Travel Photo #6

Café Culture – Ljubljana, Slovenia

Su Leslie (aka Zimmerbitch) invited me to join her and other bloggers posting a travel photo a day for ten days. The deal is I also invite someone else each day to join in, and ping-back to my post. But as several bloggers I know are already busy with the challenge I am going to resort to inviting “anyone who feels like joining in”

U for Ursuline Monastery

frizztext hosts a weekly A – Z Challenge

A_Z logo

Event Type: General Blogging

Start Date: Tuesdays, recurring weekly

Description: Every Tuesday I offer the “A to Z challenge”, walking step by step through the alphabet.

If you would like to join in then please click here

ursuline-monastery-1

The Ursuline Monastery in Solvenia’s young capital, Ljubljana and the Holy Trinity Parish Church  was commissioned by Jakob Schell von Schellenburg, a wealthy local merchant and financier, and his wife Ana Katarina. During the construction of the Trg republike square, the Monastery underwent a thorough reconstruction and its garden was completely destroyed. 

Its undulating façade enhanced by semi-columns and a characteristic gable inspired by the famous Roman architect Francesco Borromini make it one of Ljubljana’s most beautiful and extraordinary example of Baroque architecture.

U---ursuline-monastery-2

In front is the Holy Trinity Column erected in 1693 as a thanks offering for the city having been spared from the plague.

U---Ursuline-Monastery-rough-pastelsand given the number of windows in this beautiful building I am linking this to Dawn’s Lingering Windows Challenge.

N for Narodna in univerzitetna knjižnica

frizztext hosts a weekly A – Z Challenge

A_Z logo

Event Type: General Blogging

Start Date: Tuesdays, recurring weekly

Description: Every Tuesday I offer the “A to Z challenge”, walking step by step through the alphabet.

If you would like to join in then please click here

or National and University Library, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

N - national library in Ljubljana

It is located in the centre of Ljubljana, between Turjak Street (Turjaška ulica), Gentry Street (Gosposka ulica), and Vega Street (Vegova ulica), in a building designed by the architect Jože Plečnik in the years 1930–31 and constructed between 1936–41. The building is considered one of the greatest achievements by Plečnik. Wikipedia

 “From the twilight of ignorance to the light of knowledge and enlightenment”

The building has a square ground plan and is a massive block with a court. The front façade, oriented toward Turjak Street, was designed as a combination of brick and stone embeddings, some of them archaeological remains from the place. It was modelled in the manner of the Italian palazzo and the handles of the main door end with a little head of Pegasus. The side entrance from the Lord Street is decorated with a sculpture of Moses, created by Lojze Dolinar.

N

Unfortunately we were being guided through the town by a friend so didn’t have a chance to get up close to this unusual building, nor go inside.  So if you have seen the interior I’d love to know what it is like.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Scenes

In a post created specifically for this challenge, share a photo that brings a street to life.

Document the movement (or stillness) of a street: tell a story with your snapshot, capture a scene that reveals a bit about a place, or simply show us where you live — or a path you often take.

~ Cheri

We are going to take a gentle stroll along the bank of the River Ljubljanica in Ljubljana, Slovenia on a lovely hot summer’s day. From being a former dull, grey town in a communist country, Ljubljana is now a hip  small capital city with a vibrant café culture and beautiful Viennese Secessionist Architecture.

In the Market
In the Market
market 2
Market Stalls
along the Ljubljanica
along the Ljubljanica
Love Locks
Love Locks
Café Culture
Café Culture
Café Culture
Café Culture

If you would like to see what others have come up with for this challenge then go to the Daily Post @ WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge 

Read my previous posts on Ljubljana: Here and here.

sLOVEnia – then and now

I step out of the bus into the bright light and look around. In front of me is the railway station; a good example of Austro-Hungarian architectural style. Across the busy dual carriageway is a tree-lined park with minor streets and avenues leading to the old city centre. Nothing looks familiar: I look around hoping that some kind of recognition will take place, but I have no memory of this place – neither the station nor any of the streets.

Ljubljana Railway

Usually when I return to a city my memory clicks into place as smoothly as a child’s jigsaw puzzle. Not today though. I sigh. The smells are all wrong, the noises are wrong and the colours are definitely wrong. As the sun burns down on my skin and the noise of the buses and cars fill my ears I remember the last time I stood in this spot…

I stepped out of the lorry and into the gloom of a wet late autumn afternoon. The driver clasped my hand, grinned and bid us goodbye. A part of me was relieved to have reached this little border town of Ljubljana in northern Yugoslavia. The journey through the Austrian Alps with its hairpin bends in torrential sleet and rain, was not the most relaxing, but as the heavy rain ran down the back of my neck and soaked through the shoulders of my jacket I craved the warmth of the cab. We headed to the information booth inside the railway station to try to find a room to stay the night. Camping was definitely out of the question.

Doorway

A grey-haired woman in the booth gave us directions to a house nearby with a room to let. When we reached the address we looked up at the multi-storey building in dismay. Its concrete façade was black in the rain and the huge solid door seemed quite forbidding. Jon raised the heavy brass knocker shaped like a fish and let it fall. The noise was like a gunshot and startled me. After an interminable while we heard the sound of a key being turned in the lock and the door slowly opened. A diminutive grey-haired woman dressed in black stood before us, unsmiling. We asked her about a room for the night, speaking hesitantly in German and miming laying our heads on a pillow. A brief movement of her head indicated for us to step inside. As we stood dripping onto the tiled hallway floor we heard her locking the door behind us. I shivered: this did not feel good.

The woman beckoned us to follow her up the wide staircase with intricate wrought-iron balustrades to the second floor where she unlocked a drab brown door and waved us inside. The room was huge with high ceilings and a large sash window on one wall. Despite the size of the window the room was very gloomy mainly due to the still falling rain, but also the furnishings – a very large old-fashioned dark brown wardrobe dominated the main wall, twin metal beds with thin brown blankets faced the window, with a small worn rug between them on the brown linoleum floor. The only decoration was a dull painting of a castle in dark browns and greys in a dark wooden frame. My heart sank – but at least it was dry – and cheap.

Not wanting to go back out into the storm, we heated some soup on our little gas stove glad of the warmth it gave out and then climbed into our sleeping bags to keep warm. It was not a great night for sleeping. The rain lashed down onto the windows, which rattled in their sashes. The beds were hard and uncomfortable and someone in the next room had a hacking cough. Eventually an overcast dawn broke through the darkness and we could get up and get on our way. The rain had stopped and a watery sun attempted to shine, but the wind was blowing from the Alps and was tinged with snow. Standing at the side of the main road to Belgrade we shivered in this grey unwelcoming communist country…

Then was October 1973 and we never did get that lift. By mid afternoon we abandoned our vigil and returned to the station to get a train through to the capital city of Belgrade and on into sunny Greece. Neither of us wanted to spend another damp, cold night in Ljubljana.

cafe culture

Now is June 2012: a cloudless azure blue sky, the sun caressing my skin and the light so bright it makes my eyes hurt. Walking into the centre of the city I find it to be filled with charming cobbled squares, baroque churches and brightly decorated art nouveau architecture. It is vibrant with pavement cafés lining the riverside and young people sit and drink their coffee and beer. A lot has changed in this region in the intervening years – Yugoslavia is no more and Ljubljana is now the young capital city of Slovenia and even the station got a face-lift in 1980 and the only grey-haired lady appears to be me!