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France Prešeren's statue and its surroundings


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A place to chill in the city centre

Published by Martha S — 4 years ago

Location of the Statue

The statue of France Prešeren, which is the most important poet in the Slovenian history so far, is situated on the France Prešeren's square, in the old city centre of Ljubljana. There is another point of interest just next to the square, which I have previously described, which is Matija Čop's street, and another point of interest is situated up the hill – the Ljubljana Castle.

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So why am I describing this place? Because there are several points of interest, cojoined there:

First of all, because, as I have mentioned before, France Prešeren is very important for our Slovenian culture. And there is a special reason that the statue is situated right in the middle of this square, and is looking towards an old building nearby. Just like every other artist, even France Prešeren had to look for inspiration somewhere. And he found it in a young girl, called Primičeva Julija, to whom he dedicated many of his songs. And she lived in a building that the statue is looking to. This is also a very popular spot among tourists for taking funky pictures, and many of them are trying to recreate the pose of France Prešeren, who is pointing towards Julija's window in an funny angle. Just like the leaning tower in Pisa. Also the women above the statue shall symbolise the muse, so that the writer will get inspiration from her.

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Secondly, this square is a very popular place among young people. With an open air bar, this place is great for chilling on the sun or just walking around and doing nothing. In summer, this open – air bar becomes a shisha bar, and people seem to love it, because all of the tables with shishas are always full. Too bad that they only do it in summertime. When you will pass by this place, you will most likely see many people, sitting on the stairs that are surrounding the statue of France Prešeren. This was forbidden a few years ago, but nobody cared about the prohibition. If you are an Erasmus student in Ljubljana, you will notice that this square is a very popular meeting point for anything – from romantic walks around the city, eating out, to going out at night.

There are several good nightclubs, situated nearby, and most of the people are choosing this place as a starting point because everybody knows where the France Prešeren's square is. It is just like the Rossio square in Lisbon.

Ljubljanica-the River near the Statue

If you walk to the back of the statue, you will notice the river Ljubljanica, flowing below. And you will not remember it by anything else, but by how dirty it is. It is one of the symbols of the city of Ljubljana, but it looks and smells terrible. Unlike some other rivers in Slovenija, for example Soča and Nadiža, Ljubljanica has dark green and brown colour. But this will not stop some people for SUP – ing on the river (stand – up paddle). I am not sure I would dare to do that on the Ljubljanica river! I tried SUP once, at the seaside, and I figured out that you really need to have a good balance if you do not want to get wet. But on a sunny day, people who enjoy SUP, are organising weekly meetings and paddle all the way through the old city centre. I am sure that the view from the river to the surrounding buildings is amazing. Well, there is another way how you can see this view – there is an availability of panoramic 'cruises' by boat along the Ljubljanica river. You can choose between different boats, and you usually have to wait for more people to come, so the boat is full. A cruise that lasts twenty minutes, will cost you five Euros. But it is not a guided tour, and nobody will tell you where you are or what are those important looking buildings above you. Some of the boats are also offering lunches and dinners, but they are quite expensive.

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Tromostovje-The three Bridges

When you decide that it is time to stop admiring the river of Ljubljanica, you can start admiring another point of interest, that is called Tromostovje. There is not a good translation available for it, a very rough one would be 'The three bridges'. They were constructed by another famous person in the Slovenian history, the architect Jože Plečnik, which created many other monuments in Ljubljana, and some of them will be described in my following entries. You can look to your right, where you will notice these three bridges, that are so close together that you will probably ask yourself why did not they build just one wider bridge instead three of them. Well, the answer to this question lies in the past. In the Middle Ages there was just the middle one, made out of wood, being wide enough so that carriages could go over it. The architect then added two bridges, a bit smaller then the middle one for pedestrians. He also put away the metal railing of the bridges and put stone railings instead.

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In the past, you had to pay a toll if you wanted to cross one of those bridges, but luckily, nowadays you can cross (or bike) them freely and as many times as you want. So, when crossing this bridge, you will see many lockers, locked up on the fence of the bridge. It is a habit that got famous all over other cities as well. When two people are in love, they go to one of the bridges like this one, and take a locker and a key with them, and also write their names on each of these items. After that, they promise eternal love to each other and lock the locker on the fence, and throw the key into the river. Probably there are a lot of keys in Ljubljanica now.

Toilets down the Stairs

If you walk closer to these bridges, you will see stairs at several points along the bank of the river, that lead down to the water. They were made so you can get down to the boats, and some of them are leading to the toilets. My advice would be: be careful using them! In summer time, when there are a lot of tourists in the city, they make you pay for the toilets. Also take care of your belongings as there might be people that try to rob you. If you decide to go anyway, at least take someone with you and do not carry anything that is valuable. This is also a common place for drug dealers and customers to exchange drugs, so again, be careful.

Christmas is coming!

In addition, if you like the Christmas and new year decoration with many sparkling lights, this is the place that you should definitely check out in winter time. The theme is different every year. This year, it was space with stars, small galaxies and other sparkling things. If you are really into it, you can also participate in the annual event in the beginning of December, when the major of Ljubljana turns the Christmas lights on for whole Ljubljana.

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Last, but not least, from the France Prešeren's square, you will have the most beautiful view to the Ljubljana castle when it is dark. The castle is lit up with different colours, e. g. green blue and purple. You can see this through the whole year, and not just in Christmas time.

For the end of this entry, I would like to say that if you would like to see the most important sights of Ljubljana the France Prešeren's square is more than excellent starting point, because it allows you to get to all of the points of interest, and is also a very important sight by itself.

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