November 10, 2009

Croatia - Day 12

We were so pleased to see the sun this morning! We took the bus to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Because much of the city was rebuilt after an 1895 earthquake, Slovenia's capital has a unique architectural style that has integrated surviving historic structures with more modern designs. The work of Joseph Plecnik, a 20th century architect, is particularly remarkable for the way it incorporates Roman, Medieval, Baroque and Habsburg elements. The Ljubljanica River flows through the heart of the town. Here you can see the Ljubljanski castle in the background.The Cathedral of St. Nicholas built in 1701. This is one of two bronze doors made to celebrate the visit of Pope John Paul to the city.

The cathedral was almost 200 years old when the earthquake of 1895 did some extensive damage to the inside. The architectural integrity was preserved by the 20th century architect Plecnik allowing for the baroque appearance to be maintained throughout.

One of four bronze dragons guarding the old city.

We returned to Bled in the afternoon and took a boat ride on Lake Bled to the 17th century church located on the only island in Slovenia.

Here we are getting ready to climb the 100 stairs to reach the church. Yes, we were still smiling once we reached the top!

Tomorrow is our last day here. We've had a wonderful trip. I can hardly believe it's time to go home.


Mitch Ferris said...

Did Richard carry you up the stairs?

Kwiltsfl said...

Did anything/anyone explain why they built statues of dragons? I would be curious to find out.

Awesome pictures - thanks for sharing!

Pat said...

Richard resisted the impulse to carry me up the stairs...

There is a legend that Jason was the founder of Ljubljana and he and his Argonauts killed a dragon. According to local legends, when a virgin crosses the bridge, the dragons wag their tails.