March 18, 2019
After 1933 German ski Jumpers competed under their country's new flag. In 1938 Austria was annexed and Austrians such as Josef Bradl, the first person to have jumped over the 100 metre mark, also competed under the German Nazi flag and wore a swastika armband.
In 1941 five world records were achieved by Austrian and German jumpers in Planica, which is why the Wikipedia page on ski jumping world records looks like this:
You can also see swastikas on arm bands of at least two jumpers in the video below, which was filmed in Planica between the years 1936 and 1941.
One month after the 1941 competition in Planica, Germany invaded the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the ski jumps only returned to Planica in 1947.
You can find all our sotires on Planica here.
STA, 15 March 2019 - The government adopted on Friday a bill addressing potential uncertainties and safeguarding the rights of Slovenian citizens in Great Britain and vice-versa in case of a no-deal Brexit.
The bill, which has been submitted to the National Assembly in fast-track procedure, aims to preserve rights related to social security, labour market access, cross-border services, mutual recognition of professional qualifications, family allowances and scholarships for the period until 31 December 2020.
A more long-term solution will be drawn up to tackle the period after 2020, the government Communication Office said.
It stressed that the reciprocity principle is envisaged for certain rights, meaning they will be secured for British citizens only if the same is done in Great Britain for Slovenian citizens.
The bill also envisages a transitional period after Brexit during which British citizens will be able to continue to legally reside in Slovenia on the basis of permits issued to them as EU citizens.
It will enable them to obtain residence permits of the kind that are being issued in the form of biometric IDs to citizens of third countries, while obtaining long-term residence status will also be possible.
Moreover, the bill regulates the tourist stay rights for British citizens for a duration of up to 90 days in case they arrive in Slovenia before the date of Britain's departure from the EU.
If British citizens do not have a valid residence registration certificate or a residence permit before Brexit and enter Slovenia after Brexit, their entry and residence will be regulated by the provisions of the foreigners act in place for citizens of countries that are not part of the European Economic Area.
All our stories on Brexit are here
STA, 15 March 2019 - The Slovenian housing market showed signs of a slowdown in 2018 after a recovery that started in 2015. The number of real estate deals was down by around 10% last year compared to 2017 and their total value by 5%. Prices however continued rising, in particular in the capital, shows the annual report of the Mapping and Surveying Authority (GURS).
While the number of deals decreased for all types of real estate, the contraction was the biggest for apartments, especially in Ljubljana and its surroundings.
GURS argues that the decrease, coming despite rising demand, is the result of a lack of new construction and of the strong price growth in the last three years.
Demand continued to be fuelled by favourable socio-economic circumstances - especially low interest rates, access to loans, economic growth, new jobs and rising wages - and is gradually also encouraging a new housing investment and construction cycle around the country.
The new cycle first began in Ljubljana and on the coast, where demand is also strongest, but it failed to keep up with demand last year. According to GURS, a noteworthy amount of new apartments can only be expected on the market from the second half of this year onwards.
While turnover decreased, prices continued rising. The prices of used apartments were up by 10% on average at the level of the entire country compared to 2017 and by 22% compared to 2015 when the market bottomed out.
Prices rose the most in the first half of 2018 and stagnated in the second half of the year before rising again slightly at the end.
The prices of houses, which have been rising more slowly than those of apartments after 2015, were up by 8% in 2018 but saw a downward trend in the second half of the year.
Despite strong growth in the past three years, apartment prices remain below the record figures of 2008. Ljubljana is an exception here, having experienced by far the highest growth.
The business property market saw turnover decrease by around 10%, while a slight contraction was also recorded for the building plots market despite strong demand - GURS highlighted a notable increase in prices as a reason.
Farmland experienced a marked drop in the number of deals after a record year in 2017 and prices decreased slightly. The number of deals in forest land was also down, but prices increased a little.
Something that restarts this Friday, March 22, and a real sign the tourist season is set to begin, is Open Kitchen. This takes place each week in the marketplace between the river and Cathedral, and sees dozens of stalls from the city's restaurants selling hot food and cold drinks for lunch, through the afternoon, and a relatively early dinner. Even if you're not hungry it's worth visiting for the sights, sounds and aromas. Read our interview with the co-founder here, and find out what's on the menu this year.
Photo: Špela Verbič Miklič (PEPERMINT)
Want to learn more about the city’s architecture? Check out our review of a book that includes photos, maps, plans, walking tours and more. Feeling uptight, want a legit massage and don’t feel like leaving your home, office or hotel? Then consider a mobile massage here (and – again – it’s legit) from the same team behind the Sense Wellness Spas.
If you're not in town for the week of this guide (March 18 – 24, 2019) then you can see all the editions here, and you can enhance your stay in the city and impress or annoy friends and companions by learning some obscure facts about the city here, and the Castle here.
As ever, clicking on the venue names in the list below should get you more details with regard to the time, price and location, as well as other events on at this place in whatever week you're here. Finally, if there's something you want to promote in a future edition of What's on in Ljubljana please get in touch with me at flanner(at)total-slovenia-news.com
You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kids' movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, so do check before driving out to a multiplex and dropping off the young ones if they can't understand Slovene. Parents should also pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, with special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here.
Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station is continuing the documentary festival this week, and also has a Francophone one, and is showing, among other titles Days of Madness, My Last Year as a Loser (in Slovene, with French subs), Faces Places, Colette, Vision, Maria by Callas, I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians and What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire?
Kinoteka – This revival cinema isn’t far from Kinodvor, at the train station end of Miklošičeva, is also part of the documentary and Francophone festivals, and the programme includes Dead Souls, Lucy, The Wild Blue Yonder, Mein liebster Feind - Klaus Kinski, Le livre d'image, and La chute de l'empire américain.
Kino Bežigrad - Here you can see the Queen’s Corgi and Captain Marvel.
Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big titles, but note that there are far more movies than screens, so some of the older ones may only be playing once or twice a week. Click on the theatre name to see the actual times before making a date. New this week are Creed II and Yao, while starting Wednesday is Us. Continuing are Captain Marvel (2D and 3D), Colette, Posljednji Srbin u Hrvatskoj, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Green Book, Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (dubbed), A Star is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody, Escape Room, Lego Film 2, Cold Pursuit, Alita: Battle Angel (2D and 3D), Qu'est-ce qu'on a encore fait au bon Dieu?, Happy Death Day 2U, Instant Family, Mia et le lion blanc, a dubbed version of Liliane Susewind, Replicas, Izbrisana, and a dubbed version of The Queen’s Corgi.
Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Colette, Green Book, Yao and Qu'est-ce qu'on a encore fait au bon Dieu?
Compared to some European capitals it can seem that nightlife in Ljubljana ends rather early, especially along the river, but there are still bars that stay open late and clubs were you can dance until dawn, and perhaps the best place to stumble across something interesting is the legendary Metelkova. Be aware it's a grungy kind of place and not for all tastes, but also that there's considerable variety to found within the various clubs there, from death metal to electropop, gay cabaret to art noise. You can read "the rules" of the place here. And if you're curious about how the place started then read our story, and look at some pictures, about last year's 25th anniversary.
Channel Zero – Saturday, March 23, there’s DeepEnd! x DubLab - chapter XII. w. RDG, a Sound System event with a line-up of RDG (Circle Vision, All Out Dubstep), Kanomotis (DeepEnd!), CLZ (DeepEnd!), RawLand (DeepEnd!) and VJ 5237 SI.
Gala Hala – Friday there’s a techno all-nighter called Versus: Shekuza / Splinterhouse. Saturday you can then enjoy Bollywood & Bhangra Night with DJ Shanti Priya and DJ Borsan.
Klub Cirkus – The more commercial side of klubland, which doesn’t itself too seriously, has an all-nighter on Friday called Crazy Cirkus x Avadox - supported by CHRNS, playing festival anthems & party hits. Saturday, another all-night affair – as most club events are in Ljubljana – is Best of R’n’B (and hip hop) with DJ Martee.
Klub K4 – More than three decades in and the klub at Kersnikova 4 (hence K4) has two nights this week. Friday is UK4 Garage: Enchanted Rhythms. Saturday things take a darker turn with Temnica, with DJs Dojaja (Kvalitat) and Nulla Nitz (Synaptic Crew), a techno event.
Orto Bar – Friday there’s a DJ all-night party that takes you back to the 1980s, with the tunes lined up by the 80s Crew.
Božidar – Thursday, 20:00 to 01:00, there’s Jazz klub Mezzoforte.
Cankerjev dom – Tuesday, March 19, there’s a concert by the pianist Uri Caine. No idea what he’ll be playing, and he can play it all, but below there’s a show from him below.
Cvetličarna – Friday Bajaga & Instruktori have a show marking 35 years in the business.
Channel Zero – Sunday, March 24, there’s Belgium’s THOT.
Kino Šiška – Tuesday Zabranjeno pušenje are another band this week marking 35 years. Wednesday it’s the turn of Jon Spencer & the Hitmakers. Thursday the Icelandic post-metal band Sólstafir take the stage.
Klub Gromka – Friday night there’s melodic death / groove / thrash metal from Darkfall and Ashine.
Koncertna Dvorana Rog – Tuesday night there’s live punk at the dirty end of Trubarjeva, where we call home, with Oi Polloi and Open Veins.
Ljubljana Castle – Friday night is jazz night, and this week it’s from the Mirna Bogdanović Group.
Orto Bar – Thursday night Kadilnica of Death is presenting more metal with Dickless Tracy, Sarcom, and Morbid Creation. Saturday you can then see Mookie, a Pearl Jam tribute band.
Slovenska filharmonija – Tuesday the Josef Suk Piano Quartet are playing (butnot four pianos).
Cankerjev dom - It’s some way off, but Eddie Izzard is playing here April 14.
Gledališče IGLU - IGLU Theatre – Saturday night this group is usually putting on an English improv show somewhere in town, but it’s generally promoted after this is written, so check the Facebook before putting on your shoes.
Kino Šiška – Saturday and Sunday you can see a new show, Alien Express: Second Flight.
Klub Gromka – Thursday night one of my favourite shows is back on stage here, the techno burlesque of Tatovi podob / Image Snatchers, starting 21:00.
SNG Opera and Ballet - A new Slovenian opera called Koda L is playing here Tuesdau, Thursday, Fridau and Saturday.
Drogart is an organization that aims to minimise harm on the party scene, and offers drug-testing services and reports on their webpage. It’s in Slovene, but you can Google translate it or work things out yourself, and our story on the group is here. You can find the latest warnings on fake drugs and high strength pills and powders (in Slovene) here. However, be aware that all the usual drugs are illegal in Slovenia.
CBD is legal, though, and our retailer of choice can be found on Trubarjeva cesta - read more about Sena Flora here.
You can find our Top 12 list of things to do with kids in Ljubljana here. If want to read more about the philosophy behind the wonderful House of Experiments look here, while our trip to the Museum of Illusions is documented here, and there’s always riverside walks, pizza and ice cream. With regard to the latter, take a look at our guide to six places that serve good ice cream in winter.
If you want to learn more about Ljubljana Pride, then take a look at our interview with its president here. If you're looking for more general links on "gay Slovenia", including a history of the scene and various projects, then you can find that here, while our stories about the community can be found here.
Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday, and this week Ghetto Vanessa (DE) + Bojler, and Playboi Cati, playing bass, club, dancehall, afrobeat, dembow and rap.
Klub Tiffany – And the gay bar next door is also open on Fridays, while every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00, and Tuesday, 19:00, there’s a talk on sex and drugs
Pritličje – This seems to be the only "always open" LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space in town, and perhaps the country, so it's a good thing it's such a good one, open from morning to night, and with fliers and posters letting you know what's happening outside the narrow confines of, say, a general interest online what's on... guide.
Screenshot from Google Maps, showing the location of the Castle vineyard
The city’s main attraction is said to be the top tourist draw in the country overall, and to my mind it earns a spot near the top just for the history and views. But beyond that the current owners, the City of Ljubljana, have laid out a varied, interesting and enjoyable programme of events, one that rewards regular revisits.
I try and get up there every Saturday morning to clear my head and move my feet on the trails, and never tire of that end of the hill. At the other end, where the Castle sits, there’s a lot more than fresh air on offer. There are guided tours, restaurants, a café, Castle museum, puppet museum, a Watchtower you can climb to the highest point in the city, art shows, dances, live music, movies under the stars, festival days and more – enough to reward multiple trips up the hill through the year. All of these activities and events can be found on the Castle website, while on TSN you can see “25 things to know about Ljubljana Castle” here, and “Ten Ways to Enjoy Ljubljana Castle” here.
Most public galleries and museums are closed on Mondays, although not the National Museum, and - as noted at the start
Plečnik's desk. Photo: JL Flanner
Plečnik’s House is worth a visit if you want to learn more about the architect who gave Ljubljana much of its character, and it's also in a really nice part of town, Trnovo, just a short walk or cycle upriver. Read about our guided tour here.
Balassi Institute – The Hungarian culture centre has an exhibition entitled “Encounters in Visual Art” introduces works of selected visual artists, painters and sculptors, who define today's art scene in Hungary and Slovenia, as promoted with the image below. Free to enter, this venue is next to a Spar and Hofer, and not far from Dragon Bridge, and always has something interesting going on. Learn more here.
Cankerjev dom – Showing until the end of March is a selection of specimens (in Slovene, English and other languages) from The Newspaper Museum, while there are also some architectural models and plans on display.
City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square an interesting permanent exhibition on the history of Ljubljana, from prehistoric times to the present day, with many artefacts, models and so on that bring the story alive.You can read about my visit here.
The Faces of Ljubljana in the City Museum. Photo: JL Flanner
City Gallery - Not far from the Robba Fountain and running until March 24 is a show presenting drawings by Iztok Sitar, the original pages that were used to make his graphic novels over the last three decades. Rather adult in nature – think Robert Crumb in terms of sex, drugs and religion, in places – it’s free to enter and has much to enjoy. One of the pictures I took on my visit is below.
Photo: JL Flanner
International Centre of Graphic Arts – Starting March 22 and running until May 19 is Photographic Images and Matter: Japanese Prints of the 1970s and Japan, Yugoslavia and the Biennial of Graphic Arts: Documents of Collaboration. One of the images promoting the show is shown below.
Kosuke Kimura: Present Situation – Existence A, colour and silkscreen, 1971.
MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design has much of what you'd expect, and until March 25, 2019, has a show on Ljubljana and it's relation with water.
Rafikun Nabi: Poet, 1980, print, 96.5 x 110 cm. Courtesy of the Contemporary Art Center of Montenegro. On display at the Metelova branch of the Moderna galerija
Moderna galerija – The main branch of this gallery, to be found near the entrance to Tivoli Park, has a good collection of modern art, as well a nice café in the basement. Running until March 31 is a major show on young Slovenian painters, Time Without Innocence – Recent Painting in Slovenia, where you’ll see works like the following. You can read about my visit here (I loved it). The museum's Metelkova branch also has a big new show, runing until at least September 2019, an the art of the Non-Aligned Movement, with an example shown above.
Iva Tratnik, Mating Season Totalitarianism, 2014, oil on canvas, 210 x 194 cm
Arjan Pregl, from the Carnival series, oil on canvas (6 paintings 120 x 100 cm; 3 paintings 80 x 60 cm), 2018. Mr Pregl was recently voted "worse than Hitler" on Twitter.
National Gallery – The country’s main gallery has “the best” of what’s on offer from the Middle Ages to non-contemporary modern visual arts, and is in a great location for exploring other areas, just by Tivoli Park and opposite the main branch of the Moderna galerija. You can read about our visit to the room containing sacred art from the Middle Ages here.
The real Robba Fountain can be found in the entrance to the National Gallery - the one you see in the Old Town is a genuine fake, as seen below and reported here.
Photo: JL Flanner
National Museum of Slovenia – There’s plenty to see in the permanent collection here, from Roman times, Egypt and more. Meanwhile, the museum's Metelkova branch, located between one branch of the Moderna galerija and the Ethnographic Museum has some rooms on Church art, furniture and weapons, with the latter including more guns than you'll see anywhere else in town, and quite a thrill if coming from a nation where such objects are not household items.
Natural History Museum – On until the end of June 2019 is Our Little Big Sea, which takes a look at the oceans.
Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, on until June 16 2019, as well two permanent exhibitions. One of these is called Between Nature and Culture, and has a great collection of objects from Slovenia and around the world, well worth the trip up to the third floor to see it (as recounted here). This place is located near the newer branch of the Moderna galerija and Metelkova.
Union is "the Ljubljana beer", but now both it and Laško are owned by Heineken. There are many local brews on offer around town, though, if you want to explore IPAs, stouts, wheatbeers, sours and so on Photo: JL Flanner
Union Experience – The Ljubljana-based brewer has a museum showing the history of the company, with the ticket also including access to part of the factory and a few samples of the product. You can read about our visit here.
It's not a formal museum, but if you're interested in "Yugo-stalgia" then you'll enjoy a trip to Verba, a small, privately run space that's crammed with objects and pop culture items from the era, and is conveniently located at the start of one of the short walks to the castle. It's also a great place to take pictures, if you leave a donation, and you can read more about it here.
Verba. Photo: JL Flanner
Alternative Ljubljana isn't a museum or gallery, as such, but instead turns the city streets into a museum and gallery. Learn more about their tours of street art, history and LGBT Ljubljana here.
Photo: JL Flanner
If you'd like to spend an evening painting with others, then take a look at Design with Wine, which organises painting parties on Trubarjeva cesta,
If you want to see some antiques, then check out the wonderful Antika Carniola, as discussed here. The man behind it, Jaka Prijatelj, has a fine eye for life on this street, as you can see on his Facebook account.
Photo: JL Flanner
If you’re in town and want to go jogging or walking in nature, why not take another look at the Castle, with a brief guide to the trails here. If you want something bigger, head to Tivoli Park.
And if you're bored with the Old Town, why not take a walk, cycle or boat ride to nearby Špica and enjoy the riverside life. Learn more about that here.
maxpixel.net, public domain
Want to stretch and breath? Then check out our list of drop-in yoga classes for tourists, visitors and the uncommitted. If you're heading to the coast, check out our interview with a yoga teacher who offers breakfast sessions there, while if you're staying in town (or nearby) and want to try some "family yoga" then you can learn more about that here and maybe get your kids to calm down a moment or two.
There are some golf courses near Ljubljana, but even ones further away are not far, as seen in our list of all the golf courses in Slovenia. Note that these close when the snow starts, if it ever does this year, in which case you might be interested in what's new at Slovenia's ski resorts for 2019, as reported here.
Photo: maxpixel.net, public domain
Most of Slovenia is only a few hours from Ljubljana, and you can easily visit Lake Bled, Lipica Stud Farm, Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle, the coast and other locations, while if you'd like to take a photo of from that bench in Bled, then you can learn how to get there here. If you’re looking for something more ambitious, then check out our recent guide to the 17 members of the Association of Historical Towns of Slovenia
Photo: Google Image Search
If you want to get a Ljubljana Tourist Card, which gives you travel on the city buses and entry to a lot of attractions, then you can read more about that here, and if you want to use the bike share system, as useful for visitors as it is for residents, then you can learn more by clicking this. Visitors with reduced mobility will be pleased to find that downtown Ljubljana is generally rated as good with regard to accessibility, and that there’s a free, city-sponsored app called Ljubljana by Wheelchair highlighting cafés, attractions and so on with ramps, disabled bathrooms and Eurokey facilities, which you can read about and download here. Manual wheelchair users can also borrow, for free, an attachment that will motorise their equipment, as reported here.
Screenshot from a Twitter video
If you’re driving into town and don’t know where to part, our guide to how to park in Ljubljana is here.
There aren't many places to eat after midnight, and most of them are by the train station, as reported here.
Want / need cigarettes but the stores have closed? Here's an incomplete list of bars downtown that will satisfy your craving for the demon weed. While if you’re having trouble with the ATMs then here’s a guide to the Slovene you’ll see on screen. If you get a hangover then find out where to get paracetamol (and prescription drugs) in Ljubljana here, while details on emergency birth control can be found here.
Ljubljana is a small and relatively safe city, but if need to contact the police then there’s a special number for foreigners, and that’s 113.
Photo: JL Flanner
STA, 15 March 2019 - Thousands of young people gathered in towns across the country on Friday, demanding decisive climate action from politicians. Organisers estimated the number of those rallying in Ljubljana up to 9,000.
Schoolchildren who gathered in Ljubljana's city centre were also joined by some adults, who brought their pre-school children to the rally, which started at 11:55 AM to indicate that is high time for action.
Protests were also held in Maribor, Koper, Novo Mesto, Kamnik, Ormož, Slovenske Konjice and Ravne na Koroškem.
Holding the banners saying "We've got no planet B", "You were allowed to dream, we will be living a nightmare", "Climate change is not cool", the protesters in Ljubljana gathered in Congress Square and then chanting and playing music moved around the city centre.
"Thousands of people understand we cannot go on like this. Thousands understand that we cannot live on a desolate planet," said Atila Urbančič of the Youth for Climate Justice movement, which organised the event.
"A change must come from us, youth, because we can no longer rely on the older generation," said activist Reja Debevec, who discussed the issue of climate change with MEPs in Strasbourg this week but was disappointed by the talks.
One of the youngest activist of the movement, Voranc Bricelj, said that young people should make concrete changes in their lives, use public transport more, eat less meat and stop using disposable plastic.
"When they (adults) see we mean it, they will follow suit - parents, teachers and other adults. Thus we'll be able to have several good things that cannot be replaced with money," he said.
Author Andrej Rozman - Roza addressed the rally as a representative of adults. He said that despite enormous technological progress, each new generation was more endangered. "You were born into a world of fraud, which is being justified by all sorts of stories and even laws. Money has become the biggest fraud and it has gone wild," he said.
The event was also supported by climate change expert Lučka Kajfež Bogataj, who attended an international conference in Maribor today. "Finally, the generation that will be most affected by our actions is raising its voice," she said, welcoming the movement.
But she believes one protest will not be enough. "Their success will depend on how persistent they will be and how numerous. A critical mass of the people who want something is very important," she told the STA.
After touring the Ljubljana centre with the protesters, representatives of Youth for Climate Justice presented their demands in person to Prime Minister Marjan Šarec and parliamentary Speaker Dejan Židan.
Their demands include green national budget reform, closure of the Šoštanj coal-fired plant and Velenje coal mine by 2030, and reducing carbon emissions in traffic to by 40% by 2040.
They called for eco-friendly development, new quality jobs, a shift to plant-based foods, and measures to stimulate community-owned power stations, housing co-operatives, community gardens and self-mobility.
"I must say the government is already doing a lot of that, the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning has set out to do that," Šarec told them, inviting the youth "to help so that the measures are taken".
"We're glad you have taken action, warned of the issues and I believe words will be followed up by actions," said Šarec, who met the youth joined by the nominee for the new environment minister, Simon Zajc.
The protest has been supported by the Environment Ministry and the teachers' trade union SVIZ. Schools have indicated they will excuse the absence of student protesters from class.
The Global Climate Strike For Future is being held in more than 1,650 towns in more than 100 countries.
March 15, 2019
In 1936 Joseph Bradl, Austria, became the first ski jumper ever to jump over 100 metres at Bloudek Giant (Bloudkova velikanka) in Planica.
Bradl landed at 101.5 metres in 1936 and at 107 metres two years later, also on March 15. This world record in Planica was taken from Bradl in 1941 by German jumpers wearing Nazi armbands, who dominated that year's competition with five world record jumps in a single day.
Bloudek Hill, completed in 1934, was the largest ski jumping hill in Planica until the Gorišek Brothers Hill was tested for the first time in 1969. The latter was also the site of the first jump over 200 metres mark, by Toni Nieminen from Finland in 1994.
You can spend years without going into a gallery or concert hall, but everyone has an intimate connection with the arts of architecture and fashion, and downtown Ljubljana is great place to observe these two expressions of creativity combined with design and engineering. While I’ve been struggling to keep up with the city’s stylish inhabitants, my guide to its built environment for the last few years has been a small, easy to carry book called Let’s See the City! Ljubljana: Architectural walks and tours, by the architects Špela Kuhar and Robert Potokar (2012, Piranesi Foundation) At a cost of just €18, it’s well worth a place on your shelf or in your bag if you live in the city, or are planning an extended trip and would like to learn more.
The book is laid out chronologically and as a series of six themed walks and five tours. It uses hundreds of photographs, maps, illustrations and plans to show the buildings, as well as the interiors of many places that are difficult to enter, thus putting the city in the palm of your hands. An attractive and well-designed book, it’s as easy to navigate as Ljubljana itself.
Plečnik is the big name when it comes to the city’s architects, but the book shows how there’s much more than his contributions to admire, leading you through the medieval Old Town and Secessionist/Art Nouveau quarters like Miklošičeva, with their colourful and decorative structures, on to post-WW2 Ljubljana and up to today, with the historical development of the city clearly laid out in ways that bring the streets to life. What’s more, unlike Vienna, London, Paris and so on the various buildings and views are relatively close to each other, and nearly all could be seen – from the outside, at least – in a leisurely walk over the course of day, with plenty of café or bar breaks to read up on and enjoy your surroundings.
Take the time to do so and you’ll learn more about the buildings that give Ljubljana much of its character, and of where, for example, the medieval ends and the Baroque begins, how Mayor Hribar compares to Mayor Janković in terms of putting their mark on the city, and what the rivals and students of Plečnik got up to (and if you don’t know Ravnikar, you should, with a key example of his work shown here).
In short, this book contains a wealth of knowledge that’s sure to enrich your time spent in Ljubljana, and is one of the volumes in my apartment that I return to the most, and with most pleasure. You can find it in various bookstores, or order it direct from the authors here, while all our stories about architecture in Slovenia can be found here.
STA, 14 March 2019 - Translators, interpreters and copy editors have produced a white paper on translation to urge more regulation to raise standards governing language-related professions.
The document is a basis for dialogue with Slovenian decision-makers, Barbara Pregelj, one of the 41 women authors behind the project, told the STA on Thursday.
It analyses the situation in these language-related professions, outlines systemic and specific challenges, and brings cases of best practice.
As well as this, it puts these professions into an European framework, explained Pregelj, a member of the project's steering committee.
Since these professions are not regulated, those practising them are often self-employed, which puts them in a weak negotiating position.
Non regulation leads to problems such as precariousness and poor working conditions, affecting the profession's reputation and resulting in poor-quality services.
The document thus calls for regulating the profession of freelance translator and copy editor by setting down the lowest level of education and basic qualifications.
It calls for legislation to determine prices, for overhauling public procurement rules so as not to favour the lowest price and for introducing a sample contract.
A national registry of professional translators, interpreters and copy editors should also be set up, and more oversight introduced of non-professional interpreters, translators and copy editors.
Pregelj pointed to the importance of translation and interpreting for a two-million nation which speaks Slovenian, a language which has globally only few speakers.
"Translation has constituted Slovenian literature and culture and together with interpreting, it articulates it abroad as well as at home."
This makes the White Paper more than just an expression of a demand for giving translation, interpreting and copy editing more credit in Slovenian society, she believes.
While the focus is on translators and interpreters, the White Paper is conceived broader to include copy editors and language advisers, as these fields are interwoven.
The document has been compiled over the past year in collaboration with associations of translators and interpreters plus all Slovenian universities.
It will be presented to the public on 23 April, World Book and Copyright Day.
STA, 13 March 2019 - The Ministry of Labour, the Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities has proposed changes to the pension system under which retirement age for persons without 40 years of pensionable service would gradually increase from the current 65 years to 67 by 2034.
Under the current legislation, employees who do not have 40 years of pensionable service may retire at 65, but receive lower pensions.
The new proposal raises the retirement age for these persons to 67 years by two months a year until 2034, Minister Ksenija Klampfer said as she presented the proposal to the press on Wednesday.
The condition that a person must have 40 years of pensionable service for old-age retirement under 67 years remains in force.
The pension rate for persons with 40 years of pensionable service is proposed to be increased in six years to 63% of the long-term average wage for both men and women. The current rate is 57.25% for men and 60.25% for women.
An additional 1.25 percentage points will be added to the rate to persons who were on parental leave in the first year of the child's life, said Klampfer.
The higher pension rate will allow for higher old-age, widow, disability and family pensions and compensations from disability insurance, the minister explained.
Retired persons will also be able to continue to work after meeting the conditions for old-age pensions and receive 50% of their pensions for three years and then full pension after that, with some safeguards being in place.
There will be certain conditions for this right to be exercised, including that contributions for social security have been paid in full, Klampfer said. At present, pensioners who continue working only get 20% of their pensions.
The proposal follows the solutions agreed on in the coalition agreement, said the minister, noting that in 2025, pensions of persons with 40 years of pensionable service would be by 8% higher on average.
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STA, 11 March 2019 - Several cases of drunk driving by members of the Slovenian police force as well as one by a state prosecutor have been making headlines in recent weeks. While such cases are set to be on the decline, they have now grabbed public attention for including very senior members.
The first prominent case reverberated in early February, as Maribor Criminal Police head Robert Munda was caught driving off duty with 0.51 of milligrams of alcohol per litre of breath, more than double the 0.24 mg/L legal limit.
This was preceded by a case at the end of January when a member of the criminal police crashed into a traffic light in Ljubljana, also during his free time but allegedly with an alcohol level of 0.97 mg/L.
Even more excessive, allegedly involving four-times the legal limit, was the case of a drunk driving district state prosecutor, unofficially Anica Šoštarič from Murska Sobota, who was caught at the end of February.
Meanwhile, the most recent case of a senior representative of the hand of justice driving under the influence was reported today and unofficially includes the head of the Operation and Communication Centre at the Kranj Police Administration Jože Pasar.
According to POP TV, Pasar was involved in an accident on 16 February while speeding and drunk driving with an alcohol level of 0.62 mg/L. He has been issued a pre-termination warning notice.
Disciplinary proceedings are said to have also been introduced in the remaining cases, but no dismissals have been reported.
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Tatjana Bobnar has told the newspaper Večer that the police force has 8,152 employees and that these are not immune to inappropriate behaviour.
She stressed that "unlike some other institutions, we have mechanisms in place to discover this and penalise, tackle it ... there are no taboo topics with regard to this in the police".
Bobnar added that such cases have been on the decline and that the recent weeks have created a distorted impression.
"For instance: the police discovered 13,000 people driving under the influence last year. There were nine police officers among them ... The year before, the figure was ten and in 2016 it was 20," she said.
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March 12, 2019
In 1582 the Gregorian calendar was introduced. Until then the first day of spring was marked on March 12, and in Slovenian folk tradition it continues to be celebrated as St Gregory's Day.
St Gregory's is named after Pope Saint Gregory the Great (app. 540 - 604), who according to folk traditions brings spring, light and the sun.
On March 12 there was already light enough that the blacksmiths of Kropa did not need torches or candles for their work anymore, which they celebrated by throwing burning objects into the local stream, which later evolved into children sending little ships and huts (little gregories) down the water.
??? According to folk tradition, St. Gregory brings #spring on his name day, 12 March. Tonight, children across #Slovenia will welcome spring by floating hand-made candle boats down the rivers ⛵️.@visitljubljana ? @VisitKranj ? @visit_trzic #ifeelsLOVEnia #myway pic.twitter.com/3wQJUyjhzO— Feel Slovenia? (@SloveniaInfo) March 11, 2019
St. Gregory's day is also Slovenian St. Valentine's, a day of lovers, as according to folk traditions this is the day of bird nesting. Unmarried girls thus would look into the sky on this day, as the first bird they saw would suggest what their future husband would be like.