Ljubljanica Embankment and Prešeren Square

Nabrežja (Cankarjevo, Hribarjevo, Adamič-Lundrovo, Breg)
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Submitted by: matej niksic

Streets along the river, bridges, and a central city square.

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Why It Works

The place is one of the most picturesque ones in the city. It is situated below the castle hill with Ljubljana Castle, which dominates the old city, and along Ljubljanica river, which makes a curve in this section. The built form in the surroundings originates in the medieval times. The embankments were used as a port initially, but were turned into a waterside promenade by architect Plečnik in 20th century. He significantly marked the waterfront with detailed urban design interventions as well as architectural elements such as bridges, markets, etc.

What Makes Ljubljanica Embankment and Prešeren Square a Great Place?

The place is best accessible on foot through the narrow streets of the old town or adjoining squares, the majority operates as a car-free zone. The public transportation lines cross it. It has strong visual linkages longitudinally (along the river), while in the wider city space it is regarded as 'place under the Castle' (The Castle is visually accessible from many places around the city).

The place makes good first impression; it is very picturesque, opening up to nice views along the river and up to the castle hill. A rich mixture of architectural and urban design elements (street furniture, greenery) and liveliness of street life (everyday and random users, heterogeneity of uses). It is maintained and clean and thus feels safe.

The market area has been a lively public place for decades. It is most known for fruits and vegetables, but sells all other kinds of foodstuffs. The Prešeren Square is regarded to be a 'living room of the city' with the most famous meeting point (Prešeren monument). The embankments got popular only from 1990's on with the renovation of the old town, and improvements of public places (namely pavements were made better). With these interventions the place got popular as a meeting and socializing place (promenade with bars and restaurants, some specialized shops).

People go to 'Nabrežje' or 'Za Ljubljanico' (which is the popular name of the place) for very different purposes. The distinction of the place is the wide range of users you can meet there - food suppliers and food buyers, businessmen taking break, citizens going for weekly shopping, tourists, students, young families with push-chairs, strollers etc. The imperfection of place may be that it mainly serves to broader publics, while it reflects the life of the neighbourhood to a limited extent.

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Related Links:

  • Virtual Tourist - Zoran's page on Ljubljana offers pictures and sites from around the city

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