European churches are visited for their eye-catching architecture, colourful frescoes and marble floors. Budget Travel Talk’s free Walking Tour Ljubljana takes in the drop dead gorgeous streets of Ljubljana plus five eye-catching churches in cool locations where you want to be.
Ljubljana Slovenia is a beautiful walkable city where all the best sights are easily reached on foot. Along the way there are interesting shops, bakeries (Marty’s favourite) and of course the Ljubljanica River with it’s reflections, bridges and riverside cafes.
I’ve always loved making and following maps and have done so everywhere from Hanoi to Sicily and yes Ljubljana Slovenia.
What You Will Find in This Post
Ljubljana Walking Tour Map
Budget Travel Talk’s Free Walking Tour Ljubljana
Our Ljubljana walking tour can be joined anywhere, but let’s start from the top of town at Ljubljana Castle and the tiny Chapel of St. George. Our free walking tour map will guide you.
Chapel of St. George Ljubljana[pinit]
This intimate chapel (1489) has three long deep set gothic windows, old patchy walls and a brightly painted Baroque ceiling. Marty and I had a garden wedding, beneath a tin roof while a tropical downpour drowned out the celebrant’s voice, because that’s our style. However, I can imagine this chapel being a beautiful wedding venue. I’m thinking flowers and flute music.
Claim to Fame: The Coats of Arms of local governors (Dukes of Carniola) were painted on the ceilings in 1747. Churches rarely (if ever) include secular decorations, making the chapel renowned throughout Europe.
Cool Location – Ljubljana Castle.
375 metres above town inside the grounds of Ljubljana Castle. You will recognise the Chapel by it’s partially exposed exterior stone walls and ground level location beneath the castle tower.
As you can see this is no ruined castle – I’m pretty sure it’s the most civilised castle we’ve visited. It’s pristine exterior white walls are reminiscent of a Spanish style monastery and from within you’d never guess at it’s mountain top location. It even has an art gallery and funicular.
Note: Some parts of the Castle (like the tower) have an entrance fee.
Ursuline Church of the Holy Trinity Ljubljana
Situated in Slovene Street, this baroque style church with Italian influences was finished in 1726. On first sight I fell in love with the building’s wavy roof line and strong facade of columns, then seeing the small cross on top, realised I was looking at a church. The interior walls are all white, embellished in gold paint and the floor is black and white marble tiles. The alter of coloured African marble was carved between 1730/40.
6.30 – 7.30, 9.00 – 11.00, 16.00 – 19.00
Cool Location – Congress Square Ljubljana
The Church sits on the western edge of Congress Square – a square which has marked the milestones of Slovenia’s history. The name originated from the ceremonies of Congress held here, but after a park with star shaped paths was built within, a new name emerged – Star Park. Under Communist Rule it became Revolution Square and afterward Liberation Square. It saw independence from the Austrian/Hungarians in 1918 and Tito’s post WWII speech. It hosted demonstrations that led to Slovenia’s Independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. In 1999 another speech was made here, this time by Bill Clinton, the first American President to visit Slovenia. Wow what a location.
Franciscan monastery with the Church of the Annunciation Ljubljana
This Parish Church is a Cultural Monument of National Significance, it’s colour, at first red but now faded to a gorgeous salmon pink shade, is a symbol of the Franciscan Order. The Church itself was finished in 1660 with the bell towers being added later. There was a severe earthquake in Ljubljana in 1895 destroying the frescoed ceiling, which was redone in 1935. The monastery is hidden behind.
Closed 12.30 to 1.30 p.m. daily.
Church of the Annunciation (the gold building next to it is Urbanc House mentioned later).
A lively choir rocking it on the church steps.
Cool Location – Preseren Square Ljubljana
Preseren Square is one of the most vibrant parts of town. By day the scene is set by a costumed piano-accordion player serenading the crowds as they migrate through the square to Triple Bridge and into old Ljubljana. At night the whole square glows, highlighting the church and Urbanc House (the gold building in the photo above). The Art Nouveau Urbanc House, Ljubljana’s first department store, was modelled on stores in Vienna, Paris and Budapest. It has a gorgeous art nouveau glass and wrought iron portico cover.
Church of St. Peters – Roman Catholic Church Ljubljana
From Preseren Square follow Trubarjeva Cesta east, past the shoes on the wire, until just before Njegoseva Cesta to a totally different looking Church. The current church of St. Peters built in 1733 by baroque architect Giovanni Fusconi, is said to be inspired by those in Venice, but there have been churches here as far back as 1262. We didn’t get beyond the amazing exterior, but the interior is known for it’s outstanding frescoes.
Address: Trubarjeva cesta 80 1000 Ljubljana
In the setting sun.
Cool Location – The Gates of Ljubljanica River
St. Peters is just around the corner from gates that control the flow of the Ljubljanica River. I’ve written about them before here. I’ve included the map below because it is difficult to find the Sluice Gates on Google Maps. In Slovene the gates are called Zapornica na Ljubljanici Most. Most translates to bridge but it is not possible to cross the river via the sluice gates. For some reason google maps wants us to cross the river on Rozmanova ulica to view the gates, but they are equally visible from the other side of the river.
Ljubljana Cathedral or Church of St. Nicholas.
Across the Sluice Gates from St. Peters, in the old part of town, are the landmark twin towers and green dome of Ljubljana Cathedral. Everyone is familiar with the exterior, but step inside and be blown away by the interior.
This bronze door at the west entrance is one of two installed in 1996 to commemorate a visit by Pope John Paul II. It depicts 1250 years of Christianity in Slovenia.
Cool Location – Methodius Square Ljubljana
Cyril and Methodius Square, the address of the Cathedral, is in a bustling part of town. Ljubljana Central Market is close and the side stairs of the Cathedral are a gathering place for the Friday night Open Kitchen food market, in action below.
Did the churches become great because of their locations or did the locations become cool because of the Churches? Another cool location you will want to visit in Ljubljana is Neboticnik Skyscraper.
Click here to view twenty photos of Ljubljana.
Thanks for reading and commenting – we really appreciate it. If you have a blog, please add a travel post to the link below for Nancie’s Travel Photo Thursday which we co-host with Ruth from Tanama Tales and Rachel from Rachel’s Ruminations.
Wow! The frescos. The architecture. That door. Beautiful.
The churches here seem less ornate on the exterior than some we have seen in Spain, but equally as magnificent inside. Sort of an unexpected delight.
Two much beauty in here. Last year, I visit Szentendre in Hungary and the churches in there have a similar look to the ones in Ljubljana because a big Serb population once lived there. I found the architecture of these churches so different. Plus, they are colorful too. The interiors are beautiful too. I like the one decorated with secular motifs. I can imagine the scandal that came up with that. #TPThursday
Yes Ruth I can imagine Hungary has some lovely examples. We’ve seen some lovely churches in Bosnia too. Thanks for commenting. 🙂
Great photos of the churches in Ljubljana! I especially like the bright colors of the first one you list: St. George. Wonderful!
You’ve been seeing loads of churches where you’ve been lately Rachel!
These are all gorgeous. I love the photo of the choir “rocking it” on the church steps. Your pick for a wedding is perfect. Thanks for co-hosting this week. #TPThursday
They were a very enthusiastic choir Nancie! I’m glad you approve of my choice of wedding chapel. 🙂
Delighted to see that you enjoyed your self-guided tour. 🙂 And yes, still free entry to the chapel in the castle.
Thanks Bob, I thought it would be.
Sam | Away She Went
I love how they all look so different from each other! Of course the ceilings are always so beautiful!
Thank you Jan for your comment about the Wisteria.These churches are worth a visit for an art-lovers like I! That bronze door is very special:) You are very fortunate to be able to have moved to the beach – in CA beach properties only millionaires can afford, unless one is willing to live in the middle of nowhere (meaning hours away from stores, bank, etc.), I smiled at your daughter’s complaint – that is common that parents can afford more when the kids had grown up:):)
When again do you have your photo link up? Is it Thursday or Friday?
The link usually goes up late on Thursday night (my time). Nancie who puts the link up lives and works in Korea – I am a co-host and live in Queensland Australia. Sometimes the link is not live by the time I go to bed so I don’t join the link-up till Friday morning. Confusing I know.