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.
Open Kitchen is a focus and highlight of the week for many in downtown Ljubljana, bringing stalls selling hot food and cool drinks to the marketplace between the river and Cathedral each Friday, running from an early lunch to dinner. With the culinary event returning for another season at the end of this week, and set to appear at five other towns in Slovenia, we sent some questions to Lior Kochavy, the busy co-founder of the project, and he was kind enough to reply.
How long has Open Kitchen been running?
The first Odprta kuhna (or Open Kitchen) happened on Pogačarjev trg in Ljubljana in 2013, so we are just about to start our 7th season on Friday, March 22. It is going to be pretty special as it turns out, because the opening will be the 150th Odprta kuhna event in Ljubljana and our 200th Odprta Kuhna event ever. You see, we also take Odprta kuhna on tour around Slovenia to Celje, Koper, Nova Gorica, Ptuj and Novo mesto, the latter being a new location this year. Our first event in Celje is scheduled for March 30, we go to Novo mesto on April 13, to Ptuj on April 20, to Nova Gorica on April 24 and to Koper on June 15.
How has it changed over the years?
In some ways a lot and in other way not at all. The concept and the standards – in terms of quality, creativity and innovation – have remained the same, but of course the event grew and continues to grow in all aspects.
When we first started there were not a lot of people who understood what we wanted to do. But luckily one those people who understood was the Mayor of Ljubljana. On the very first event we had around 20 stands and it was a disaster, as it started to rain three hours after we opened. But we carried on and today we co-operate with around 80 different restaurants. In Ljubljana around 50 stands are full every Friday (this is how many fit to Pogačarjev trg) and the variety of food and drinks on offer is fantastic.
Odprta kuhna became a fixture in Ljubljana's social life, this is where the weekend begins, but we also became an important tourist attraction. Readers of The Guardian chose Odprta kuhna as one of the best street-food markets in the world, and the BBC placed Ljubljana as the third on this year's Top 10 Destinations for foodies list. We also expanded beyond Ljubljana and added new locations – this year Novo Mesto, in 2017 Ptuj, a year before that Nova Gorica...
Yes, besides Odprta kuhna and Pivo & Burger Fest, which will take place on Pogačarjev trg on April 6 and 7, we are launching a new event this year called Brina, Ljubljana gin festival. It will take place in beautiful Tivoli Park in and around Švicarija House, and it’ll be delicious! There is a number of excellent Slovenian gin distillers who will participate, and we’re talking top quality gin here. There will be speciality cocktail, tastings, food pairings, mixologists and gin connoisseurs from abroad, top chefs preparing amazing food, there will be music, art and good times, so Brina will definitely be one of the highlights of the season.
Is there anything new for this year?
Yes, at Odprta kuhna a number of new restaurants will participate – such as Gostilna Grabar, Hotel in restavracija Planinka, Gostišče Barbara, Pivnica Lajbah, Restavracija Evergreen, EK Bistro, El Patrón Tacos & Store, Fermen(s)tation, Pop's Place, Fejst™, TINK superfood café and La Ganache – and in April we will add a new stand, dedicated to natural, living wines.
In summer there will also be a special section of Odprta kuhna called Taste Slovenia where producers of Slovenian delicacies, tourist organisations from all over the country and producers of handmade kitchen and food related products such as wooden boards, ceramics and knives will present themselves as they did last year very successfully.
And of course we are very proud that some of the country's best chefs trust us and participate with us, such as legendary Janez Bratovž (JB Restavracija) and fantastic young chefs like Jorg Zupan (Atelje), Luka Košir (Gostišče Grič) and Mojmir Šiftar (Evergreen, named Young Talent of 2019 by Gault&Millau Slovenija).
Where can people learn about the dates?
We have a lovely website where you can find out all about the dates (and, fortunately, very few cancellations due to bad weather) and much more. Of course we are also very active on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Instagram.
Personally, what do you enjoy most about the Open Kitchen events?
The food, the people, the atmosphere, the socializing, the buzz... I could go on. Odprta kuhna brings joy to people, it is open to everyone and everyone can try something new, meet old and new friends, explore and simply have fun.
I am there every single event from early morning to late evening and I never get tired of it. All of the people who work there are like family to me, I stop by every single stand at every single event to chat, make sure everybody is happy and doing well. In Ljubljana, where we have events on Fridays, there is also this collective sigh of relief that the weekend is about to start and it is a vibe you can feel very distinctly, you can almost touch it.
Related: What's on in Ljubljana this Week
STA, 17 March 2019 - Defence Minister Karl Erjavec has said NATO is a bulwark of security in the Euro-Atlantic area and a cornerstone of Slovenian security, as he spoke to the STA ahead of Slovenia's 15th anniversary of NATO membership. "With limited funds we earmark for defence, it enables us to achieve more and do better."
"On its 70th anniversary, NATO is still a key common mechanism of guaranteeing security, freedom, democracy, the rule of law and development in the Euro-Atlantic area.
"It's primarily a bulwark of common values which are the basis of the social systems of its allies. All this is supported by a system of collective security," he says.
For Slovenia, it represents one of the basic elements of national security, believes Erjavec, who held the office of foreign minister before moving to defence.
"The alliance offers us the most suitable framework to pursue our national security interests, and a possibility of joint response to contemporary security challenges."
However, Slovenia must also assume a fair share of responsibilities, notes Erjavec, adding that if it was not a NATO member, it would have to invest much more in defence.
He says Slovenia has committed to spend more on defence not only because of NATO but foremost to have adequate capabilities for its own national security.
He notes the government has come up with an ambitious plan to raise defence spending in the coming years "aiming to meet this goal which was adopted jointly".
Looking back at the 15 years in NATO, Erjavec sees NATO's 2014 summit in Wales as one of the key events, bringing a "leap in understanding changes in security" and the related need to adjust to contemporary security challenges.
Noting NATO is working on a new military strategy, he says that "just like other allies, Slovenia will strengthen its defence capabilities and pursue the commitments to raise defence spending".
"We too will join the implementation of a boosted presence in the East, where we take part in a battlegroup in Latvia. Special efforts will also have to be made to boost the country's cybersecurity."
Over the past decade and a half, the main events in Slovenia have been the integration of the Slovenian army in NATO's military structure, which was completed in 2009.
This showed according to the minister that the army was capable of working together with other allies.
Another important event was two of its units (a nuclear, radiological, chemical and biological battalion and the Role-2 medical unit) becoming NATO-certified units, showing Slovenia can contribute its capabilities into the system of collective defence.
Erjavec also highlights the deployment of troops to Kosovo. "This has been the biggest contribution so far in the history of cooperation in international operations, and it puts us on a par with the most advanced armies."
The minister believes that in its 70-year history, NATO has proved "an incredibly strong alliance able to adjust and react to various threats and challenges despite sometimes different interests and stances of its sovereign members".
Commenting on tensions between European allies and the US under President Donald Trump, and on the EU's boosting its security and defence component, Erjavec says this does not "double efforts by NATO, which remains the basis of collective defence, but strengthens the European pillar within NATO".
The EU's efforts should not been seen as competition to NATO or the US. "The European security and defence efforts present a positive contribution to providing Euro-Atlantic security." says Erjavec, noting NATO and the EU are "natural partners" which share their common values and strategic interests in facing common challenges.
As for NATO's focus on Russia since the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis, the minister says "the alliance does not want a confrontation with Russia".
However, "it clearly and resolutely protects NATO's principles and democratic values, as well as peace, security and stability of all of its members", according to Erjavec.
All our stories on the military and Slovenia are 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.
Below is a review of the headlines in Slovenian dailies for Monday, 18 March 2019, as summarised by the STA:
Protests in Serbia
"Serbia at crossroads: elections or chaos?": Protesters in Serbia demand that President Alenksandar Vučić resign over his autocrat rule and the overall economic situation in Serbia. Opposition representatives and masked men with a chainsaw broke into the headquarters of the national broadcaster, forcing the police to intervene. (front page, page 6)
Ski Jumping World Cup
"Flying Domen Prevc - a beautiful invitation for Planica": Slovenia's Domen Prevc won Sunday's ski flying World Cup event in Norway's Vikersund, taking care for a nice overture for the World Cup season finale in Slovenia's Planica between Thursday and Sunday. (front page, page 6)
"Rocky path to the world of adults": A number of Slovenian municipalities have been successful in their policies to secure housing for young couples and families, while in a majority of municipalities youth policy measures remain only written on paper. (front page, page 6)
Vox Populi poll
"Support for Šarec's government drops significantly": The popularity of the government, the largest coalition party Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) and Prime Minister Marjan Šarec has dropped in the latest Vox Populi poll. (front page, page 2-3)
Real estate market
"GURS values building land plots in Ljubljana at a few thousand": Some of the appraised values of building land plots in the records of the national Surveying and Mapping Authority (GURS) are up to hundred times lower than their actual market prices. (front page, page 2-3)
Alpine Ski World Cup
"Žan Kranjec shines once more at the end of season": Slovenia's Žan Kranjec had a nice finish to the Alpine Ski World Cup season with a third place in the last giant slalom race in Soldeu, Andorra. (front page, page 6)
"What does agreement with the Left bring?": The text of the agreement between the minority coalition and the opposition Left has been agreed on, with the paper analysing what it brings in terms of the labour market, taxes, real estate and healthcare. (front page, page 2-4)
"How does the Supreme Court increase trust in judiciary? With EUR 350,000 for two websites and projects": Not only the government, but the Supreme Court too is wasting taxpayers' money with websites and projects it needs just like a "fish needs a bicycle". (front page, page 6-8)
Real estate deals
"Tone Rop, Marjan Rekar and Janez Zemljarič together into real estate": Former Prime Minister Tone Rop, the former director of the Slovenian chapter of the Yugoslav secret police Janez Zemljarič and the investment firm Esquilino Investicije have established a real estate company, which will be headed by Marjan Rekar, the former boss of the national railways operator Slovenske Železnice. (front page, page 6-8)
Real estate market
"How much prices of real estate increased last year?": The paper looks in what part of Ljubljana the prices of real estate increased the most and where in the capital they were the lowest last year. (front page, page 4)
Ski Jumping World Cup
"Rejuvenated ahead of Planica": Domen Prevc won Sunday's ski flying World Cup event in Norway's Vikersund to add to the Slovenian team's win on Saturday. This is a nice nice overture for the World Cup season finale in Slovenia's Planica over the weekend. (front page, page 6)
Protests in Serbia
"Vučić under tremendous pressure": Mass protesters were held in Serbia over the weekend, with the protesters surrounding the Presidential Palace on Sunday, preventing President Alenksandar Vučić from leaving the building (front page, page 4)
"Police are 1,500 people short": The police are aggressively advertising police schools and the police officer profession as the force is facing a shortage of staff, with some estimates putting it at around 1,500. (front page, page 2-3)
"World record in Pristan": Croatian Vitomir Maričić set a new world record in dynamic apnea without fins at the open national championships at the Pristan swimming centre in Maribor, swimming under water a total of 210.7 metres. (front page, 9)
STA, 17 March 2019 - Slovenia became a full member of NATO on 29 March 2004, accomplishing one of its strategic foreign policy goals. Fifteen years later, the alliance is considered the keystone of Slovenian and European security, although it is also a source of demands for a fairer distribution of obligations, especially in terms of defence funding.
Slovenia had been a part of the Non-Aligned movement in the era of former Yugoslavia, but when it became independent the country set out to become a member of all significant global as well as Euro-Atlantic organisations, in particular the EU and NATO.
It had had aspirations of being one of the first countries from the former Eastern bloc to be invited to join NATO, but to its chagrin, the alliance invited only Czechia, Hungary and Poland in 1999.
The invitation to begin accession talks was issued three years later at the Prague summit. According to the then foreign minister, Dimitrij Rupel, the US decided to open the doors wider in part due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Popular support for NATO membership was weaker than support for the EU, as demonstrated during both accession referendums on 23 March 2003. While the EU membership was backed by almost 90% of voters, only 66% of them voted in favour of joining NATO.
Slovenia became a full member on 29 March 2004 along with Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovakia.
Despite expanding significantly since its inception, the alliance is still predicated on the principle of collective defence set down in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which states that an attack against one member is an attack against all of them.
The Defence Ministry also points out that NATO established itself as a bastion of liberal democracy, human rights and shared Euro-Atlantic values. Being a member, Slovenia has thus solidified its position among stable democracies in Europe and in the world.
After the end of the Cold War, NATO transformed into a major player securing global peace and security, in particular through peacekeeping operations in the Balkans.
But it has also engaged in combat, most notably in Afghanistan, which involved NATO participating in state-building and combat operations against the Taliban for 13 years until it was formally ended in 2014.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has described Slovenia as a valued ally that contributes to collective security and defence in many ways. The other allies acknowledge an important role of Slovenia in operations, especially in the Kfor mission in Kosovo, with Slovenian soldiers receiving high praise for their achievement.
But being at the bottom of the defence spending rankings, Slovenia has been warned about its low contributions. Stoltenberg personally pointed that out during his visit to Ljubljana in October last year.
NATO leaders agreed at the Wales summit in 2014 to increase the share of defence expenditure to 2% of GDP in ten years, after it had shrunk due to the financial crisis. Slovenia is one of the seven allies that do not plan to meet this target by 2024; it expects to allocate only 1.5% of GDP for defence budget that year.
The structure of the Slovenian defence budget is an issue as well. All allies are supposed to dedicate at least 20% of the financing to defence modernisation, but in Slovenia this share is only 8.2%. This is largely because Slovenia allocates the highest share of defence budget to soldiers' pay - almost 72.5%.
When it comes to increasing defence spending, the minority government is in a bind since the opposition Left opposes higher spending. However, a "fairer distribution of obligations" does not only concern Slovenia but the whole Europe, since only seven members of the 29 members allocate 2% of GDP to defence.
Slovenia plans to celebrate its 15th anniversary with a ceremony in Brdo pri Kranju on 20 March, with former NATO Secretary General George Robertson as the guest of honour.
STA, 16 March 2019 - Slovenian ski jumpers won the team FIS Ski flying competition in Vikersund, Norway, on Saturday. Anže Semenič, brothers Peter and Domen Prevc, and Timi Zajc beat the German team in second place and Austria in third.
In what was the tenth team victory overall for Slovenian ski jumpers, the foursome accumulated a total of 1632.9 points, the Germans 1606.3, whole the Austrians earned 1563.8 points.
Slovenia was in the lead after the first round, having earned 789 points, followed by Germany (775.8 points) and Austria (754.8 points).
The victory, the tenth team is considered a good omen ahead of the competition in Planica in Slovenia, where the final events of the season will be held in a fortnight.
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.