting Ljubljana this summer we walked along the river on the new town side and it gave us great views of the old town. On our rushed visit we missed this.

Views along the river - Ljubljana

Views along the river - Ljubljana

Views along the river - Ljubljana

Views along the river - Ljubljana

Views along the river - Ljubljana

Views along the river - Ljubljana

Views along the river - Ljubljana

Views along the river - Ljubljana

Shoemakers' Bridge.

This bridge was being renovated when we visited in 2014, so was a bit of a mess. Now all those renovations are finished and the bridge is looking attractive. There are good views up and down the river from here too.

Shoemakers' Bridge - Ljubljana

Shoemakers' Bridge - Ljubljana

Shoemakers' Bridge - Ljubljana

Shoemakers' Bridge - Ljubljana

Shoemakers' Bridge - Ljubljana

Shoemakers' Bridge - Ljubljana

Shoemakers' Bridge - Ljubljana

Shoemakers' Bridge - Ljubljana

Shoemakers' Bridge - Ljubljana

Shoemakers' Bridge - Ljubljana

Market.

We visited the market much earlier on this visit so there were more stalls open. The market is quite colourful and is set in a beautiful location being next to the river, the bridges and the cathedral. This area is worth a look. Plus there are places to eat and drink here.

The Market Revisited - Ljubljana

The Market Revisited - Ljubljana

The Market Revisited - Ljubljana

The Market Revisited - Ljubljana

The Market Revisited - Ljubljana

The Market Revisited - Ljubljana

The Market Revisited - Ljubljana

The Market Revisited - Ljubljana

Republic Square.

This square was all dug up and bits of it were fenced off when we visited last year. The renovation is now all complete. This is a very bleak Soviet style square. I actually quite like that kind of architecture in moderation of course. It is too depressing to be everywhere.

Tivoli Park.

Tivoli Park was an expansive and beautiful green park area. It is the largest park in Ljubljana. It had wonderful rose gardens with more than 160 different types of roses, a castle with lots of statues outside it, fountains and a lovely pond area complete with jumping fish sculpture. Near the pond and rose gardens is an open air library in the summer months. In winter it moves into a nearby greenhouse, Near the entrance to the park is the very pretty Serbian Orthodox Church and a museum of modern art.

Tivoli Park - Ljubljana

Tivoli Park - Ljubljana

Tivoli Park - Ljubljana

Tivoli Park - Ljubljana

Tivoli Park - Ljubljana

Tivoli Park - Ljubljana

Tivoli Park - Ljubljana

Tivoli Park - Ljubljana

Tivoli Park Revisited - Ljubljana

Tivoli Park Revisited - Ljubljana

Tivoli Park Revisited - Ljubljana

Tivoli Park Revisited - Ljubljana

Tivoli Park Revisited - Ljubljana

Tivoli Park Revisited - Ljubljana

Sculptures - Ljubljana

Sculptures - Ljubljana

Sculptures - Ljubljana

Sculptures - Ljubljana

Serbian Orthodox Church - Ljubljana

Serbian Orthodox Church - Ljubljana

Serbian Orthodox Church

Serbian Orthodox Church

Museum near park entrance. - Ljubljana

Museum near park entrance. - Ljubljana

Tivoli Mansion.

Tivoli Mansion is a beautiful building with lots of sculptures. It was originally built in the seventeenth century.by the Jesuits. Later it was renovated by Marshal Joseph Radetzky in the middle of the 19th century, The Austrian sculptor Anton Dominik Fernkorn made four cast iron dog statues that stand in front of the castle. When he later committed suicide, a rumour started that it was because he forgot to give these dogs tongues. There was also a fountain with a little boy and a dancing couple statue in front of the mansion.

Tivoli Mansion - Ljubljana

Tivoli Mansion - Ljubljana

Tivoli Mansion - Ljubljana

Tivoli Mansion - Ljubljana

Metelkova Area.

This area was once home to the military barracks of the Yugoslav National Army and a prison. When Slovenia became independent, students moved in and squatted here. It is now a kind of arty, free spirited squat area with a hostel you can stay in. It is worth coming here to view the graffiti and artwork.

Metelkova Area

Metelkova Area

Metelkova Area

Metelkova Area

Metelkova Area

Metelkova Area

Metelkova Area

Metelkova Area

Metelkova Area

Metelkova Area

Serbian Orthodox Church.

There is a beautiful Serbian Orthodox Church near the entrance to Tivoli Park. Lastyear I struggled to take a good photo of it. This year I found the perfect spot. As you approach the entrance to the park you walk down to a sort of underpass. Walk past the church and from the other side of the main road climb up some steps on your right and you will have the perfect view.

On our last visit we went to this park and explored the area to the left of Tivoli Mansions (if you were standing facing it) so this time we explored the area off to the right. I was able to use my powerful zoom to get a good shot of the fortress and skyscraper from here.

Favourite things.

I think the old centre of Ljubljana is really very picturesque and it is possible to take good views over it from various locations such as our hotel, the fortress, across the river from certain vantage points. These are some views I liked.

I rather like statues or at least I did until Skopje overwhelmed me with them and one of the fun things to do with them is to have your picture taken with them. Or if, like me you are not photogenic, shove your more photogenic husband next to them and snap away.

Posing With Statues

Posing With Statues

Llubljana At Night.

Ljubljana is truly beautiful as the sun goes down and the lights start to fade. Many buildings and squares are beautifully lit up at night. My camera is not great for night time shots, but I got a few pictures I liked. It is slightly better as the light is fading rather than when it is totally dark.

Llubljana At Night

Llubljana At Night

Llubljana At Night

Llubljana At Night

Llubljana At Night

Llubljana At Night

Llubljana At Night

Llubljana At Night

Llubljana At Night

Llubljana At Night

Rain Maker.

Outside the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation on Preseren Square some kind of sprinkler device had been set up to make it rain down water there. The area had jokey wet weather warning signs and was a good place to cool off. Very popular with children.

Rain Maker

Rain Maker

Rain Maker

Rain Maker

Rain Maker

Rain Maker

Views along the river.

The river in Ljubljana separates the old and new towns. It is crossed by many beautiful bridges. Make sure you stroll along both sides of the river if you like taking photos as you get very different views of things from each side.

View over the river. - Ljubljana

View over the river. - Ljubljana

Sailing on the river. - Ljubljana

Sailing on the river. - Ljubljana

Restaurants.

Vodnikov Hram: Pleasant Evening.

Ljubljana is filled with great restaurants. I did not write restaurant reviews last year and so had forgotten the names of places we ate. This year I will get my reviews done. Vodnikov Hram is at the foot of the funicular that goes up to the castle. It is close to the statue of Vodnikov, next to the market. We had a very good meal here. Lovely cold beer. Peter had a wiener schnitzel. I had a ljubljana schnitzel which turned out to be a cordon blue. Both were very tasty. We ordered fries and rosti they call it roast potatoes as sides. One would have been enough. We could not finish both. I
recommend the rosti. They were delicious. Service was pleasant, though the restaurant was busy and we had to wait a while for our main courses.
We sat outside. There was a step next to our table which nearly everyone tripped on in the dark, including me and despite the fact I had watched everyone else do it. We were given some kind of free schnapps at the end of our meal which tasted nice. I would eat here again.

Vodnikov Hram - Ljubljana

Vodnikov Hram - Ljubljana

Vodnikov Hram - Ljubljana

Vodnikov Hram - Ljubljana

Vodnikov Hram - Ljubljana

Vodnikov Hram - Ljubljana

Fany and Mary: Very Friendly Restaurant.

This restaurant is between Triple Bridge and Dragon Bridge on the new town side of the river. There are lots of restaurants here. We were attracted to this place by its sense of humour. It had signs up saying things like "Come on in and meet your future ex-wife", "Unattended children will be given tequila and a free kitten", "We have wifi so you don't need to talk". We saw this place in the day and decided to return in the evening. It was very busy, but they squeezed us in. I ordered a large pizza. The waiter asked if we were sharing. I said we were having one each and asked if that would be too much food. Anyway we ordered it. It was too much food but we took some away for next day so no problem. There was very little difference in price between big and small pizzas. Service here was very pleasant and friendly. The food was good and the beer was good. This restaurant secializes in pizzas and burgers.

Fany and Mary - Ljubljana

Fany and Mary - Ljubljana

Fany and Mary - Ljubljana

Fany and Mary - Ljubljana

Fany and Mary - Ljubljana

Fany and Mary - Ljubljana

Fany and Mary - Ljubljana

Fany and Mary - Ljubljana

Transportation Tips.

Bus to and from Ljubljana Airport.

We took a bus from Munich to Ljubljana then flew from Ljubljana to Podgorica on Serbian Air. The airport site is very vague about public transport to the airport, so we queued up at Ljubljana Bus Station and inquired if there was a bus to the airport. There was. We bought our tickets one day in advance. This was not actually necessary. The bus departed from stance 28 at Ljubljana Bus Station.

Ljubljana Airport.

We have been to Ljubljana three times now. On our first visit we arrived by train from Belgrade, on our second by train from Maribor, on our third by bus from Munich. We left on the first visit by train to Austria, on our second by train to Zagreb and on our third by air to Podgorica. Ljubljana Airport is about an hour away from Ljubljana by airport bus. It is quite a small airport. We flew out of it by Air Serbia.

Bus to and from Ljubljana Airport. - Ljubljana

Bus to and from Ljubljana Airport. - Ljubljana

Bus to and from Ljubljana Airport. - Ljubljana

Bus to and from Ljubljana Airport. - Ljubljana

Ljubljana Airport

Ljubljana Airport

From Munich to Ljubljana by bus.

On our third visit to Ljubljana we travelled by bus from Munich. This was good value and it was comfortable and fairly enjoyable. The route obviously went through Austria. The scenery was lovely. The bus had a toilet. We had one rest stop on route. The free wifi on the bus did not work. The journey took about five hours. We got off in Ljubljana but our bus continued on to Zagreb.

Bus from Munich to Ljubljana. - Ljubljana

Bus from Munich to Ljubljana. - Ljubljana

Funicular To The Castle.

Last two visits we walked up to the castle, but this time just to try something new we took the funicular. The price depends on what you want to do. You can go one way, up and back or get a ticket including castle entrance. We just went up. The bottom of the funicular is near the market. The short ride up is quite good fun with good views.

Funicular To The Castle

Funicular To The Castle

Funicular To The Castle

Funicular To The Castle

Posted by irenevt 00:05 Archived in Slovenia Comments (0)

Ptuj and Celje.

Day Trips from Maribor.

sunny

View over old town of Ptuj. - Ptuj

View over old town of Ptuj. - Ptuj

We did two day trips when we were in Maribor. One was to Ptuj and one was to Celje.

Ptuj.

Ptuj is 26KM southeast of Maribor, but that does not necessarily make it easy to get to. We bought a return train ticket to it, because we went on a Sunday. Slovenia offers tourist weekend tickets where you can buy a return ticket for 30% off the normal price on Saturdays and Sundays. However, we were told the next train was being replaced by a bus. That was fine. We got there by bus in 25 minutes. It was coming back that we had problems. We had been told it would also be by bus, but it was not; it was by train. We got talking to some English people who had got to Ptuj from Maribor by train and it had taken them 50 minutes. Our train back was 40 minutes late, then took about 50 minutes, so 25 minutes to get there and an hour and a half to get back. Ptuj is a lovely town with a castle perched on a hill and a lovely old town with churches, a town hall, statues and pretty squares. It is the oldest town in Slovenia. There is a lovely view back over the old town from the far side of the Drava River. The British people we met at Ptuj Station had gone to Ptuj for its large thermal swimming pool which they told us was really good. Ptuj is famous for a festival which is called the Kurent Festival. This takes place during Lent each year. It derives from an ancient fertility festival and involves dressing up in weird womble like costumes. The Kurent Festival is celebrated in Ptuj on Shrove Sunday. it attracts hundreds of visitors. The main character in the festival is Kurent. He wears a huge white sheepskin garment and a chain with huge bells around his waist. The bells make so much noise they chase away winter. Kurent collects handkerchieves from girls and women at the festival.

Enjoying a drink in Ptuj. - Ptuj

Enjoying a drink in Ptuj. - Ptuj

Ptuj Castle.

The first thing we did in Ptuj was walk up to the castle. We went the back route, but later found a way up from the centre of the old town, too. Ptuj’s castle is quite an impressive one. A castle was first built at this site in the ninth or tenth century. Only a tower survives from this. The castle has been rebuilt several times. Nowadays the castle is a museum, but we did not bother to go to the museum part inside. We enjoyed the views from the viewing terrace at the castle. You can see across the old town, the vineyards and the Drava River. We had a look at the statues in the castle’s central courtyard. There is a café in the courtyard, too and a souvenir shop near the entrance. There is a statue of a horse near the shop. The castle houses an old vine as do many places in the vine growing areas of Slovenia. Apparently the museum inside the castle contains examples of the costumes used during the Kurent Festival. It also houses musical instruments and armour. There are lovely views over the old town, the vineyards and the Drava River from Ptuj Castle. We were fortunate to visit on a beautiful sunny clear day.

Ptuj Castle. - Ptuj

Ptuj Castle. - Ptuj

Ptuj Castle - Ptuj

Ptuj Castle - Ptuj

large_861480037146268-View_back_to.._town_Ptuj.jpg

Views from the castle - Ptuj

Views from the castle - Ptuj

Views from the castle - Ptuj

Views from the castle - Ptuj

Views from the castle - Ptuj

Views from the castle - Ptuj

Views from the castle - Ptuj

Views from the castle - Ptuj

Views from the castle - Ptuj

Views from the castle - Ptuj

Views from the castle - Ptuj

Views from the castle - Ptuj

Peter with the horse statue. - Ptuj

Peter with the horse statue. - Ptuj

The Dominican Monastery.

The Dominican Monastery was built in 1230. It has not been used as a monastery since the late 18th century when the Habsburgs dissolved the Catholic religious orders. This is now the archaeological and lapidary museum. We did not go in. It’s quite an attractive building from the outside.

The Dominican Monastery - Ptuj

The Dominican Monastery - Ptuj

Slovenski Trg.

Slovenski Trg is a beautiful square with several interesting sights. This was the market centre of Ptuj until 1923. Here you will find the tourist office in Ljutomer House, the old town hall used as the town hall until 1907, the theatre, the city tower which dates from the 16th century. St George’s Church which dates from the 12th century and the intricately carved Orpheus Monument a 5 metre high Ancient Roman tombstone which was once used as a pillory. In St George’s Church there is a model of St George killing the dragon. There are some ornate gravestones outside. There is also an interesting and slightly scary gothic head carved onto one of the buildings here.

Theatre - Ptuj

Theatre - Ptuj

City Tower and Theatre - Ptuj

City Tower and Theatre - Ptuj

The Town Hall - Ptuj

The Town Hall - Ptuj

Gothic Head - Ptuj

Gothic Head - Ptuj

The Old Vine. - Ptuj

The Old Vine. - Ptuj

Mestni Trg.

Mestni Trg should be a beautiful square but when we visited it was being restored and was all dug up, fenced off and full of portaloos. It took skill to try and avoid these in any photos I took! The town hall is located in this square. In the centre of the square is St Florian’s column which dates from 1745. The town hall was built in 1907.

St George's Church.

St George's Church is located on Slovenski Trg . This church was built originally in the twelfth century and later rebuilt in Gothic style in the fifteenth century. Outside the church there are some beautiful Renaissance and Baroque gravestones with intricate and detailed carvings. There were also some beautiful roses growing here. It was possible to enter the church and view it through a locked grill when we visited. There was a statue of St George fighting the dragon inside.

St George's Church - Ptuj

St George's Church - Ptuj

Door knocker - Ptuj

Door knocker - Ptuj

Tombstones - Ptuj

Tombstones - Ptuj

Roses - Ptuj

Roses - Ptuj

Inside the church - Ptuj

Inside the church - Ptuj

Tombstones - Ptuj

Tombstones - Ptuj

- Ptuj

- Ptuj

- Ptuj

- Ptuj

- Ptuj

- Ptuj

- Ptuj

- Ptuj

- Ptuj

- Ptuj

St George and the dragon. - Ptuj

St George and the dragon. - Ptuj

Minoritski Trg.

Minoritski Square has a pillar to St Mary in its centre. This was erected to celebrate a victory over the Turks in 1664. Near the column stands the Minorite Monastery. This was established in the thirteenth century. The facade of this building is very ornate. We were able to visit inside the monastery church. I particularly liked the statues and sculptures which survived the bombing of the church in the Second World War. These were displayed in a small room to the left of the altar. Apparently Minoritski Trg used to be known as beef square in the middle Ages as cattle were assembled here before being led to the nearby Drava River.

- Ptuj

- Ptuj

The Minorite Monastery.

The Minorite Monastery church contained relics and statues from an earlier version of the church that was destroyed by bombs in 1945.

Survivor from old  Minorite Monastery. - Ptuj

Survivor from old Minorite Monastery. - Ptuj

- Ptuj

- Ptuj

- Ptuj

- Ptuj

Humorous Monument.

This humorous monument is located between the Minorite Monastery and the Drava River. I don't know who it is by or why it is there other than to make passersby smile.

Monument near the river. - Ptuj

Monument near the river. - Ptuj

The Drava River.

It is worth crossing the Drava River for beautiful views back over the old town. From this vantage point you can see how the castle towers over the lovely old town.

The Drava River - Ptuj

The Drava River - Ptuj

The Drava River - Ptuj

The Drava River - Ptuj

The Drava River - Ptuj

The Drava River - Ptuj

The Drava River - Ptuj

The Drava River - Ptuj

The Drava River - Ptuj

The Drava River - Ptuj

The Kurent Festival.

The Kurent Festival is a famous festival that takes place in Pjuj every year at Shrovetide. Participants wear elaborate furry costumes during the festival. The festival takes place on Shrove Sunday the Sunday before Lent and attracts visitors from all over Slovenia and the world. In the past only men dressed as kurent, but now anyone can. The kurent wear masks with scary long red tongues and clothes made of sheepskin. Around their waists they wear a belt with several large bells attached to it. they leap around ringing the bells in the hope that all the noise they make will scare away winter. As well as being a festival to welcome in the spring, kurent has associations with fertility festivals. Each kurent carries a stick with spikes made of hedgehog quills on the end. Girls attach handkerchiefs to the spikes. The kurent with the most handkerchiefs is the ladies' favourite. During a kurent festival one character also dresses as the devil and scares children. The devil is there to help the kurent. The worst thing that can happen to a kurent is for him to lose his mask and reveal his face. There are kurent costumes on display in Ptuj Castle. You can also buy kurent souvenirs.

large_7146331-The_Kurent_Festival.jpg
The Kurent Festival.

large_7146330-The_Kurent_Festival.jpg
The Kurent Festival.

large_7146328-The_Kurent_Festival.jpg
The Kurent Festival.

large_7146329-The_Kurent_Festival.jpg
The Kurent Festival.

Wine Wine Wine.

Ptuj is located in a major wine growing area and there are many many reminders of this dotted around the whole town. I rather liked the vine leaf patterns used to decorate the fronts of several buildings.

large_7146332-Wine_Wine_Wine.jpg
Wine Wine Wine.

large_7143669-Wine_Wine_Wine.jpg
Wine Wine Wine.

large_7143666-Wine_Wine_Wine.jpg
Wine Wine Wine.

large_7143668-Wine_Wine_Wine.jpg
Wine Wine Wine.

Elephant Statue.

I have no idea why this very attractive elephant statue was on display, but it was quite cute. We found it not far from the river area and decided to photograph it. My husband is rather fond of elephants.

large_7146340-Elephant_Statue.jpg
Elephant Statue.

Celje.

Celje is the third largest city in Slovenia with a population of around 50,000. It is located in a mountainous area on the confluence of the Savinja and Voglajna Rivers. Celje is dominated by an impressive medieval castle perched high on a hill. This was home to the Counts of Celje who ruled over Celje for more than three centuries. Celje’s old town has several interesting churches, statues, squares and a City Park. We got to Celje by train. It was about an hour long journey from Maribor through some pretty, mountainous scenery. Celje Train Station is right next to the old town.

Steam Train.
Trains Review
Like most railway stations in Slovenia, Celje Station has an old steam engine on display. I think this is rather a nice idea. It provides a use for these old engines, but makes them more visible than if they were shut away in a museum.

large_7146952-Steam_Train.jpg
Steam Train.

Celje Hall.

Celje Hall is located just across the road from the station. It is built in Germanic style and was built originally as a cultural centre for Celje’s German community in 1906. It contains Celje’s Tourist Information Office. The people there were very friendly and helpful when we went to collect our free map.

large_7146956-Celje_Hall.jpg
Celje Hall.

large_7146955-Celje_Hall.jpg
Celje Hall.

Alma Karlin Statue.

Outside Celje Hall there is a statue of Alma Karlin a famous Slovenian traveller and writer. She was born in Celje on the 12th of October 1889. Her father was a major in the Austro-Hungarian Army, and her mother a teacher. Alma studied in Graz, then travelled to London, where she studied languages. She was amazingly gifted at languages and learned English, French, Latin, Italian, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Russian, Spanish, Persian, Chinese, and Japanese. She worked on a dictionary of ten languages, including Slovene. At the outbreak of World War I in 1914 Alma had to move to Sweden and Norway, since Britain no longer welcomed citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1919, she returned to Celje and opened a language school. In 1919, she set out on a nine year journey around the world. She visited South and North America, the Pacific Islands, Australia, and various Asian countries. In 1928 when her mother was dying, Alma returned home. She devoted most of her time to writing. She wrote in German until the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany, when she abandoned German as an act of protest. In Germany, her books were burned by the regime. After an eventful life Alma died on the 14th January 1950. On her world travels she had collected many souvenirs some of these are now on display in the Celje Regional Museum.

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Alma Karlin Statue.

Churches.

Celje has several lovely churches. The only one we could go inside was the Church of St Daniel which was located on Slomskov Square. There was a statue of Bishop Slomšek, outside. There has been a church here since the 13th century. St Cecelia’s Church is located on the far side of the Savinja River. It is situated on top of a hill and is reached via a steep covered staircase with ninety steps. There are good views from outside the church. The church dates from the 17th century. The Church of St Mary's Assumption is on the same street as the tourist office. It was originally part of a Minorite Monastery and dates from the 14th century. It was closed during our visit. There was also a lovely church located on the mountain near the castle.

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Churches.

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Churches.

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Churches.

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Churches.

Sculptures.

Celje had several interesting sculptures. The most famous is war and peace. One side shows war, the other side shows peace. This sculpture was created in 1956 by Jakob Savinšek. The sculpture is five metres high. I liked the sculpture of the man on a bicycle clutching a camera.

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Sculptures.

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Sculptures.

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Sculptures.

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Sculptures.

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Sculptures.

The People’s Savings And Loans Bank.

This bank was designed by famous Slovenian architect Jože Plecnik during the interwar years.The building is three floors high with a fancy colonnaded facade. It is located on Stanetova and Vodnikova Streets. The bank is next to a rather fancy cinema called the Cinema Metropol. The Cinema Metropol was established in 1936 in a building also designed by Jože Plecnik. Nowadays the Metropol is an arthouse cinema.

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The People’s Savings And Loans Bank.

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The People’s Savings And Loans Bank.

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The People’s Savings And Loans Bank.

Celje Theatre.

The Celje Theatre is quite an interesting building with a sculpture of the Greek masks of comedy and tragedy on its facade. The theatre was constructed in 1824. In 1950 it became the Slovene People’s Theatre. It currently stages around six new productions a year. The sculpture of War and Peace is in a little park nearby.

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Celje Theatre.

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Celje Theatre.

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Celje Theatre.

Celje Castle.

We walked to Celje Castle via a steep path on the far side of the Voglajna River. It took around forty exhausting minutes. When we walked down, we took the road and walked along the river, past the station then through the tunnel under the railway tracks. There is a great view from both outside and inside of the castle. You cannot see any of the castle without paying to go in. It cost 2 Euros and if you presented your ticket in the castle café you got a Euro off your purchase, so it really only cost one Euro. Celje Castle was built by the Huenburg Family in the late 12th, early 13th century. Later it became the home of the Counts of Celje, who were later made Princes of Celje. When the last of these was murdered the castle was taken over by the Hapsburgs. Like Ljubljana Castle, celje Castle has been over-restored to the point where it looks brand new. However, it is worth visiting anyway for the beautiful views over Celje’s old town, rivers and mountains. Like most castles in Slovenia Celje Castle had an old vine. There was a photographic exhibition on when we visited showing the importance of colour. A photo was taken where everything was shades of gray then next to it, the same scene was shown in colour.

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Celje Castle.

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Celje Castle.

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Celje Castle.

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Celje Castle.

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Celje Castle.

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Celje Castle.

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Celje Castle.

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Celje Castle.

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Celje Castle.

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Celje Castle.

Celje Castle Once Again

Celje Castle Once Again

Celje Castle Once Again

Celje Castle Once Again

Celje Castle Once Again

Celje Castle Once Again

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Celje Castle.

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Celje Castle.

Shop Signs.

I really love the highly decorative shop signs that can be found in most old European towns. These were my favourites in Celje. I especially like the man carrying the oversized knife over his shoulder.

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Shop Signs.

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Shop Signs.

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Shop Signs.

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Shop Signs.

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Shop Signs.

Faces Of Celje.

I really love the ornate faces that can be found carved on old buildings. These are some I especially liked in Celje. The first one reminds me of the works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. There is something similar in the style.

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Faces Of Celje.

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Faces Of Celje.

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Faces Of Celje.

Rivers.

Celje lies at the confluence of the Savinja and Voglajna Rivers. There are beautiful, scenic walks along each of these. There are also lovely views as you walk along the rivers or overlook them from the hills up above them.

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Rivers.

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Rivers.

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Rivers.

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Rivers.

Church And Home Of St Joseph.

Like the castle this beautiful, old building dominates the town of Celje from its hilltop location. We got near it on our walk down from the castle, but
unfortunately we did not have time to actually visit.

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Church And Home Of St Joseph.

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Church And Home Of St Joseph.

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Church And Home Of St Joseph.

Posted by irenevt 06:05 Archived in Slovenia Comments (4)

Maribor.

sunny

Wonderful, but damaged building sculpture. - Maribor

Wonderful, but damaged building sculpture. - Maribor

Maribor.

Maribor is the second largest city in Slovenia. It is situated on the Drava River in wine making country. There are lots of beautiful vineyards around the town. We stayed in Maribor for three nights. We spent time looking at Maribor itself, plus we used it as a base for exploring areas nearby with a trip to Ptuj and a trip to Celje. In the north part of Maribor you will find the City Park which has ponds, wide open green spaces and an aquarium. Behind this on a hill there are many vineyards. There is a walk uphill through the vineyards which leads to a little chapel. We did not have time to do this, but the views from here I am sure would be lovely. Other than this area most of Maribor’s sights are grouped around three main squares. The castle and lots of restaurants are located around Grajski Trg. Around Slomskov Trg you can find the cathedral, university, theatre and post office. The town hall and plague monument are located on Glavni Trg. The other area of interest is Lent – an area of old towers, restaurants and cafes located on the banks of the Drava River. This area is also home to Maribor’s famous old vine.

More Beautiful Sculptures. - Maribor

More Beautiful Sculptures. - Maribor

The Hotel Orel is right in the centre of Maribor close to Maribor Castle. It is handy for restaurants and bars. However, the downside of this is that the hotel is very noisy. We stayed here for three nights. On the first night I was woken up by noise from outside the hotel continuously. On the second night I was so tired I almost slept through the noise but was woken up once or twice. On the third night I was so tpired I managed to just pass out into total oblivion. The other big downside with this hotel, at least in summer, is that the rooms have no air-­conditioning and are stiflingly hot. Staff at the hotel were reasonably pleasant. Our room was clean. The bed was comfortable. I cannot say the room was comfortable due to the heat. Breakfast was OK. There was some hot food, breads, a toaster, cheeses, meats, cereal, coffee, tea. Maribor was a nice place. The hotel was about ten minutes walk from the station and convenient for all Maribor's sights and for places to eat. Maybe it is quieter if you have a room at the back of the hotel. Personally I would never stay here again, because of the noise. Address: Volkmerjev prehod 7, Maribor, 2000, Slovenia.

Grandeurs of former days - Maribor

Grandeurs of former days - Maribor

The City Park.

We visited the City Park on our last morning. It is a pleasant park with ponds, statues and an aquarium. I rather liked the boy with grapes statue. Behind the park there are many large, fancy houses so I assume this is the expensive part of town to live in. Behind these there are lots of vineyards. We noticed there is a walk up through the vineyards to a little chapel and viewpoint. We did not have time to do this, but I am sure
the views from there would be spectacular.

Vinyards - Maribor

Vinyards - Maribor

Vinyards - Maribor

Vinyards - Maribor

Vinyards - Maribor

Vinyards - Maribor

City Park - Maribor

City Park - Maribor

City Park - Maribor

City Park - Maribor

Grajski Trg .

Grajski Trg was very close to our hotel. Maribor’s castle is located here – this is more like a big house than a castle. This castle was built in 1555 as a noble residence. In the seventeenth century the castle was renovated in Renaissance style. In the eighteenth century the castle's beautiful baroque staircase was added.We did not go inside, but you can see its famous baroque staircase from outside, though photographing it was not easy as there was always a terrible reflection through the glass window it was located behind. The castle is now a museum. There was also a monument on this square. This monument is dedicated to St. Florian, the patron saint against fires, floods and natural catastrophes. Grajski Trg is lined with restaurants and bars. Admission to the castle museum €3/2/0.85 for adults/students/children.

Grajski Trg - Maribor

Grajski Trg - Maribor

The castle, Grajski Trg. - Maribor

The castle, Grajski Trg. - Maribor

Bacchus, Grajski Trg - Maribor

Bacchus, Grajski Trg - Maribor

Slomskov Trg.

Slomskov Trg was probably the most interesting of Maribor’s squares. It has a statue of Bishop Anton Martin Slomšek. It has a little pond with a statue of a small boy and lots of brightly coloured flowers. At one end of the square you can find some buildings belonging to Maribor University and several statues of notable Slovenians outside it. On another side lies the Slovene National Theatre, on another Maribor’s very ornate main post office. Post offices in Slovenia seemed to be quite grand buildings wherever we went. The most interesting building on the square in my opinion was Maribor’s cathedral. We were lucky as two singers and a musician were practicing in the cathedral when we visited and the singing was really beautiful to listen to. The cathedral had several lovely stain glass windows commemorating the pope’s visit in 1999.

The University - Maribor

The University - Maribor

Bishop Statue - Maribor

Bishop Statue - Maribor

Maribor Cathedral - Maribor

Maribor Cathedral - Maribor

Window in Cathedral - Maribor

Window in Cathedral - Maribor

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Post Office.

Glavni Trg.

The town hall square has several beautiful buildings, though some were being restored when we visited. The town hall itself is quite an impressive building dating from 1515. In the centre of the square there is a large plague column with statues of lots of different saints and a Virgin Mary image on the top. At one time Maribor's market took place here.

The town hall square - Maribor

The town hall square - Maribor

The town hall square - Maribor

The town hall square - Maribor

The town hall square - Maribor

The town hall square - Maribor

The town hall square - Maribor

The town hall square - Maribor

The town hall square - Maribor

The town hall square - Maribor

Lent.

The Lent area is located on the banks of the Drava River. Some of it has been restored and some is rather run­down. It is the oldest part of Maribor and used to be the commercial hub of the town due to its proximity to the river. At one end you can find the round Judgement Tower which dates from 1310 and near this is a Minorite Monastery and Church. The market is near here, but it was not on when we visited. In the centre of Lent near the water front you can visit the oldest vine in the world which during our visit was laden down with grapes. The grapes of this vine are used to make special wines for visiting VIP’s. At the other end of the Lent area on the river there is the picturesque Water Tower now a café. Back from the waterfront lies the little, white synagogue and the Jewish Tower. Behind this is the street where Maribor’s Jewish community used to live. Some of Lent was restored and some was not. The places that were not looked a bit shabby and run down. Hopefully they will be spruced up a bit later on. Lent was also an area with many restaurants and bars. We had a very tasty pizza meal here in a pleasant setting.

Water Tower and train. - Maribor

Water Tower and train. - Maribor

Water Tower and Jew's Tower - Maribor

Water Tower and Jew's Tower - Maribor

The Old Vine - Maribor

The Old Vine - Maribor

The Old Vine - Maribor

The Old Vine - Maribor

Judgement Tower - Maribor

Judgement Tower - Maribor

The Minorite Monastery - Maribor

The Minorite Monastery - Maribor

Peter at the synagogue - Maribor

Peter at the synagogue - Maribor

Jewish Street - Maribor

Jewish Street - Maribor

National Hall.

The National Hall of Maribor is a beautiful building. I just viewed it from the outside. Across from it there was an interesting horse statue. I liked the way the sculptor had captured the movement of the animal's head.

Statue outside the national hall. - Maribor

Statue outside the national hall. - Maribor

The Drava River.

From the bridges over the Drava River there are some lovely views over the old town. The hanging branches of the willow trees which line the banks of the river add to the beauty of the scene. We crossed over one of the Drava's bridges to have a look at one of the newer parts of town, too.

The Drava River - Maribor

The Drava River - Maribor

The Drava River - Maribor

The Drava River - Maribor

The Drava River - Maribor

The Drava River - Maribor

The Drava River - Maribor

The Drava River - Maribor

The Drava River - Maribor

The Drava River - Maribor

St Mary's Church.

The Basilica of Our Mother of Mercy ­ is a beautiful church is near Castle Square. It is lovely and peaceful inside. This is a church of the Franciscan Order dedicated to St Mary. It was built at the end of the 19th century based on a design by Viennese architect Richard Jordan. This church is built on the site of a former Capuchin monastery and the Church of the Mother of Mercy.

St Mary's Church - Maribor

St Mary's Church - Maribor

Ocean.

This lovely old steam engine called Ocean has pride of place outside Maribor Rail Station.It seems to be common to have an old steam engine on display at the stations here.

Ocean - Maribor

Ocean - Maribor

Ocean - Maribor

Ocean - Maribor

Hen Parties.

We crossed the Drava River to Revolution Square expecting it to have some monuments. It did not, but it did have a great ice­-cream stall and while we were enjoying our ice-­cream along came a Slovenian hen party. The bride to be said to us jokingly: “I am about to be married. Please give me some money for drink.” “For drink”, I said. “Surely you’d spend it on your husband.” Then we both thought about it and said she’d be better off spending it on herself. Eventually, we agreed I’d give her money if I could take a photo of her and her friends. She agreed and gave me phallic shaped biscuit in return. Good to know it is not just the Brits who have these mad traditions.

Wine Wine Wine.

Slovenia makes wonderful wine. We kept finding things relating to wine as we looked around Maribor and other Slovenian towns. Maribor is in a wine growing area and you can see vineyards on the hills around it. It is home to the old vine and has statues of the god Bacchus as well as shop signs celebrating wine.

Peter outside the Wine Museum. - Maribor

Peter outside the Wine Museum. - Maribor

Shop Signs.

I love shop signs and Maribor had some great ones. I found the rats sneaking under that sleepy cat quite funny. That cat was sleeping up above the pizza restaurant we went to in the Lent area of the city.

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Mice sneaking past sleeping cat.

Posted by irenevt 05:09 Archived in Slovenia Comments (1)

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