When you find yourself traveling around Central Europe a must stop is the interesting city of Ljubljana, Slovenia. The famous Dragon Bridge that connects the city across the Ljubljanica River is one of the most iconic places to see while visiting the city.
The Ljubljanica flows through the Slovenia capital city. The river is the continuation of several Karst rivers. Ljubljana itself is a city situated in between the Alps and the Karst mountains.
Originally named ‘The Jubliee Bridge of the Emporer Franz Josef I’, the Dragon Bridge received its newest name in July 1919. The new bridge was to replace an old wooden bridge named the Butchers Bridge. The Dragon Bridge was one of the first structures to be reinforced with concrete.
Depending on where you are staying in the city, there is a good chance that you’ll find yourself crossing this iconic bridge on your way to see the city’s famous castle.
The architectural achievement of this bridge is the fact that it was one of the first structures of its kind to be seen in Europe. Even on the random Tuesday morning we were there, there were already tourists around taking photos on the bridge. The bridge is a mix up of Modern and Medieval. It is a rather short bridge, so you are free to walk back and forth till you are content. The sidewalks are rather wide so this leaves for plenty of room for both bicycles and pedestrians.
There are some interesting legends surrounding the bridge, such as the founder of Ljubljana was Jason from Greek mythology and he and his Argonauts defeated a dragon to protect the city. This is one of the four dragons on the bridge.
The bridge has a rich and legendary history. It was a new design when it was built, and they did not yet understand the aesthetic. It is even said that some believe this design of bridge was tried here instead of Vienna, due to the fact that it would be less of a big deal if it turned out to not work. The bridge was built with the plans of a Vienna company, Pittel+Brausewetter, based on a patent by Austrian engineer Josef Melan and the design by the company’s architect Giorgio Zaninovich.
Dragon Bridge is not the only thing worth seeing here. Once on the bridge if you look ahead you will see the image of a castle nestled on the mountain ahead. If you would look to either side of you you will see the historic Ljubljanica River; a river so old that archeologists use this area to treasure hunt for pieces of history from the Stone Ages to the Renaissance. In any other direction you can see some of the skyline to the historic Ljubljana.
Although this is a fascinating area to visit, it seems that many people have not heard of or considered this city for a visit. Even if you only stop by for two to three days, you can do well taking in all that Ljubljana has to offer.