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Ljubljana

Slovenia

Situated at the middle of a trade route between the northern Adriatic Sea and the Danube region, Ljubljana was the historical capital of Carniola, a Slovene-inhabited part of the Habsburg Monarchy, and it has been the cultural, educational, economic, political, and administrative center of independent Slovenia since 1991.

Ljubljana has preserved evidence of all the five millennia of its history, including, among others, the remains of the Roman city of Emona and the old city centre with its medieval castle and beautiful buildings with Baroque façades, decorative portals and uneven roofs. Other significant bits in the mosaic of Ljubljana are its picturesque bridges across the river Ljubljanica and its vast Tivoli park, stretching into the very city centre.

In the second half of the 20th century, it was the world famous architect Jože Plečnik that put an indelible personal stamp on his native city, and the so called Plečnik's Ljubljana ranks among the 20th century's most prominent total works of art. Ljubljana's appearance was further shaped by Plečnik's pupils and a whole new wave of renowned young Slovenian architects.

Slovenia's capital and largest city also happens to be one of Europe's greenest and most liveable capitals. Indeed, the European Commission awarded Ljubljana with the coveted Green Capital of Europe title for 2016. Car traffic is restricted in the centre, leaving the leafy banks of the emerald-green Ljubljanica River, which flows through the city's heart, free for pedestrians and cyclists.

In summer, cafes set up terrace seating along the river; it almost feels like a nightly street party.

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