Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ljubljana Castle in Ljubljana, Slovenia - Fallen, fallen she has!

Ljubljana Castle - Ljubljana, Slovenia
There are two things that Slovenia has a lot of and that is historic buildings and money. But woe the grounds on which the two meet. The castle of Ljubljana is a battle ground, but now for taste, misused funds and travesty.

The oldest written record of some kind of defense structure on Castle Hill in Ljubljana stems from 1144. The outer walls that are visible today were erected in the 15th century, in response to the Turkish threat. When that threat lifted (this after the Turks had destroyed much of southern Slovenia) the castle became obsolete as a defense post and went through a period of decay and misappropriation.

Inside Ljubljana Castle
From the 1960’s onward, the castle’s been revamped to serve as a center of merriment and cultural happenings. Nowadays people convene and marry there, or come to drink coffee in the café that covers half the compound. The new owners even put up a little cable car, so that visitors don’t even have to make the troublesome climb up. The lower station sits in town among dilapidated houses and looks entirely false, if not ridiculous. No signs anywhere indicate where the station might be, so tourists should look for a shitty neighborhood and take their chances.

It’s obvious that history is not a theme that the new owners are occupied with. There are no explanatory texts posted or dummies in traditional garb looking troubled through the loopholes. There are no artifacts on display, no galleries, no glass showcases over which to ponder.

Ljubljana castle is not really a castle. It’s the shed skin of a lost age that remains neither revived nor remembered, or even honored. In stead, Ljubljana castle is ruined more thoroughly than time could have ever achieved.

1 comment:

  1. Well said!
    As a native of this town I could not agree more.
    Many of us have been talking and writing for years and decades... all to no avail.

    Unfortunately, I would say it's not only the current castle administrators who lack interest in the (real) history of this town, of this country.

    Maybe if foreigners were more vocal, then they would listen.
    They never listen to their own, which is typical for people who lack the maturity and self-confidence of a happy adult.

    Also, the general mentality is still much too afflicted by the rural mentality new = pretty, old = ugly.
    That's what you get when you sever a place from its historical roots, by destroying the original urban culture that had taken so many centuries to grow.

    Thank you for writing about it.


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