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Why visit Ljubljana? The dragons!

Why visit Ljubljana? The dragons!

Whenever I sit to remember my trip to Slovenia, I think of the sun and the flower market, but also about something else, something very specific. So when people ask me: Why visit Ljubljana? The dragons! That is the smiling answer that comes to my lips.

The symbol of Ljubljana city is the Ljubljana Dragon, so there are several depictions of dragons scattered throughout town, as well as the ever-present magnets and amulets depicting fierce or funny-looking green (or otherwise colored) dragons. The Dragon Bridge is flanked by the impressive frames of dragons which seem to have descended from a scene in Game of Thrones, while the tower of the town’s caste is also guarded by the dragon of the coat-of-arms.

Legend has it that a fierce monster living in the marsh near present-day Ljubljana was defeated in battle by Greek legendary character Jason upon his return (along with the Argonauts) from the odyssey that brought them the celebrated Golden Fleece. This dragon is mixed with the image of the “European Dragon”, who has religious connotations linked to Saint George.

A parallel between the dragon and paganism can be drawn, thus the symbol of this mythical creature being a metaphor for everything non-Christian.

As for our Ljubljana Dragons, especially the very likeable two dragons that guard the bridge, they tower proud and magnanimous over the touristic side of town, unpolluted by cars and their noise. People stop by to take pictures with the star dragons in their way to the colorful market or the cafes that line the promenade.

Ljubljana is definitely the place for a quiet city break. It has it all: it is very convenient “on foot”, very manageable, not so expensive and truly beautiful. Plus the dragons really increase the medieval charm!

To make it all even more convenient, you can rent a car in Ljubljana; that is, if you’re not a fan of long walks.