Ljubljana, Slovenia History

Around the year 2000 a. C., the marshes of Ljubljana were colonized by settlers who lived in wooden constructions on stilts. These peoples lived on hunting, fishing and primitive agriculture. To move through the marshes, they used boats made from tree trunks. The area continued to be a point of passage for numerous tribes and peoples, and thus, the territory was subsequently colonized by the Venetians, who were succeeded by the Illyrian tribe of the Yapodi and, already in the 3rd century BC. C., the Celtic tribe of the Taurisci.

In the middle of the 1st century BC. C., the Romans built in the place a military camp, occupied by the Legio XV Apollinaris and later the permanent settlement of Emona (Colonia Iulia Emona). It had walls and its population reached 5,000 or 6,000 people, many of them merchants, artisans and war veterans. Their houses were made of brick, and had a heating system and connection to the public sewer. The walls and floors of the same were decorated with paint and mosaics.

As it happened in the rest of the Empire, Emona was progressively declining, and thus the city was destroyed in 452 by the Huns, under the orders of Attila, and later by the Ostrogoths and the Lombards.

In the 6th century the ancestors of the Slovenians were installed, who, in the 11th century, fell under the rule of the Frankish people, at the same time that they suffered numerous Magyar assaults.

According to neovideogames.com, the name of the city, Luvigana, appears for the first time in a document from 1144. In the 13th century, the city was made up of three zones: the Stari trg (“old city”), the Mestni trg (“city square “) and the Novi trg (” new city “). In 1220, Ljubljana obtained city status, in addition to the right to mint its own currency.

In 1270, Otakar II of Bohemia conquered Carniola, including Ljubljana, but this passed into the hands of Rudolf I of Habsburg after his victory over Otakar in 1278. The city, renamed Laibach, belonged to the House of Habsburg until 1797. The diocese of the city was established in 1491 and the Church of San Nicolás became a cathedral.

In the 15th century, the city gained renown for its art. After the earthquake of 1511, it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style, being fortified with a new wall that surrounded the city. In the 16th century, its population amounted to 5,000 residents, of which 70% were Slovenian. In 1550, the first two books written in Slovenian were published in Ljubljana: a catechism and an alphabet, which were followed by a translation of the Bible. At the same time, the first secondary school, a library and a printing press are created. In 1597, the Jesuits settle in and build a new secondary school that would later become a faculty. In the seventeenth century, the city adapted its buildings to Baroque architecture as a result of the arrival of foreign architects and sculptors.

In the 19th century, the Napoleonic interval saw Ljubljana become, from 1809 to 1813, the capital of the Illyrian Provinces. In 1815, the city became Austrian again and, from 1816 to 1849, it was part of the Kingdom of Illyria. In 1821 it hosts the Congress of Laibach, which would set the European political borders for the following years. The first train, coming from Vienna, arrived in the city in 1849 and in 1857 the line was extended to Trieste. Electric street lighting was installed in 1898. In 1895, the city, which had 31,000 residents, is the victim of a major earthquake of magnitude 6.1 on the Richter scale, nearly 10% of its 1,400 buildings being destroyed, although the number of victims was low. During the subsequent reconstruction, several neighborhoods of the city were rebuilt following the Art Nouveau style.

In the 20th century, in 1918, after the end of the First World War and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the region was incorporated into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. In 1929, it became the capital of the Yugoslav province of Banovina del Drava (Dravska banovina). During World War II, the city is occupied by Fascist Italy in 1941 and by Nazi Germany in 1943. The city was surrounded by more than 30 km of barbed wire, as the Slovenian collaborators (Slovensko Domobranstvo) faced the Yugoslav partisans (Partizani). Since 1985, a commemorative road surrounds the city where that fence was located.

After the Second World War, the city became the capital of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, forming part of the communist Yugoslavia, a status that it would maintain until the country’s independence. This took place in 1991 after a brief war, and since then the city has been the capital of Slovenia.

XXI century, since 2004, Ljubljana, like the rest of the country, is integrated into the European Union.

Ljubljana, Slovenia History