Ljubljana Castle – the Crown of the Slovenian Capital

Slovenia boasts a scenic palette of castles, towers, mansions and forts, as well as many accompanying stories and legends. The Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Baroque, even Antiquity here tell of memories trapped within mighty walls, continuing to excite the imagination. In addition to the comfortable facilities of its hotels and congress centres, Ljubljana offers over a dozen unique settings within a 15-minute radius of the city’s proverbial meeting place, the Triple Bridge or Tromostovje. One of the most cherished is the Ljubljana Castle, graciously ruling the skyline.

Alongside the Ljubljana Dragon – another popular symbol of Ljubljana, the Ljubljana Castle is the essential landmark and recognizable staple of the Slovenian capital, watching over it proudly since the Middle Ages. From its strategic position overlooking the land, it offers attendees of professional, cultural, social and other gatherings marvellous vistas across the city and its surroundings, a retreat from the daily urban rush, premium cuisine in a splendid ambience, all infused with the historic flair of the locale and its legacy. On practically any day of the year, the castle makes for an interesting mixture of past and present, with lively happenings shaping the beat of a spirited social hub. The Ljubljana Castle is thus quite a special setting for the organization of various types of events, be it conferences, symposia, presentations, art exhibitions, fashion shows, ceremonial receptions or gala dinners.

The castle can be reached with the panoramic funicular or the environmentally friendly train Urban, even the Kavalir cart straight from the city. Perhaps you’ll opt for a carriage or the saddle of an elegant Lipizzaner, or perhaps, like a true Ljubljana local, simply head up there on foot or by bike, along its ancient or modern walking trails. Removed from the urban bustle yet still within reach, this is the green life in the centre of a metropolis! The castle surroundings were shaped by the famous architect Jože Plečnik, who structured the remains of the fortifications into a walking route – the Šance. “Šance, but a single fantasy. Lord knows what else can be accomplished here …” remarked the great master of architecture and designer of Plečnik’s Ljubljana, who also left his artistic touch on the sights of neighbouring Vienna and romantic Prague. Since 2016, a stroll along the Castle Hill may be extended to the castle vineyard. Yes, you read that right, even Slovenia’s capital features some exquisite wine. The Ljubljana Castle enjoys its own vineyard, nursed from the oldest vine in the world, which resides in Lent in the city of Maribor. How convenient! The castle vintage pleasantly rounds out Slovenia’s superb wine offer, gracing many kinds of events – perhaps yours as well.

Connoisseurs will tell you fine dining is found up there, too. Select castle flavours add icing to the cake of any social gathering. Perhaps you’ll choose the Palatium, where the provincial governors once organized their banquets and feasts, maybe your event is best suited by a combination of the Blue Hall and White Hall, one of Frederick’s Towers, the castle theatre, The Hribar or Rock Hall, the Lapidarium, the courtyard or even the park; or perhaps you’ll decide to let the master chefs of the extraordinary Strelec restaurant pamper your palate. The choice is colourful and rich.

Castle pipers, frescoes in the Archers’ Tower, mysterious wells and many other artefacts in these chambers speak of the great creativity of its dwellers and the lifestyle of another age. In the Scriptorium, the castle scribe skilfully wields the calligraphy pen, recording a statement of your choice. How valuable and beautiful, the written word! Here, within walls centuries old, one feels like time stopped in the distant past, for a brief moment at least.

As jazz melodies resonate through the alleys below, Ljubljana’s flag flutters rhythmically on the castle Viewing Tower, the Ljubljana Dragon gazing proudly across the city. The loveable green giant symbolizes courage, strength and greatness, its story closely connected to that of the castle walls. Legend has it the mighty beast was defeated aeons ago by the brave knight Saint George. Ever since and up until this day, the monster has been asleep under the castle chapel, consecrated by the townspeople in honour of the mythical hero. Venturing among the many depictions of the Ljubljana Dragon sprinkled all across the city, a visitor might wonder if the dragon isn’t about to stir from its slumber …

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Author: Jasna Jašič, Marketing & Communications Manager, Slovenian Convention Bureau, photo: James Relf Dyer, Beautiful Destinations, slovenia.info