Thursday's Child: Ljubljana, Full of Grace

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Everything you need to know about Ljubljana is written on the front of this church - in Latin. "Ave,
Gratia Plena!" it reads. "Hail, full of grace!" I'm sure the inscription was written with the holiest of intentions, but it's easy to imagine that it refers to the whole of this lovely city.

Probably the best-known church in the city is St. Nicholas Cathedral, also known as Ljubljana Cathedral. The frescoes on the walls date back to the early eighteenth century, and the fresco on the dome interior was painted in 1844:

One of the most beautiful pieces of artwork in the church is the door relief on the main exterior door. The pope visited Ljubljana in 1996 to commemorate 1250 years of Christianity in Slovenia. To celebrate his visit, artist Tone Demsar was commissioned to decorate the door with scenes depicting the history of Slovenia:

If you look up from anywhere in town, you'll see the castle that dominates the entire city. Ljubljana Castle served primarily as a defence against attacks from the Ottoman Empire. After its importance waned, it served as a hospital, a prison and low-cost housing for impoverished citizens. In the late 1960s, a project began with the purpose of refurbishing the castle, and later a funicular was built to facilitate visiting it.
Above, the city view from the Castle grounds. Below is the view back down the funicular that transported us to the castle.

Here's what I loved most about Ljubljana Castle: its coat of arms bears the symbol of a dragon, just as dragon statues appear throughout the city. According to myth, the Greek hero Jason and his band of explorers, the Argonauts, founded Ljubljana. After stealing the Golden Fleece from King Aetes, they sailed from the Black Sea through the Danube, finally reaching the Ljubljanica River. When they stopped, they were threatened by a fierce dragon. Jason fought with, and eventually killed, the dragon. The city of Ljubljana was built upon that site.
One of the guardians of the Dragon Bridge.


Enjoying dinner by the side of the Ljubljanica River.

14 comments:

Valerie Gamine said...

Another hidden treasure - I love dragons, they appeal to something raw and ancient that dwells deep inside my soul. :)

Juliana Levine said...

Oh Beth...these pictures brought me memories...I remember driving to Croatia and stopped by Ljubljana...
Hope you are enjoying your week :D

Belinda said...

These are stunning photos! What a beautiful place.

Gloria Baker said...

Just beautiful Beth!!

yummychunklet said...

Gorgeous photos!

Barbara said...

Lovely photos of the Cathedral, Beth. It certainly is beautiful. And an adorable photo of you and the girls, too!

vanillasugarblog said...

What a great photo of you Beth--you have the best skin!
I miss traveling I do!
Right now our part of the world is about 6 degrees with a nasty wind chill making it close to zero. The cold winter is not leaving anytime soon. Boo

Beth said...

Thanks, Dawn!
And the cold winter isn't leaving us any time soon, either.

Guru Uru said...

Such an incredible guardian statue, very majestic :D
A great cultural experience!

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

bamskitchen said...

Stunning photography! Love living through you on your trips.

Joanne said...

All of the dragon depictions sound awesome! I love the myth behind them.

Kathy said...

Beautiful photography! Love the dragon protector! Such a fun adventure!

Angie Schneider said...

A naturally beautiful and culture rich city! Thanks for sharing, Beth.

Monique said...

Ljubljana is a place I was looking at including in a future itinerary and your post is just perfect to help me plan it!

Thank you!

Post a Comment