STA, 22 November 2018 - The iconic Alpine lake of Bled is to become even cleaner as the local authorities have purchased an electric vessel which will be used to clean the surface of the lake, removing leaves and various waste, such as plastic bottles and bags.
The floating electric robot has been purchased on an initiative of the rowers of the traditional Pletna boats, which are used to take tourists around the lake and to the picturesque Bled Island.
Funded from the fees that the local authorities collect from the various users of the lake infrastructure, the device is the first of its kind in Slovenia and this part of Europe, the Municipality of Bled announced on Thursday.
The vessel will be collecting various waste and debris on the lake surface and will cause no additional pollution, as it does not use fossil fuel.
Jakob Bassanese of the municipal utility Infrastruktura Bled, which will operate the vessel, said that this was yet another solution with the aim to contribute to the sustainable management of the lake, which attracts an increasing number of tourists.
The device produced by the Swiss company Grove Boats is actually a prototype, Bassanese said, adding that the vessel had arrived at Bled about week ago and that the initial tests yielded satisfactory results.
The remote-controlled vessel, whose batteries can last for two hours and which can carry rakes and nets of various densities, will be docked in the bathing area just below Bled Castle.
On Sunday, the bottom of the lake will meanwhile be inspected by divers in a campaign initiated by the organisers of the Bled Water Festival, a leading festival in the region in the field of water innovation.
Another campaign to clean up the bottom of the lake will be organised in the spring by the Slovenian Diving Association in cooperation with the local diving club.
Tonight, November 22 2018, a concert will be held in Ljubljana featuring the Police Orchestra and Vlado Kreslin. The occasion for this special event? A seasonal reward for drivers who were stopped around the St. Martin’s Day (Martinovanje) celebrations and achieved 0.0 on a breathalyser test. It’s a timely reminder as the season for office parties and social drinking is approaching that death on the roads doesn’t take a vacation, and that in addition to your own drink driving behaviour it’s a good idea to keep an eye on friends and loved ones at this time of year, and to plan for one sober driver or a taxi if needed.
The various drink driving limits in Europe. Wikimedia, public domain
The legal limit for ordinary drivers is Slovenia is 50 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood or 0.24 milligrams of alcohol per litre of exhaled air, while for beginners, professional drivers and other special groups total sobriety is required at all times.
Ideally no drivers should drink, but as a ready reckoner 350 ml of beer, 150 ml of wine and 5 ml of spirits will keep you under the limit, while two such drinks will put most people under 70 at or over the threshold, with gender, time since the alcohol was consumed, and food in the stomach being additional factors that influence the results.
The organization International SOS has produced the latest edition of its Travel Risk Map, finding Slovenia one of only eight countries in Europe deemed to have an “insignificant risk”, along with Luxembourg, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Greenland. Outside of Europe, the Seychelles and Cape Verde were also rated low risk destinations, based on factors such as political violence, crime, and social unrest, as well as transportation infrastructure, susceptibility to natural disasters, and the abilities of emergency and security services.
All other European countries were rated “low risk”, apart from Kosovo and Turkey, which gained “medium risk” status. The countries which were seen as presenting “extreme risk” for travelers were Mali, Libya, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, and parts of Iran, Pakistan and Nigeria.
In addition to security issues, International SOS also produces maps looking at medical risk and traffic safety. For the former, Slovenia – along with most of Europe – was seen as a low risk destination, while for road safety it gained a “low” rather than “very low” rating, the same as Italy, the other Balkan nations and Eastern Europe.
More details, along with the maps and the methodology behind their production, can be found here.
See all our stories about statistics and studies related to Slovenia here
December in Ljubljana is a magical time, and this year the magic starts a week early, with a riverside ambience of fire providing the setting for an evening of music, dance and theatre.
The summer’s most delightful festival in Ljubljana is, in my opinion, Ana Desetnica, which for more than week brings an international programme of street performers to the capital, with music, comedy, magic and drama livening up the city’s bridges, squares and street corners. The same organisation behind that event, Gledališče Ana Monro, is organising an autumn festival, Ana Plamenita in Špica, Ljubljana, this Saturday, November 24th, from 17:00 to 21:00, although if the weather’s bad the event will be moved to Sunday. (Check the Facebook page for details.)
In previous editions this has seen fire-based installations and performances lighting up various locations around town and this year the magic is set to take place just a short walk upriver from the centre of town, at Špica, which also hosted the event in 2017, when these pictures were taken.
On arriving at the site of Ana Plamenita you’ll see an area transformed with fire and light, set up in creative displays to bring magic to an autumn evening, and just a week before the lights are turned on in Ljubljana. Of course, where there’s light there’s shadow, and shadow-play will be a special feature of this year’s festival, with workshops and creative areas set-up for you to make your own lanterns and dolls.
While surprise remains a key element of the evening, expect performances from various artists making use of the ambiance, with paper giants and a creature in the Japanese shade garden, as well as Tango Pop dancing in the streets. In addition to such displays visitors will be pleased to note that the Špica Caffe will be open should you need a warm drink on a cold evening.
Ana Plamenita is on this Saturday, November 24th, 17:00 to 21:00, weather permitting, and check the Facebook, Instagram or website (Slovene only) for details of that. And if you can’t make this event then don’t worry, as Ana Monro is back in town at the end of December with the winter edition of its street theatre festival, Ana Mraz.
STA, 21 November 2018 - Gault & Millau has published a Slovenian edition of its high-profile restaurant guide. A total of 130 restaurants across the country are featured, with the highest scores awarded to restaurants by celebrity chefs already considered among the best places to eat in Slovenia.
Two two highest-rated restaurants are Pri Lojzetu, the restaurant at Zemono Mansion run by celebrity chef Tomaž Kavčič, and Hiša Franko in Kobarid, the home of Ana Roš, who was declared the world's best female chef in 2017 by the culinary portal World's 50 Best Restaurants.
They both received the highest mark awarded in Slovenia, 17.5 points, and four white hats. Gault & Millau rates restaurants on a scale of 1 to 20, with five the maximum number of hats.
Four more restaurants received four hats but half a point less.
Chef Gregor Vračko's Hiša Denk in Kungota in eastern Slovenia and his brother David's eatery Mak in Maribor made the cut, as well as chef Igor Jagodic's Strelec in Ljubljana and Ošterija Debeluh in Brežice in south Slovenia, which is run by chef Jure Tomič.
The guide also includes 50 popular places which have not been rated, as well as 50 Slovenian wineries and 15 small brewers.
The publication was met with great fanfare because it is the first time a major international restaurant guide has published a dedicated Slovenia edition.
Michelin, arguably the best known culinary guide in the world, does not have a Slovenia guide yet.
Gault & Millau’s website can be seen here
STA, 20 November 2018 - Slovenia will get significantly hotter by the end of the century as greenhouse gas emissions drive climate change, and even the most optimistic scenarios show that the frequency and severity of heat waves will increase. Precipitation patterns will be upended as well, in particular in winter, the latest climate projections show.
The projections, released by the Slovenian Environment Agency on Tuesday, consider three scenarios of climate change compared to the reference years 1981-2010 - and under all of them the changes will be profound.
Average temperatures, having already increased by 2.2 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times by 2011, are projected to rise by 1.3 degrees by the end of the century according to the most optimistic scenario and as much as 6 degrees according to the most pessimistic scenario.
The number of hot days will increase by 6-27 days depending on scenario, but even under the most optimistic scenario heat waves will be much more common and longer.
There will be at least one heat wave each year as bad or worse than the record-setting heat wave of 2003. "By the end of the century, 2003 could be considered quite fresh," Environment Agency researcher Gregor Vertačnik said.
The flip side of the warmer climate will be a significantly longer growing season, which could begin a month earlier and end a month later, without an increase in the probability of spring frost.
In the past fifty years Slovenia has been getting drier, with precipitation dropping by about a tenth and the snow cover by more than half.
But by the end of the century, the situation is likely to be completely different, especially in eastern Slovenia.
In the moderately optimistic and pessimistic scenarios precipitation is expected to increase by 20% by the end of the century, but the overall increase masks even more profound seasonal changes.
In the pessimistic scenario, winter precipitation is projected to increase by 40% by the middle of the century and up to 60% by the end of the century.
In other seasons the change will not be so profound, though projections show a significant increase in extreme weather events such as flooding in general.
The good news, according to the agency, is that Slovenia will not have a shortage of water, as the average annual replenishing of aquifers will increase by about a fifth.
But this also means waterways are more likely to spill over.
The Environment Agency said the projections show climate change will impact every facet of life and required adaptation.
"The projections are primarily a groundwork for adaptation to climate change. But they can also be used in strategic projects with a long time span which must be resilient to climate change. Everyone planning such projects needs our forecasts," according to the agency's chief climatologist Mojca Dolinar.
Barbara Simonič of the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning said resilience to climate change needed to improve. She said the national-level projections must now be followed-up by assessments for individual sectors.
While the analysis considers three scenarios, the agency also warns that there is a high degree of uncertainty, with the gravity of change depending on how much humanity manages to limit greenhouse gas emissions and how reliable the forecasting models are.
Our other stories on climate change sand Slovenia are here
We got in touch with Juan López to learn more about the English-language science presentations he helps organize in Ljubljana.
Can you tell me a little about the history of Science Bites?
Science Bites started as an idea between a group of scientist friends. We often engaged in conversation to explain how our work was going (as all of us are researchers in different fields), and we were really happy to explain to our close group of friends (non-scientists) what we were doing. One day we thought that it would be great to do the same on a bigger scale, to inform people about the most recent science discoveries and to explain misconceptions around certain topics like nuclear energy or genetic modified organisms. And this would also be a good way to practice science presentations in English, since as researchers it’s one of the main skills we need for conferences.
The first time we made an event we were just nine friends, and then word spread and by the second edition we had 15 new speakers. It brought a golden opportunity for young researchers and students, as they could also practice their social and presentation skills, and since we always met in a relaxing atmosphere and chill crowd, it was the perfect exercise for those who have a bit of fear about speaking in public.
Photo: Tomaž Suhovršnik
Who can come?
Our events are open to the public. We try not to get really technical in our presentations, and to explain with easy terms for everyone to understand. A science background is not needed. Maybe it’s not suitable for really small children since all the presentations are in English, and we assume that the public has certain basic knowledge from high school. The main purpose is to inform, to share science, to bring to the public that “wow” that follows every discovery or understanding of how the world works. We don’t want to teach in our field, we just want to speak about the topics we know the most about.
Photo: Tomaž Suhovršnik
Where’s the new venue, and how will this change the way the events are organized?
The new venue will be Žmauc [Rimska cesta 21, 1000 Ljubljana], near the city center and the Faculty of Philosophy, and currently we are not planning to change our format much. Twenty-minute presentations followed by 10 minutes of questions, three speakers per session, three to five sessions per season (sessions are held every two weeks, the number of sessions depends on how many speakers we have). We would like to give more visibility to the project, reach more researchers, and get even more people to future events.
What should people do if they want to make a presentation?
People just need passion for what they are doing. With passion comes the desire for sharing it with others. Any scientific background is welcome, in the natural or social sciences. We currently have a Facebook page called “Science bites Slovenia” and a message there will put you in contact with us. We accept everyone that wants to participate. They should design a 20-minutes presentation, and while most of our speakers use a PowerPoint presentation with videos, images this isn’t needed. You can decide the best format for your presentation, such as using a whiteboard to write while you’re speaking, or just a straight talk with no technical support. We aim for presentations to be comprehensible, fun and dynamic, so we can interact with the people that come to listen to us, especially during the question part of the evenings.
What can audiences expect?
Audiences can expect a bit more detail explaining the world around us. Science news that sadly can’t be covered in everyday media and news resources, from young scientists working in many different fields. News about the events and related things can be found in the Facebook page “Science Bites Slovenia”. We also have plans to start using a YouTube channel to record our presentations, for those who can’t attend the event and still would like to listen to it.
Anything else you’d like to say?
The event is totally free (apart from what you’d like to consume at the bar) and our the speakers do it for the pure love of science and sharing. After any event you can come and ask whatever questions were not answered in the question time, and we are always happy to speak with people. And who knows, you may find a new field that you didn’t know about, and which motivates you enough to dedicate your work to it!As noted in the interview, if you'd like to make a presentation, attend one, or just follow the group's activities, then do see the Facebook page called “Science bites Slovenia”. And if you're ready for some relatively simply science presentations in Slovene, then check out the ones held each weekend at the House of Experiments (learn more
The Festival of LGBT Film has come a long since the days when the organisers were building an underground event around a collection of VHS tapes hand collected from London, often screened without anyone involved knowing quite what they contained. Now getting ready to start it’s 34th edition, the festival is a well-established annual affair, put on with the support of public and private sponsors, and with a large, well-curated programme of features and shorts from around the world. Over twenty titles will be shown in Ljubljana, at Kinodvor, Kinoteka and Metelkova’s Klub Tiffany, with additional screenings in Maribor (IntimiKino), Koper (MKSMC), Ptuj (Mestin kino), Bistrica ob Sotli (Mladinski center), Idrija (Filmsko gledališče) and Trst/Trieste (Cinema Ariston).
The films come from Slovenia, the USA, China, Germany, Italy, Myanmar, Columbia, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, Spain, France, Paraguay, Brazil, Scotland, Kenya and elsewhere, with all screenings including both English and Slovene subtitles, when needed. The related website also has an English version, here, which includes the full schedule of screenings and events, and there’s also a Facebook page.
The festival presents a round-up of the last year or so in LGBT+ film from around the world, with both fictional and documentary presentations, including Chi salverà le rose? (Who Will Save the Roses?), Sydney and Friends, Mr Gay Syria, Call Her Ganda, Freak Show, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Rafiki, Carmen & Lola, Martesa (The Marriage Film), Consequences (Posledice), Obscuro Barroco, Queercore and The Handmaiden (Agassi), although note this list is incomplete and a fuller account can be found elsewhere online.
All our LGBT+ stories can be found here
STA, 20 November - The 34th Slovenian Book Fair is getting under way at Ljubljana's Cankarjev Dom tonight, featuring more than a hundred publishers and 25,000 books, including 3,000 new titles. Hungary is the guest country.
For several years now the fair has been seeking to expand beyond its national character with a guest country and guest appearances by foreign authors.
This year it will welcome Man Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle, Goncourt Prize winner Marie NDiaye, Fulvio Tomizza Award laureate Mauro Covacich and Nepali poet Yuyutsu Ram Das Sharma.
After France, Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Hungary will be in the spotlight, showcased through literature, film, music, dance and cuisine.
Zdravko Kafol, the head of the organising committee, says that the fair is not yet international, but that Ljubljana deserves to have an international book fair, especially now that it has been designated as UNESCO's City of Literature.
Talking with the STA ahead of the launch, Kafol said that the fair featured virtually the entire publishing industry in the country and most of the new titles and attracted more visitors than all other book events together.
The publishing sector has not yet broken out of the spiral of contraction. But while it represents only two thousandths of GDP, its symbolic value is much bigger, even though not appreciated, Kafol says.
Despite efforts by various stakeholders, 42% of Slovenians do not read and one out of four is functionally illiterate, while tax on book is one of the highest in the EU, Kafol noted.
This is why the fair has taken it upon itself to promote reading and buying books through various campaigns, such as this year's call to visitors: "Admission free, buy a book more instead!"
Kafol says the aim is to attract more young people, as well as leaders from all walks of life, in order to draw attention to the importance of books for the health of the individual and the country.
Running until Sunday, the fair will open with an address by Prime Minister Marjan Šarec, which Kafol says indicates that the increasing importance that is being attached to books.
The fair will see more than 300 accompanying events on seven stages, involving almost 1,000 participants from literary, cultural, social and media life as it strives to become a must-see event.
Among more than 100 authors hosted at the fair, several acclaimed guests from Slovenia will be celebrating their jubilees, including Drago Jančar, Ivo Svetina and Marjanca Jemec Božič.
Next year, the fair will focus on the Enlightenment, to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the deaths of two Slovenian representatives of the movement, Valentin Vodnik (1758-1819) and Žiga Zois (1747-1819). Instead of a guest country, the fair will play host to whole Europe.
The official website, in Slovene, is here
A few small festivals on around town this week, which together make up a rather programme of concerts, talks, shows and more. For one thing there’s an electronic art, music, activism and critical thinking festival, Grounded (11/21–23), with shows at several venues around town. The Facebook is here, the website here, and the schedule here. Another multi-venue multi-day event is the Ljubljana LGBT Film Festival, which runs from November 24 to December 02 - see the Cinemas in Ljubljana or LGBT+ sections below. Meanwhile, Kino Šiška is hosting CoFestival, with a focus on dance (details here). There’s also the Naked Stage all-English international improv festival – see more here. Finally, if you're in town on Saturday (24th) then consider going to Špica, not far from the centre, and seeing a one-night only festival of fire and performances, all free, called Ana Plamenita, with details 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 this week in the same place. 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
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. If you’re driving into town and don’t know where to part, our guide to how to park in Ljubljana is 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.
You can read about all the cinemas in town here, while a selection of what’s playing this week is below, and note that kid’s movies tend to be shown in dubbed versions, so do check before driving out to a multiplex and dropping off the young ones. That said, parents should pay attention to Kinobalon, which is Kinodvor's regular weekend series of film screenings and events for children, from babies on up, witrh special parent/child events, "first time in a cinema" screenings, and babysitting. Learn more about it here, and see the current schedule here. (And if you like watching trailers with subtitles as a way of learning Slovene, then catch up on some from earlier this year here and here).
One film festival starts at the end of the week, the Ljubljana LGBT Film Festival, which runs from November 24 to December 02. That’s right – December’s just around the corner. You can learn more about the festival, and see trailers for many of its films - all of which will be shown with English and Slovene subtitles, if needed - here
Kinodvor – The arts cinema not far from the train station, which has a nice café with books and magazines, is playing, among other features: Ash is Purest White, Winter Flies, The House that Jack Built, The Children Act, The Third Murder, Phantom Thread, Consequences and The Gruffalo and the Gruffalo’s child, with the latter also shown in a Sunday morning babysitting presentation.
Kinoteka – The revival house at one end of Miklošičeva is showing The Handmaiden (Park Chan-wook), White Material (Clarie Denis), Ex Machina (Alex Garland) and The Snapper (Stephen Frears), among other features.
Kolosej - The multiplex out at BTC City Mall is playing all the big movies, which this week include Bohemian Rhapsody, Hunter Killer, Halloween, Johnny English 3, Venom, A Star is Born, Gajin svet, Night School, Mamma Mia! 2 and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, The Girl in the Spider's Web, and Overlord, Little Italy, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, El mayor regalo, and The Grinch. The new movie is Air Strike, and that seems to be it, with The Grinch leaving almost as soon as it arrived.
Komuna – The cinema in a basement behind Nama department store is showing Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born.
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 consideable variety to found within the various clubs there, from death metal to electropop, gay caberet to art noise. You can read "the rules" of the place here.
Channel Zero – Monday night is Dub Lab, this week with All One Love # Party Gathering. Friday’s there music from the Handy Jandy and Spejs collectives, with a list of DJs playing trap, beats, bass, breakbeat and jungle.
Gala Hala – Friday there’s Wave riders: Electro riders, with DJs Torulsson, Kobayashii and Skinar. The week then comes to a climax with a Saturday all-nighter, SNIF presents: Anklklan X 50 Franks X WNDE, with what seems to be both live acts and DJs presenting: trap, bass and grime.
Klub Gromka – Friday night there’s Holomondo playing indie post-disco.
Klub Cirkus – Two events at this regular party club, with Friday seeing an all-nighter of DJs headlined by an appearance from Mari Ferrari. On Saturday there’s R’n’B with DJ Rea, with the night ending at 05:00, still some time before sunrise.
Klub K4 – The klub 4 kool kids also has two nights this week. Friday there’s Just Us w. Francesco Del Garda, supported by Dipsas, Limc, Simm and Marin. Then Saturday you can step back in time to an era before smartphones with K4 Techno Oldies Goldies, with DJ’s play techno and house.
Koncertna Dvorana Rog – The alternative to Metelkova at one end of Trubarjeva has IIIachine City on Friday, with DJs Alfredo Mazzilli, Gesta, Lunatik and Herman K vs RSN playing techno.
Orto Bar – Thursday there’s the post-Bryan Adams Concert Ultimate Pop Rock Party, a free to enter event that will be playing music aimed at fans of Bryan Adams, who's playing Stozice
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. One thing they recently warned of were pink Pharaoh pills with around twice the normal MDMA content (measured at 261 mg). See pictures and learn more here, but do remember that all the usual drugs remain illegal in Slovenia, while our in-depth profile of the group is here. We've also heard increasing reports - albeit anecdotal - of women's drinks being spiked in the city, so take care and let friends know where you're going.
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, ice cream and pizza.
Photo: JL Flanner
The city’s main tourist attraction is the Castle, and you’ll enjoy your visit a lot more if you know what you’re looking at, so take a look at our 25 Things to Know about Ljubljana Castle and learn, among other things, what these people are standing around and how it’s linked to Predjama Castle.
Photo: JL Flanner
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. We recently also published an interview with the LGBT activist and writer Suzana Tratnik, talking about - among other things - the occupation of Metelkova.There's an LGBT+ Film Festival in town from thr 24th on, and you can learn more about that, and see trailers for many of its films - all of which will be shown with English and Slovene subtitles, if needed - here.
Klub Monokel – This lesbian bar in Metelkova is open every Friday night, and is also hosting some of the Grounded festival events..
Klub Tiffany – The gay bar next door to Monokel is also open every Friday, and every Monday until June 2019 there's tango at 18:00. Special this week are events for Grounded and the LGBT Film Festival – including Wednesday, 20:00, a screening of Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution?, while on Tuesday evening there’ll be something for the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Pritličje – This is the closest Ljubljana comes to a "gay bar" so it's a good thing this LGBT-friendly cafe / bar / events space is such a good one, and open from morning to night. This Thursday there’s an event related to the Grounded festival, Vzhodno od queera ali Kjer ga najdeš | Grindr.
Museums and galleries in Ljubljana
Most public galleries and museums are closed on Mondays, although not the National Museum.
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. Read about our guided tour here.
Cankerjev dom – Running until the end of February 2019 is an exhibition titled Ivan Cankar and Europe: Between Shakespeare and Kafka. This is “An examination of Cankar’s art through an analysis of influences and interpretations, and juxtaposition with contemporary European writers. The visually elaborate architectural and graphic layout, supported by audio-visual media, installation art and diverse visual highlights, offers a vivid account of Cankar’s excellence, his comprehensively exquisite aesthetic and artistic vision.”
City Museum – The Museum in French Revolution Square has an exhibition on the writer Ivan Cankar that’s on until the end of February 2019, with pictures, books and manuscripts, all presented in Slovene and English. It also has a very 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 recent visit here. Until March 2019 there's a show highlighting the work Elza Kastl Obereigner (1884-1973), a pioneer Slovenian sculptress, with an example of her work shown below.
Photo: M Paternoster
The Faces of Ljubljana in the City Museum. Photo: JL Flanner
Galerija Vžigalica – Saša Spačal has a show here until January 6, 2019 called Earthlink, “working at the intersection of intermedia art, exploration of living systems and audio frequencies, links Earth to the post-human present, that includes both a seed of the future as well as a shadow of the past.” A promotional image is what's shown below.
Simbiom – ekonomija simbioze, 2016 © Dejan HabichtArhiv Moderne galerije
City Art Gallery – Drago Tršar recently had a show at the main Moderna looking at his monumental works, and now this smaller gallery in the Old Town, not far from Town Hall, is showing some the sculpture’s erotic works, on until January 20, 2019. It’s being promoted with the following example.
Photo: City Gallery
International Centre of Graphic Arts – Running from Friday until March 3 2019 there will be a show of posters from Milton Glaser, with the poster for the show shown below.
Ljubljana Exhibition & Convention Centre – Just outside the centre of town, at Dunajska cesta 18, you can see a lot of plasticized bodies at the Body Worlds Vital show, running from October 20 until January 20 2019.
Photo: Body Works Vital
MAO – The Museum of Architecture and Design is showcasing Slovenian designers in a show called Made in Slovenia, lasting until the end of 2018: “The selling exhibition aims to present good practices of Slovenian designers and companies in the creative sector.” The same venue has an exhibition based on Slovenia’s Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, called “Living with Water”, and on until November 25.
Sam, 1966, fotografija na srebroželatinskem papirju. ©Stojan Kerbler
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, and it's latest exhibition focuses on the photographer Stojan Kerbler, which runs until January 13, 2019, and shows rural live in Slovenia for the recent past.
Museum of Contemporary History – The museum in Tivoli Park has two new shows. One is called Museum's (R)evolution 1948-2018, marking the place's 70th anniversary with an exhibition tracing its evolution through artefacts, photographs and personal stories and running until January 6 2019 (details here). There's also In Search of Freedom: 1968-2018, looking at the 1968 student protests.
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. Running until February 10 2019 is a show called Ivana Kobilca (1861-1926): But Of Course, Painting Is Something Beautiful!, featuring works like the one below. You can read about our visit to the room containing scared art from the Middle Ages here, and see a picture from our trip after the two girls.
National Museum of Slovenia – There’s plenty to see in the permanent collection here, from Roman times, Egypt and more, with the big draw this season being the exhibition of over 140 items of gold from Ming Dyntasy China, as reported here, and with an example below.
Photo: Wang Wei Chang
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 objects.
Slovene Ethnographic Museum – The museum currently has a temporary show on Bees and Beekeeping, 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.
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: Alternative Ljubljana
Arena Stožice will be hosting Mr Adams on Thursday, November 22
– Wednesday night there’s a night of live music with Maraton trojk: Lynch & Rib & Sergio Lounge.
Cankerjev dom – Saz'iso are playing Monday (19th) at 20:00. Here’s what Ry Cooder said about the album they’re promoting. “Why not give yourself a break from the unending cavalcade of modern high-speed insanity, and rest up with this album of deep soul from Southern Albania?”. Saturday and Sunday there are shows marking 30 Years of the Prifarski Muzikanti Band.
– Saturday there’s a night with the name Ritval IV: Grrrrinding Insanity, with live grindcore and death metal from Rotten Cold, Dickless Tracy and Glista.
– Tuesday there’s a show from Anna Calvi, while on Thursday you can enjoy pop from Tsar B and Zagami Jericho.
Ljubljana Castle – Friday is music night at the castle, and this week sees a show by the E. J. Strickland Quintet.
Orto Bar – Friday night there’s the Pre-Kitzbühel party, with a live show from Lumberjack. Saturday you can then see a Pearl Jam tribute band called Pearl Jam Project.>
Opera, theatre and dance in Ljubljana
There’s an international improv festival, held in English, going on this week, with the name Naked Stage (Goli odor). Most the shows will be in Elektro Ljubljana, not far from Metelkova, with more details here.
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.
Klub Gromka – Thursday evening a side project from Image Snatchers returns to the stage, Matilda & Her Buns.
Pocket Teater Studio – Wednesday there’s a theatrical production called Človek, ki je prodal svet. Thursday you can then enjoy Mascara Quartet: Fado and Tango at the Pocket. Note this is a small place and tickets should be bought in advance.
SNG Opera and Ballet – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday you can enjoy dance, Moški z nožem with Kompozicija. Then Friday there’s Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann.
From November 2 to 30 there’s the Gourmet Ljubljana Festival, with a full programme of culinary events, as detailed here.
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,
Breg Embankment, just opposite the Old Town and by the river, has a small flea market open every Sunday morning. Learn more about it here.
If you can't make it to Breg on Sunday morning, but still 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 at the top of this page, with more 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.
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
Jackie Chan fighting in Predjama Castle
© Jaka Prijatelj
The artists quarter that’s built up round Metelkova, including the Ministry of Culture and branches of the Modern Gallery and National Museum, as well as the Ethnographic Museum, has another repurposed building not far away, the Stara mestna elektrarna – Elektro Ljubljana.
It’s here, from Tuesday November 20 until Sunday 25, that you’ll be able to enjoy a lot of the 14th Naked Stage / Goli oder, an international festival of improvisational theatre, with some performances also occurring in Metelkova’s Menza pri Koritu, as well as in Kranj. The theme of this year’s festival is “connection”, and this will be explored in nine performances by artists from Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany and Slovenia.
Photo: Gregor Gobec
Photo: Gregor Gobec
Meet the People: Vid Sodnik, Improv Artist
Photo: Maruša Rems
Photo: Maruša Rems
All of the performances will be in English, and while there’s a simple schedule at the end of this post it’s far better to visit this page, which has full details of every performance.
This year’s festival is a part of a broader European project, Our Lives, and is being produced by Kolektiv Narobov, Zavod Federacija and Družina umetnosti Narobov, in coproduction with Zavod Bunker, KUD Kiks and Društvo Impro, while the artistic director of the festival is Maja Dekleva Lapajne.
NAKED STAGE 2018
14th International Festival of Improvisational Theatre
Wednesday, November 21, Stara mestna elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana
at 8pm: I Am an Envelope
An opening show of the festival and the first bite of it
Thursday, November 22, Stara mestna elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana
at 7pm: Childhood in Flashbacks
Transformation of different childhoods of generations and places to stage performance
at 9pm: Your 15 Minutes of Fame
Courageous and playful improvisation with members of the audience
Friday, November 23, Stara mestna elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana
at 7pm: Here You See
Traveling experience to places and memories that have shaped the lives of the performers
at 9pm: Chaka Chaka
Connections of body movements and musicality performance
Menza pri Koritu, AKC Metelkova, Ljubljana
at 11.30pm: Puppets and Cigarettes
A midnight puppet-impro dessert
Saturday, November 24, Layerjeva hiša Kranj
at 7pm: Sincerely Yours
A lively attack on feelings of love and violence
at 9pm: Carniola Song Contest
A frisky improve song night
Sunday, November 25, Stara mestna elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana
at 8pm: Last Wish
A bittersweet closing performance of the festival
WORKSHOPS DURING THE FESTIVAL:
Tuesday, November 20 from 3pm till 7pm
Marie Wellmann: Producing Impro
Wednesday, November 21 from 3pm till 7pm
Michaela Puchalková: Applied Impro Helps
Thursday, November 22, and Friday, November 23, from 2pm till 5pm
Matthieu Loos: Beyond Skin
Friday, November 23 from 10am till 2pm
Lee White: Game Show odrski formati Formats
Saturday, November 24 from 1pm till 5pm
Ladislav Karda: Free Form Impro
Saturday, November 24 from 1.30pm till 5.30pm
Christoph Jungmann: Our Lives – Our Inspiration
Saturday, November 24 and Sunday, November 25 from 2pm to 5pm
Alenka Marinič and Justin Durel: Clown for Improvisers