Ljubljana. The banks of Ljubljanica River. Photo: UKOM archive

The capital, Ljubljana, is the largest city, as well as the political, administrative, economic, educational and cultural centre of Slovenia. Ljubljana’s history goes back several thousand years. Archaeological findings from the Bronze Age are proof that as early as 2000 BC fishermen and hunters lived in pile-dwellings on the lake which once covered the Ljubljana basin.

Prior to Roman colonisation, Roman legionaries erected fortresses alongside the River Ljubljanica which subsequently grew into the walled Roman settlement of Julia Emona. The city, with its castle originating in the 12th century and its old city centre, also boasts a rich medieval heritage, as well as numerous Renaissance, Baroque and Secessionist buildings.

In the 20th century the works of the architect Jože Plečnik gave the city a new character. He designed the Three Bridges which span the river,  Tivoli Park, Žale Cemetery, the market place, the sports stadium and many other buildings, the most famous being the National and University Library. There are numerous museums, galleries, theatres and other cultural establishments in Ljubljana.