The river Ljubljanica, with its interesting bridges and picturesque old city centre embankments, is one of Ljubljana’s most notable landmarks. From Roman times to the construction of the railway in the mid-19th century, the Ljubljanica was a major trade and supply route.
On its way to Ljubljana, the river flows through the unique natural landscape of Ljubljana Marshes. Its bed is one of Slovenia’s most important archaeological sites. Excavations have yielded objects dating from prehistory to the early modern period. Archaeologists believe that the river once had a cult status.
Today, the Ljubljanica owes its distinctive appearance to the architect Jože Plečnik, who designed the old city centre’s river embankments, landscaped tree-lined riverside walks, including the well known weeping willow-lined terraced walk alongside the Trnovski pristan embankment, and built or renovated several of the city’s bridges, including the famous Trnovo Bridge, Cobblers’ Bridge and Triple Bridge.
The heart of Ljubljana’s social life are the Ljubljanica river embankments, densely scattered with lively cafés offering outdoor seating. However, the Ljubljanica with its bridges is much more than just photogenic. It offers unique experiences which you simply must try. In the summer you can join a sup or a kayak tour and paddle through the city centre.
Rok Žnidaršič, Deputy Mayor
»The "Ljubljana River City" concept is a remarkable opportunity for the city’s high-quality spatial and programmatic transformation according to sustainable principles and its integration into the landscape background of the Ljubljana Urban Region.
The renovation and construction of two sluice gates with locks for river vessels will create a circular waterway along the old riverbed and bypass channel. Next to the two sluice gates and new dam at the confluence, the construction of new small-scale hydropower plants and fish ladders is planned. This will serve as an excellent basis for the development of circular river passenger transport, helping to raise awareness among residents and visitors that Ljubljana has a river island of 1.9 sq. km with its old town, castle, sports park, public institutions and quality living environment.
It is surrounded by the waters of the historically significant Ljubljanica River, which is being gradually transformed into a 9-kilometre-long line park. This is becoming a dynamic public space with diverse contents of important city-building programmes. Sports, culture, leisure, intangible cultural heritage and natural values are connected to the rest of the urban areas and landscape background through riverside developments, and xx existing and xx planned bridges.
In addition to the existing port, a marina for municipal berths, small boat houses for rowing boats and infrastructure for water sports and other public programmes are planned. These interventions see the river as the backbone that will generate the redevelopment of the existing urban areas and the construction of new residential neighbourhoods, while taking care of a healthy lifestyle of the inhabitants, open public space, natural values and increasing biodiversity.
In 2012, Ljubljana received the prestigious European Prize for Urban Public Space for the first phase of the comprehensive renovation in the old town area. The second phase, which will expand and close the entire water area from the watershed to the confluence, is one of the priority projects of the city administration in cooperation with the state in the next development period.«