March 17, 2016

0085, 0506, 2387 SLOVENIA (Ljubljana) - Ljubljana, the city of dragons

0085 Ljubljana - Images from the city

Posted on 28.12.2011, 11.02.2013, 17.03.2016
Situated on the river Ljubljanica, between the Alps and the Karst, Ljubljana (Laibach until 1918) was for centuries the capital of the historical region of Carniola, and even the capital of the Illyrian Provinces in the Napoleonic French Empire (1809-1813). In 1918, following the end of WWI and the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, the region joined the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, subsequent known as Yugoslavia. After WWII, it became the capital of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, and remains the capital of independent Slovenia, which joined the European Union in 2004.

0085 Ljubljana - Aerial view of Ljubljanica, and of the castle

The city's architecture is a mix of styles, because it was rebuild twice, first, in a Baroque style, after the 1511 earthquake, and second after the 1895 quake, this time in a Vienna Secession style. Many sectors built after the WWII have a personal touch by the Slovene architect Jože Plečnik, who also has practised in Vienna, Belgrade and Prague, and Ivan Vurnik. In the second half of the 20th century, parts of Ljubljana were redesigned by Edvard Ravnikar. The extent of Ljubljana has changed considerably in the past 40 years, mainly because some of the nearby settlements have merged with Ljubljana.

2387 Ljubljana - Cafes and bars along Cankar Enbankment

Ljubljana Castle is located on Castle Hill, overlooking the old town. The hill became a Roman stronghold after fortifications built by Illyrians and Celts, but the oldest mention of the castle dates from 1112-1125. In 1144 it was the seat of the Carinthian dukes. When in 1335 the Habsburgs took over the area, they demolished the fortress, and in the 15th century started building a new one that still stands today. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the castle became arsenal and military hospital, and later prison, which it remained until 1905, when Municipality of Ljubljana settled poor families into it. The residents stayed there until the mid-1960s, when began its renovation.

In the largest picture on the postcard 0085 can be seen, in the foreground, the Triple Bridge, extended in 1932 according to a design made in 1929 by Plečnik itself. The central part of the current bridge is a stone arch remained of the bridge designed by Giovanni Picco in 1842. Since 2008 practically all three bridges are pedestrial. At the end of the bridge, in right, can be seen the monument to the Slovene national poet France Prešeren (1800-1849), created by Ivan Zajec and unveiled in 1905. The monument is located in Prešeren Square, a major meeting point in Ljubljana, where concerts, sport events, political events and other types of events take place.

The orange building is the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation, an early-Baroque basilica built between 1646 and 1660. The white Neo-renaissance building is the Ljubljana Central Pharmacy Palace, formerly known as the Državna Lekarna Palace. Both are in the same Prešeren Square, and between them begins Čop Street, one of the main shopping streets in city. In the second picture can be seen Butcher's Bridge, designed by the same Jože Plečnik in 1930, but built barely in 2010. This footbridge connects Ljubljana's Central Market with the Petkovškovo Nabrežje, the river bank promenade. On the Petkovškovo Nabrežje side of the bridge is a large statue depicting Prometheus, made by Jakov Brdar.

In the first image in the bottom left is the Dragon Bridge (Zmajski most), designed by a Dalmatian architect and built by an Austrian engineer between 1900 and 1901. The nickname of the bridge, considered one of the finest works in the Vienna Secession style, is "mother-in-law", in reference to the fearsome dragons on its four corners. The Dragon is present on the city's coat of arms and flag. In second plane is seen Ljubljana's Central Market, which stretches between the Triple Bridge and the Dragon Bridge, following the curve of the Ljubljanica river. In background are seen the green dome and twin towers of Saint Nicholas' Cathedral, located on Cyril and Methodius Square.

About the stamps
On the postcard 0085
I didn't manage to find anything about this stamp.

On the postcard 0506
This stamp, depicting Saw-wort (Serratula lycopifolia), is one of the 17 definitive stamps from the Flowers of Slovenia series (the country's first euro stamps), issued on January 1st, 2007.

On the postcard 2387
The stamp is part of the series of definitives stamps Birds of Slovenia, designed by Matjaž Učakar, and issued on May 30 2014:
• The great bittern  / Botaurus stellaris (0,36 EUR)
• The Eurasian crag martin / Hirundo rupestris (A)
• The common merganser / Mergus merganser (B)
• The lesser kestrel / Falco naumanni (C)
• The Ural owl / Strix uralensis (D) - It's on t he postcard 2387

References
Ljubljana - Wikipedia
Ljubljana Castle - Wikipedia
City castle in Ljubljana - Ljubljana Info
Definitive stamps from the Flowers of Slovenia Series - Pošta Slovenije official website

Sender 0085: Marius Vasilescu
Sent from Ljubljana (Ljubljana / Slovenia), on 12.12.2011
Sender 0506: Ana
Sent from Postojna (Inner Carniola / Slovenia), on 20.08.2012
Photo: Tomo Jesenicnik
Sender 2387: Marius Vasilescu
Sent from Ljubljana (Ljubljana / Slovenia), on 10.03.2016
Photo: Martin Selan / 2013

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