Ljubljanski Grad

The Pathway Up

The walk up to Ljubljana Castle is quite steep – if you are taking the original path from the old town.

If you have any ‘ability issues’ I would suggest taking a drive up the long meandering road instead, or even better – take  the new ‘Funicular Railway‘.

Slovenia Red Roofs

The view overlooking the old town district (from the path) was breathtaking (though I didn’t have much breath left after the climb!).

I loved the expanse of red roofs – something you don’t see in North America (though very common in Europe).

Taking a Break

Taking a break on the way up…

At the castle entrance you can find the Ljubljana mascot dragon, in the form of a gorgeous medieval looking torch. There are two, one for either side of the entryway.

Ljubljana Castle Dragon

Archeological studies show that the site has been continually occupied since the 1200’s.

The medieval castle was constructed to ward off the Ottomans, and avoid peasant revolt (read about one from 1515 & another from 1573).

Ljubljanski Grad

The castle changed hands a few times (read about it here at Wikipedia) before becoming property of the House of Habsburg in 1335.

Castle Grounds Ljubljana

During the 15th century it was all but demolished and rebuilt to include a drawbridge and a chapel.

It served as a military hospital and arsenal for about 200 years before being damaged during the Napoleonic era.

Castle Courtyard Ljubljanski Grad

Austria took it back and turned it into a prison (until 1905, and again during WWII).

Unlike various other castles throughout the world, this one was not a family home. Without reason to maintain the castle, it fell into disrepair.

Ljubljanski Grad

In 1905 Ljubljana picked up the costs for the castle, and though it was intended to turn the site into a museum, it actually ended up becoming a shelter for poor families until the mid 1960’s when the renovations began.

Work on Ljubljanski Grad took more than 35 years.

Small Door Ljubljanski Grad

I spend a few hours exploring the grounds, ducking to get through tiny medieval doorways, reading the historical plaques.

There is a permanent exhibition on Slovenian history that you can check out, as well as additional exhibits on ancient wall paintings, local fossils, and the restoration project.

You can learn more here.

View From The Top Ljubljanski Grad

I climbed up the viewing tower to what used to be the fire-guards residence, to take in the incredible views.

It was overcast, but still worth the trek.

Ana From Canada In Ljubljana

At the top I found a Canadian flag sticker attached to the flag pole, so I had to take a pic in front of it (though it did occur to me that it was a bit rude for whomever to deface Slovenian property in the name of Canada! Sorry, Slovenia!)

Communist Bloc Housing Ljubljana

View of Ljubljana from the Castle

You can take a virtual tour of the castle here.

I was getting hungry and it was getting late. It was time to take in some ‘Ljubljanan’ night life!

Many additional photos in the slideshow.

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Head to the Habitual Runaway on Facebook for more photos of Slovenia, or follow this tour by going to the ‘Winter in Europe‘ section.

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