After this somewhat disappointing visit, I begin my descent of the hill taking a different path from the one used to get on top of the hill. The castle is an interesting place to see, at least for the panoramic view, but I expected something more ancient and authentic, too bad… Back at the foot of the hill, I reach the edge of the old town and then retraced my steps through other streets and alleys. Back near the Triple Bridge, I then embarked on a small “cruise” on the Ljubljanica. It is the perfect opportunity to rest my little legs and admire from another point of view the buildings bordering the river. Well, we don’t see much from down there, but the “cruise” is refreshing nevertheless. We pass under the Triple Bridge, the Butcher Bridge, right under the Halls and then we continue until we reach the Shoemakers Bridge, probably the oldest medieval bridge of Ljubljana.
Dating from the 13th century and originally made of wood, the bridge was named after the workshops of shoemakers closeby and connect still today the banks of the Ljubljanica between Tranca and Jurčič Square. In 1867, it was replaced by an iron bridge, unglamorous and very narrow and in the early 1930 it was replaced by the current concrete bridge with its six pairs of pillars built according to the plans by Jože Plečnik. After the river trip, we get off close to Jurčič Square and I then took the opportunity to discover this part of town. A particular building catches my attention, the national library.
This is a work of outstanding architecture of Plečnik built between 1936 and 1941 and shaping the streets of Vegova, Gosposka and Turjaška. The location was chosen for its location at the edge of the medieval heart of the city, where was situated the former Palace of the Prince and today we can admire its symbolic facades decorated with red brick and Podpeč limestone. I love this architectural style, as well as the windows of the upper floors: it’s very original and changes the sometimes monotonous appearance of some downtown buildings.
At a street corner, I finally reach Jurčič Square. It is not early afternoon and restaurant terraces of the square are filled… At least those that offer some shade to tourists! Indeed, it is very hot and I can’t imagine anyone willing to sit in the sun right now, even to enjoy a nice cold drink. An orchestra adds a nice note of music and the atmosphere of the place is very friendly. Moreover, at the end of the square, next to the river, we can see a beautiful view of the hills and the castle, and a small flea market is present. I walk though it, more for the delight the eyes than to buy anything and finally continue my walk to Congress Square.