June 30, 2018
In 1889 the statue of the first Slovenian poet, Valentin Vodnik (1758 -1819), was shown to the world for the first time in front of the Ljubljana Lyceum.
This was a big event with tribunes being installed and tickets sold to the public. After the imperial headmaster Wiesthaler gave his key speech, the statue was unveiled with a cannon salvo rumbling from the Castle and a two-hundred-head choir singing “To Vodnik”, the ceremonial cantata of Ipavec and Funtke.
After the ceremony a banquet was held at the Reading Garden for more important guests, while the commoners from Šiška gathered at Vodnik’s birth house (Vodnikova domačija), where a folk party took place with a brass band, singers in folk costumes and acrobatic performers.
Six years later the Lyceum was damaged in the Ljubljana earthquake and eventually pulled down. Vodnik Square emerged in its place, and with it vegetable market of the Ljubljana Central Marketplace. In addition to the square, the man also gives his name to a nearby restaurant, Vodnikov Hram.