Ljubljana a city steeped in rich history and culture is the capital city of Slovenia and is also its largest city. It is believed that the city got its name from the Ljubljana River that flows through it. During the early times, the area remained a transitory place for numerous tribes. The first settlers of the land were the Veneti, followed by the Celts and Illyrians and then finally in the 3rd BC by a Celtic tribe called the Taurisci.
For all mythology buffs legend has it that Ljubljana was founded by the Greek mythological hero Jason and his companions, the Argonauts. It is said that they stole the golden fleece of King Aetes and fled across the Ljubljanica River. They then arrived at a large lake near the Ljubljanica River. Then disassemble their ship to cross the Adriatic and then proceed on to Greece. At this lake, they encountered a huge monster that Jason fought and killed. The monster is now commonly referred to as the Ljubljana dragon and now holds a prominent place on the Ljubljana coat of arms.
During the Roman era, Julius Caesar while expanding his empire built a small settlement called Emona on the left bank of the Ljubljanica River. This settlement was mainly a military settlement but was later upgraded to a civilian settlement. Some part of the wall of Emona was rebuilt and parts of this settlement can still be seen in certain areas of the city.
In 1355 Ljubljana was taken over by the Austrians and they had control over it until the end of the First World War. After the Austrians left, the city became a part of Yugoslavia where it enjoyed the status of an important political and educational center.
It was during this period that the University, National Library, and National Gallery were built. The Neboticnik, which is the 9th largest building in Europe and the largest in the Balkans, was also built during this period. The urban design of the city that was laid down during this period has not changed since.
Between the 16th and 18th century period there was a spread of Protestantism in the city. Several Lutheran preachers settled down in the city and worked here as well. It was also during this period that the first book in the local Slovene language was published.
Ljubljana witnessed its first major earthquake in the year 1511. After this disaster, the city was rebuilt in the Renaissance style. Many new buildings such as the city hall were built then. Most parts of the old city of Ljubljana are from this period.
During World War II the city was occupied by Fascist Italy and they made it the capital of the Italian “provincia di lubinia”. After the capitulation of Italy, it was taken over by Nazi Germany but formally remained a part of Italy till 1945.
After the end of the Second World War, it became the capital of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia and it continued to be a part of communist Yugoslavia till it became independent in 1991. In 2004 Slovenia with Ljubljana as its capital became a part of the European Union.