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Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
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Frank Bernheisel
Posted 1.10.18
Just Outside Washington

FRANK BERNHEISEL & KATHY CAVANAUGH
All photos courtesy the authors

VISITING WHAT WAS ONCE YUGOSLAVIA: PART 4

On the road to Zagreb
Saturday, October 21, 2017

On the Road to Zagreb, Saturday, October 21, 2017 We left Lake Bled and started our journey to Zagreb with our new guide, Zoran, who was with us for the rest of the trip. Before we left Slovenia, we stopped in Ljubljana, he capital and largest city of Slovenia with about 300,000 people.

Ljubljana is a lovely old city, which started round 50 BC, when the Romans built a military encampment that later became Julia Aemona. When the new library was built the ruins of a large Roman bath were found, near the square pictured below.

square

In the 6th century, Rome was in trouble and until the 12th century the city was overrun by the Slovenes, the Franks, and the Magyars, until the settlement of Slavs in the Early Middle Ages. Several dukes ruled the city until they were displaced by the Bohemians, who in turn were displaced by the Hapsburgs. Things settled down for a while when a peace treaty was signed between the Republic of Venice and Leopold III of Habsburg in the 14th century. And then Napoleon showed up briefly in the early 19th century.

Our first stop, on our tour of the city, was Republic Square, which is the largest square in Ljubljana and where on 26 June 1991, the independence of Slovenia was declared. It is the location of the Academia Philharmonicorum (first picture) from whose open windows we could hear the students practicing their scales. On the hill above is Ljubljana Castle, originally a medieval fortress constructed in the 11th century, rebuilt in the 12th century and overhauled in the 15th.

mounted cops

While standing in the square, two mounted police rose in. According to our guide, they are more for show than police work; needless to say, they stopped to talk to two attractive girls.

The third picture shows the main building of the University of Ljubljana, which was formerly the seat of the Carniolan Parliament.

building

From Republic Square we continued our tour around the city and walked along two of the rivers; there are five in Ljubljana, including the Sava. We passed buildings that were in good repair and brightly painted, others were run down and badly in need of repair. When asked about this, our guide said that there are properties, which the owners have not reclaimed during the privatization after the independence.

Under Tito, all property was nationalized. There is no property tax and no easy way for the state to take over abandoned properties. The city was very attractive and picturesque with a variety of architectural styles. In 1895, Ljubljana suffered a serious earthquake, which destroyed 10 percent of the buildings. Much of the reconstruction was done in the Vienna Secession style.

Saturday is market day so it seemed that all of the local people were in the city. Another draw on this Saturday was the annual chocolate festival. There were rows and rows of tables set up in one of the squares where there appeared to be every type of chocolate or chocolate-covered eatables available; samples were available and accepted.

market

In the 'regular' market area were beautiful produce and flowers, and people. There were families, older people, and young people all walking around.

produce

Our guide told us that market time is when many people dress up and walk around to be seen. Like the Lake Bled area, the city was very clean.

An interesting sight was this automated milk distribution kiosk. You put your money in and get very, very fresh milk in your bottle. This person was filling several bottles, which he carried on this bike.

milk

TO BE CONTINUED...

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