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Slovenia Film Commission

Promoting Locations and Film Industry

Ljubljana, the capital

Panorama of Ljubljana Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is a vibrant central European city lying between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, in a basin where the Ljubljanica river flows into the Sava, at an elevation of 295 metres above sea level. It covers 273 square kilometres and has a population of 276,000. Its geographical position puts it in the centre of the country, where the four different landscapes meet in all their variety.

Ljubljana has all the facilities of a modern capital and yet it has preserved its small-town friendliness and relaxed atmosphere. It is a perfect base for ex- ploring the country’s diverse beauty and is not far away from the largest cities in Europe.

Ljubljana has always been situated at the crossroads of the most important routes in Europe. Getting here is simple.

A brief history

Present-day Slovenia was first settled by early humans over 250,000 years ago. About 7,000 years ago, the Ljubljana Marshes, which were then a lake, were settled by pile dwellers. The Hallstatt culture was subjugated by Celtic tribes in the 3rd century BCE. The Romans began penetrating the area in the 2nd century BCE. They built major roads and developed the first cities along these roads, many of which have survived to the present day: Emona (Ljubljana), Celeia (Celje), Poetovio (Ptuj) and Castra (Ajdovščina).
Archive Ljubljana - black and white - Dunajska - Borovo By global standards, Slovenia is a young country, having only been independent since 1991. The ancestors of the Slovenes were the Slavs who migrated from the Carpathians to present-day territory in the 6th century, before founding the oldest known Slavic state, Carantania, one hundred years later, although this did not last long. Up until the 20th century, Slovenia was under foreign rule, mostly by the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria-Hungary. During this time, the Slovenes emerged as a nation and forged their own identity despite oppression and sustained pressure to assimilate. Slovenia became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia after the First World War, then part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia after the Second World War. After more than 70 years of living within Yugoslavia, the Slovenes achieved a consensus, deciding to forge an independent path, with almost 90% of the population voting for independence in the 1990 referendum. Slovenia joined the EU in 2004 and in the same year also became a member of NATO.
Ljubljana, where the old mingles with the new, gives the impression that it had been preparing to become the state capital over all the five millennia that have elapsed since the first settlement on its site. Ljubljana has succeeded in preserving evidence of all the periods of its rich history: the remains of the Roman city of Emona; the old city centre with its Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau facades, lopsided roofs, ornate entrance portals and romantic bridges over the Ljubljanica river, the vast Tivoli park, which stretches into the very centre of the city and the structures of world famous architect Jože Plečnik, a pioneer of modern architecture that put an indelible personal stamp on his native Ljubljana.

The image of Ljubljana

Žale Cemetery. Plečnik famous work. A city by the river on which the mythological Argonauts carried the Golden Fleece, a city by a moor where the crannog dwellers once lived, a city with the rich heritage of Roman Emona, a city that was once the capital of the Province of Carniola and the capital of Napoleon’s Illyrian Provinces, a city of Renaissance, Baroque, and especially Art Nouveau facades, a city that boasts the greatest exhibition of architecture by the master Jože Plečnik —- all this is Ljubljana.

Even though Ljubljana is classified as a mid-sized European city with its 273 square kilometres and 276,000 inhabitants, it has preserved its small-town friendliness and relaxed atmosphere while providing all the facilities of a modern capital. It is a very unique city dotted with pleasant picturesque places where you can expect all kinds of pleasant little surprises. In winter, with an average temperature of around 0°C, its dreamy central European character prevails, whilst during summer, when temperatures average about 21°C, its relaxed Mediterranean ambience comes forth. Due to its geographical position, Ljubljana is a perfect base for exploring the many faces and beauties of Slovenia and at the same time is only a step away from the largest of the European cities.
Ljubljana’s present appearance is partly due to Italian Baroque and partly to Art Nouveau, which found expression in numerous buildings constructed after the earthquake of 1895. In the second half of the 20th century, it was the world famous architect Jozže Plečnik that put an indelible personal stamp on his native Ljubljana. The city’s appearance was further shaped by his students and a new wave of renowned young Slovenian architects.
Ljubljana’s character is mainly due to a unique and felicitous mixture of two very different but complementary features: on the one hand, the city is famed for its historical heritage and tradition, while on the other, it is a relatively young city with a modern lifestyle whose residents’ average age is only slightly above 30. Each year it hosts over 10,000 cultural events, from prestigious musical, theatre and art events to alternative and avant-garde events, notably including 14 international festivals, among which the Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe) occupies a central role. In 2010 Ljubljana also carries the title of ‘World Book Capital’.