Prešeren Square

Plečnik’s architecture can be found all over Ljubljana, yet his most influential work resides at Prešernov trg – the main central square of Ljubljana. Not only did Plečnik design a remodeling of this square but also Tromostovje – the three bridges that connect it to the castle side of the river.

Tromostovje, which can be roughly translated as Triple Bridge, is actually a set of three bridges built at gentle angles to one another. Each bridge is intended for a different sort of traffic: bicycles, automobiles, and pedestrians. The bridge furthest downriver of the three has an arch and balustrade reminiscent of the Rialto Bridge in Venice.

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The square is named after France Prešeren, who was a Slovenian Romantic poet and one of the most prominent figures in Slovenian literature. The square features a monumental bronze statue of the poet himself, looking longingly to his right. If you follow his eyeline, you will see a bas-relief statue of Julija Primc – Prešeren’s muse and unrequited love.

In Prešeren’s times, Slovenia was under the rule of the German-speaking Austro-Hungarian Empire. Therefore, it was somewhat revolutionary of the poet to insist on writing poetry in Slovenian. And since Slovenian independence largely rallied around speaking Slovenian and learning it in schools, his focus on language led him to become a revolutionary firebrand.

Thus, it comes as no surprise that one of the stanzas in Prešeren’s poem “Zdravljica” went on to become Slovenia’s national anthem. In it, he calls for a brotherhood among all nations. This is representative of Slovenia’s easy history as a humble, cooperative, well-thought-off European nation.

Sights along the way:

  • Križanke,
  • City Museum of Ljubljana,
  • National and University Library,
  • Congress square.

Directions to Prešeren Square

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