Ljubljana and its markets

Birgit Stegbauer

Ljubljana is a city that captivates the visitor immediately. The old city nestles around the castle hill on both sides of the river Ljubljanica. The most beautiful city squares - Presernov trg/Preseren square, Mestni trg/Town square, Central Market square with the Stolnica/cathedral and Kongresni trg/Congress square - are all located within a short walking distance. Countless cafés, boutiques and art galleries invite you to linger awhile when strolling along the riverside promenade or through the streets, which have been largely converted to pedestrian zones. Another fair weather opportunity is a visit to the Central Market or the Sunday Flea Market.

Ljubljana's Central Market square is where the farmer's market is located. Flanked by the colonnades of the covered market halls and by the towers of the cathedral of St. Nicholas, the local fruit and vegetables grocers sell their products. Also on offer are bread, cheese, sausages, rural crafts and souvenirs. The product range at the market stalls is for the most part regional and seasonal, its amplitude and quality is really astonishing. Central Market opens Monday to Saturday from 6 am until 4 pm, Saturday is the main market day.

On Sundays from 8 am until 2 pm, you can quarry for antiquities and curiosities at the riverside promenade between the Triple and Cobbler's Bridges. The prices are on an international (western) level, so don't expect sensational discoveries. Nevertheless, the antique objects encourage us to wonder about the past, awaken our memories and enchant our present.

Most importantly, the atmosphere at the riverside promenade is so relaxed that a wander through the Flea Market compares to a chill-out. Ljubljana itself is never hectic, yet never sleepy. A high percentage of students contributes to the liveliness of Ljubljana but does not overwhelmingly dominate its townscape. The city is just the right size; it is clearly structured without being provincial.

What's more, Ljubljana was lucky enough to gain decisive urbanising impulses from Joze Plecnik (1872-1957). Along the banks of the river Ljubljanica alone, Plecnik created the city's landmark - the Dragon Bridge -, realized the Triple Bridge, sketched the promenade and designed the Market Halls. Like pearls on a string, his works embellish Ljubljana's old town and contribute to that homogeneous and harmonic feeling.

Central Market and Antique Flea Market: please click here for information.



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