Ljubljana – Have you noticed how many houses in the old town have three windows? Do you know why? And how some of them lean towards each other but they never touch? Are you at least a little curious why this is so? Then – with the words of a poet – let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of Ljubljana. I’ll show you something to make you fall in love.
Ljubljana’s old town houses have witnessed many secrets. If you listen very carefully to the house on Stari trg 11a, you might hear the story about the great poetess Lily Novy.
Kazina - Wikimedia
As a vivacious young lady, she met her future husband Edvard Novy Wallersberg at a dance in Kazina, the majestic building on the corner of Slovenska cesta and Kongresni trg. They fell in love, got married, had two daughters, travelled around. Her husband supported her in her writing. And yet she left him. If you look deep into her bronze eyes above the entrance, she might let you in on her secret. She was not only a free spirit, she was also a very brave one. When she discovered that her husband had syphilis, she simply left him and raised her daughters on her own. This was in 1927.
There you will be able to see how many of the buildings look like Barbie-doll houses. The reason why some of them only almost touch each other is the fact that at that time the space in between was meant for trash.
The American Embassy - Wikimedia
If you’d like to continue your walk, you might want to visit The Bohemian Quarter, our own Camden Town-like district, The Museum and The Diplomatic Quarter which are all very close to each other. The Bohemian Quarter, where a number of world cuisine restaurants and a throng of bookshops are all crammed in a street block, is to the left of Prešeren Square in Trubarjeva street. The Museum Quarter with National Gallery, Modern Gallery and National Museum, and the Diplomatic Quarter with many embassies and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the building Mladika, designed by the architect Maks Fabiani, are just further down the Čopova street on the way to Park Tivoli. Did you know that Ljubljana is the only city in the world where the US and the Russian Embassy are living peacefully side by side?
Tivoli would be a perfect ending to your walk, especially if you head towards the little pond with a cafe and the open area library. If you are really lucky, you might even find a book by Lily Novy. Then she will let you in on not only on her personal secrets but also her work, which somehow became forgotten while she turned into an urban legend.