Clockwise from top: Ljubljana Castle in the background and Franciscan Church of the Annunciation in the foreground; Visitation of Mary Church on Rožnik Hill; Kazina Palace at Congress Square; one of the Dragons on the Dragon Bridge; Ljubljana City Hall; Ljubljanica with the Triple Bridge in distance
Clockwise from top: Ljubljana Castle in the background and Franciscan Church of the Annunciation in the foreground; Visitation of Mary Church on Rožnik Hill; Kazina Palace at Congress Square; one of the Dragons on the Dragon Bridge; Ljubljana City Hall; Ljubljanica with the Triple Bridge in distance
Flag of Ljubljana
Coat of arms of Ljubljana
Coat of arms
Ljubljana is located in Slovenia
Location of Ljubljana in Slovenia
Ljubljana is located in Europe
Ljubljana (Europe)
Coordinates: 46°03′20″N 14°30′30″E / 46°03′20″N 14°30′30″E / 46.05556; 14.50833UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal codes
1000—1211, 1231, 1260, 1261[4]
Area code(s)01 (1 if calling from abroad)

Ljubljana (Slovene: [ljuˈbljàːna] (About this soundlisten),[5] locally also [luˈblàːna]; also known by other, historical names) is the capital and largest city of Slovenia.[6][7] It has been the cultural, educational, economic, political, and administrative centre of independent Slovenia since 1991.

During antiquity, a Roman city called Emona stood in the area.[8] Ljubljana itself was first mentioned in the first half of the 12th century. Situated at the middle of a trade route between the northern Adriatic Sea and the Danube region, it was the historical capital of Carniola,[9] one of the Slovene-inhabited parts of the Habsburg Monarchy.[6] It was under Habsburg rule from the Middle Ages until the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. After World War II, Ljubljana became the capital of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It retained this status until Slovenia became independent in 1991 and Ljubljana became capital of the newly formed state.[10]

Name and symbol

Depiction of the city's coat of arms featuring the dragon on top of the castle, from Valvasor's The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola, 1689

The origin of name of the city, Ljubljana, is unclear. In the Middle Ages, both the river and the town were also known by the German name Laibach. This name was in official use as an endonym until 1918, and it remains frequent as a German exonym, both in common speech and official use. The city is alternatively named Lublana in many English language documents.[11] The city is called Lublana in Silesian, Lubiana in Italian, in Latin: Labacum and anciently Aemona.[12]

For most scholars, the problem has been in how to connect the Slovene and the German names. The origin from the Slavic ljub- "to love, like" was in 2007 supported as the most probable by the linguist Tijmen Pronk, a specialist in comparative Indo-European linguistics and Slovene dialectology, from the University of Leiden.[13] He supported the thesis that the name of the river derived from the name of the settlement.[14] The linguist Silvo Torkar, who specialises in Slovene personal and place names,[15] argued at the same place for the thesis that the name Ljubljana derives from Ljubija, the original name of the Ljubljanica River flowing through it, itself derived from the Old Slavic male name Ljubovid, "the one of a lovely appearance". The name Laibach, he claimed, was actually a hybrid of German and Slovene and derived from the same personal name.[16]

The symbol of the city is the Ljubljana Dragon. It is depicted on the top of the tower of Ljubljana Castle in the Ljubljana coat of arms and on the Ljubljanica-crossing Dragon Bridge (Zmajski most).[17] It symbolises power, courage, and greatness.

There are several explanations on the origin of the Ljubljana Dragon. According to a Slavic myth, the slaying of a dragon releases the waters and ensures the fertility of the earth, and it is thought that the myth is tied to the Ljubljana Marshes, the expansive marshy area that periodically threatens Ljubljana with flooding.[18] According to the celebrated Greek legend, the Argonauts on their return home after having taken the Golden Fleece found a large lake surrounded by a marsh between the present-day towns of Vrhnika and Ljubljana. It was there that Jason struck down a monster. This monster has evolved into the dragon that today is present in the city coat of arms and flag.[19]

It is historically more believable that the dragon was adopted from Saint George, the patron of the Ljubljana Castle chapel built in the 15th century. In the legend of Saint George, the dragon represents the old ancestral paganism overcome by Christianity. According to another explanation, related to the second, the dragon was at first only a decoration above the city coat of arms. In the Baroque, it became part of the coat of arms, and in the 19th and especially the 20th century, it outstripped the tower and other elements in importance.

Other Languages
Acèh: Ljubljana
Afrikaans: Ljubljana
Alemannisch: Ljubljana
አማርኛ: ልዩብልያና
العربية: ليوبليانا
aragonés: Ljubljana
asturianu: Liubliana
авар: Любляна
azərbaycanca: Lyublyana
Bân-lâm-gú: Ljubljana
башҡортса: Любляна
беларуская: Любляна
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Любляна
български: Любляна
Boarisch: Laiboch
བོད་ཡིག: ལི་པོ་ཡ་ན།
bosanski: Ljubljana
brezhoneg: Ljubljana
català: Ljubljana
Чӑвашла: Любляна
Cebuano: Ljubljana
čeština: Lublaň
chiShona: Ljubljana
Cymraeg: Ljubljana
dansk: Ljubljana
davvisámegiella: Ljubljana
Deutsch: Ljubljana
dolnoserbski: Ljubljana
eesti: Ljubljana
Ελληνικά: Λιουμπλιάνα
эрзянь: Любляна ош
español: Liubliana
Esperanto: Ljubljano
estremeñu: Liubliana
euskara: Ljubljana
فارسی: لیوبلیانا
Fiji Hindi: Ljubljana
føroyskt: Ljubljana
français: Ljubljana
Frysk: Ljubljana
furlan: Lubiane
Gaeilge: Liúibleána
Gaelg: Ljubljana
Gagauz: L'yublyana
Gàidhlig: Ljubljana
galego: Liubliana
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Ljubljana
한국어: 류블랴나
հայերեն: Լյուբլյանա
hornjoserbsce: Ljubljana
hrvatski: Ljubljana
Ilokano: Ljubljana
Bahasa Indonesia: Ljubljana
Interlingue: Ljubljana
Ирон: Люблянæ
íslenska: Ljubljana
italiano: Lubiana
עברית: ליובליאנה
Basa Jawa: Ljubljana
ქართული: ლიუბლიანა
қазақша: Любляна
Kiswahili: Lyublyana
Kreyòl ayisyen: Lyoubyana
Кыргызча: Любляна
Latina: Labacum
latviešu: Ļubļana
Lëtzebuergesch: Ljubljana
lietuvių: Liubliana
Ligure: Lubiann-a
lingála: Lyublyana
Lingua Franca Nova: Ljubljana
Livvinkarjala: L’ubl’ana
lumbaart: Lübiana
magyar: Ljubljana
македонски: Љубљана
Malagasy: Ljubljana
മലയാളം: ലുബ്ലിയാന
Malti: Ljubljana
Māori: Ljubljana
მარგალური: ლიუბლიანა
Bahasa Melayu: Ljubljana
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Ljubljana
монгол: Люблян
Nederlands: Ljubljana
нохчийн: Любляна
Nordfriisk: Ljubljana
norsk: Ljubljana
norsk nynorsk: Ljubljana
Nouormand: Liublianne
Novial: Ljubljana
occitan: Liobliana
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Lyublyana
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਲਿਊਬਲਿਆਨਾ
پنجابی: لیوبلیانا
Papiamentu: Ljubljana
Piemontèis: Lubian-a
polski: Lublana
português: Liubliana
Qaraqalpaqsha: Lyublyana
qırımtatarca: Lüblâna
română: Ljubljana
rumantsch: Ljubljana
Runa Simi: Ljubljana
русиньскый: Любляна
русский: Любляна
саха тыла: Любляна
sardu: Lubiana
Scots: Ljubljana
Seeltersk: Ljubljana
shqip: Lubjana
Simple English: Ljubljana
slovenčina: Ľubľana
slovenščina: Ljubljana
словѣньскъ / ⰔⰎⰑⰂⰡⰐⰠⰔⰍⰟ: Люблꙗна
ślůnski: Lublana
Soomaaliga: Ljubljana
کوردی: لیوبلیانا
српски / srpski: Љубљана
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Ljubljana
suomi: Ljubljana
svenska: Ljubljana
Tagalog: Liubliana
татарча/tatarça: Любляна
тоҷикӣ: Любляна
Türkçe: Ljubljana
удмурт: Любляна
українська: Любляна
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: ليۇبليانا
vèneto: Łubiana
vepsän kel’: Lüblän
Tiếng Việt: Ljubljana
Volapük: Ljubljana
Võro: Ljubljana
walon: Ljubljana
Winaray: Ljubljana
Wolof: Jubaljana
Yorùbá: Ljubljana
žemaitėška: Liublijana