It would not be an exaggeration to say that Ljubljana is a city steeped in rich history and culture and a visit to the city would not be complete without making a trip to the castle of Ljubljana. Though there are plenty of castles in the city the Ljubljana castles are one of the biggest and definitely the most visited one.
The Ljubljana Castle offers one of the most panoramic views of the whole city and it is quite a romantic site. It is also the center of a lot of cultural events. The castle halls are also rented out for weddings on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Friday. To have a more wholesome experience when visiting the castle a guided tour is recommended which is conducted on a daily basis.
The Ljubljana Castle is built on top of a hill, where it sits since the Habsburgs built it when they took over Slovenia in 1335. They demolished the fortress of the Spanheim family and started construction of the castle, which sits there today. It was originally built as a fortress to protect citizens from Turkish invasions, which were common in the 15th and 16th century. During its early stages, it only consisted of walls, towers, and wooden barracks but slowly over the years through extensions, renovations, and modifications it became what it is today. During the 17th and 18th centuries, it also served as a military hospital and arsenal.
After the French left the castle was used as a jail first by the Habsburgs, then the Italians and finally after their capitulation by the Germans. Later the castle was resided in by banished citizens of Ljubljana who lived there in terrible conditions. The main plans for renovation were started in the late 70`s which is still going on, with plans to add a winery and restaurant.
The main attraction of the castle is the pentagonal towers below which is a virtual room where you can put on 3D glasses and have a virtual experience of Ljubljana’s history till 1991 when it got its independence. Numerous art exhibitions are held in different parts of the castle, which can be visited, free of cost usually. At the entrance of the castle is the Galerija Rustika where you can have a first-hand look at traditional Slovene handicraft.
Famous Chapel of St. George
Inside the castle is also the famous chapel of St. George, which is done in the gothic style and also has proof of the domination of emperor Fredrick III of Habsburg. There are also interesting events conducted in the evening such as a concert, theatre or maybe even open-air cinema. The castle is also well known for its medieval day in the beginning of September, which should not be missed if visiting the city at that time.
The Ljubljana Castle is very easily accessible on foot, by car, by train and even by the funicular. By foot, there are many pathways leading to the castle but the most popular and picturesque one is the one leading from the old towns old square or from the central market. So many pathways maybe confusing but there is no need to worry as they all lead to the castle and one way or another you cannot get lost. The walk will take you a maximum of 10 minutes.
If traveling by car all you need to do is follow the signs from the city center which lead you to the Streliska street and from there it’s an easy route as there is only one road leading up to the hill.Tourist trains run every hour and leave from the castle 20 minutes past every hour. The funicular, which was, started in December of 2001 runs almost every 10 minutes
Tourist trains run every hour and leave from the castle 20 minutes past every hour. The funicular, which was, started in December of 2001 runs almost every 10 minutes every day from the moment the castle opens.