See Ljubljana Through Time at the City Museum

By , 16 Jul 2018, 19:12 PM Lifestyle
A fantastic display of the faces of the city by Damijan Kracina A fantastic display of the faces of the city by Damijan Kracina All photos by JL Flanner unless otherwise noted

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Earlier this year, just before the summer season started, the City Museum of Ljubljana opened a new permanent exhibition called Ljubljana. History. City. This presents a chronological look at the history of the land the city now stands on, from prehistoric times and the Pile Dwellers, who made the world’s oldest wooden wheel with an axle, up to the end of the 20th century, when Ljubljana became the capital of an independent Slovenia. 

It’s a fascinating trip through time, and one that highlights the Ljubljana basin’s strategic importance over the millennia as a crossroads between east and west, north and south, and, in more recent centuries, the central role the city played in the emerging Slovene consciousness, as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and then Yugoslavia, as kingdom and republic.

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A wooden spearpoint, approximately 40,000 years old. Photo: A Peunik MGML


The world's oldest wooden wheel with an axle. Photo: A Peunik MGML

While obviously of more interest to those who know the area well, and are thus familiar with the locations that are given added depth and interest by the stories and artefacts shared, anyone with even a casual interest in history will find something to enjoy.


Bronze statuette of the pre-Roman divinity Hercules or Belen, 1st Century BC


Some Roman glassware


Some Roman die

Visitors can see, for example, that 5,000 year old wheel, along with spear points and other implements from much earlier, then a variety of objects from Roman times, when the city was known as Emona, including some beautiful jewellery, glassware, coins and so on (and for more of these, do take a trip to the basement).

Moving on there are items from medieval times, when the Old Town was built, and on through the Renaissance. The exhibition then goes on to the Enlightenment and 18th and 19th centuries, when many of the city’s iconic buildings were built, with objects that also tell the human side of history, such as Baron Sigmund Zois’ wheelchair.

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 Photo: A Peunik MGML


Baron Sigmund Zois’ wheelchair

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 Photo: A Peunik MGML



Some of the barbwire that surrounded the the city during WW2


Cap of an internee at Dacua concentration camp

Into the 20th century there are items from the two wars, the Communist era, the end of Yugoslavia, and the birth of a new democracy, independent Slovenia. In short, the show gives you a whirlwind tour of the life of the city you’re in, one that will enrich your stay here, no matter whether it’s for a few days or a lifetime.


A homemade flag at the end of WW2


The exhibition also has a number of old Slovenian brands

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Photo: A Peunik MGML

Like all city museums and galleries, this one is closed on Mondays and national holidays, but is open from Tuesday to Thursday, 10:00 to 18:00, staying open until 21:00 on Thursday. Tickets are 6 euros for adults and 4 euros for children, students and pensioners, while family tickets can be had for 12 euros.

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Another view of the faces of Ljubljana. Photo: A Peunik MGML

The place can be found at Gosposka 15, at one end of French Revolution Square, an area packed with other cultural attractions, as outlined here, while the City Museum’s own page on the exhibition is here.

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