On the picture postcard is a typical panorama of Ljubljana with its old town centre and castle above.

  Ljubljana became a modern town at the turn of the 19th century. The old withdrew before the new. The administrative and Church centre of the town was Mestni trg (Town Square) with vicinity, jammed under the castle hill, which someone ingeniously described: the Ljubljana castle is like a hen that squats above the town and guards her chickens, residents of Ljubljana. Mayor Ivan Hribar visited many European towns and their novelties and invited to Ljubljana local and foreign town planners and architects. The town was being given a new look, new streets and squares, private and public buildings, parks, the course of the river Ljubljanica, which streams through the town centre, was being improved, waterworks and new canalisation were built, electric installation and the tramway were introduced, etc. The town breathed in a true fin-de-siecle spirit; many buildings were built in the Art Nouveau style. We will capture the image and the pulse of the town with the help of picture postcards of that time.
Mestni trg (Town Square) with Town Hall (1484) on the right side and the Robba fountain (1751) in front of it. The sculptor Francesco Robba (1698-1757) was born in Venice.   A bird’s-eye view at the Mestni trg and towards the cathedral (18th century) with a tramway in the forefront.   Prešernov trg with Prešeren's monument (1905). Left from the seat of the Assicurazione Generale is the commercial Trubarjeva cesta, on the right the river Ljubljanica. France Prešeren (1800-1849) is the most significant Slovene poet and a symbol of Slovene identity.   Prešernov trg in the direction of the Franciscan church of Mary’s Annunciation (from the middle of the 17th century). In the background – right from the church – stands the Art Nouveau hotel Union (1905). In the forefront of the picture postcard is an ice-cream man.  
  Part of the Ljubljana market-place at Pogačarjev trg in the immediate neighbourhood of the cathedral (right) and the Franciscan monastery (in the background).   The town gained a tramway in 1901. In the picture postcard is one of the first trolley cars at Ambrožev trg. Since 1863, cabmen (fijakarji) had been transporting people around the town; at the turn of the 19th century, there were more and more cyclists, and a few automobiles were speeding through the streets of Ljubljana.   Ljubljana is a town of squares. At Kongresni trg the baroque Ursuline church with the convent stands proudly. The camera always attracted numerous curious people.   The provincial manor and seat of the Carniolian provincial assembly at Kongresni trg (1902), today the seat of the Ljubljana Universtiy.  
  The building opposite the Ursuline church is today the seat of the Slovene Philharmonic society, which has its roots in the year 1701.   Ljubljana was also an educational centre. The building of the imperial-king’s trade school was built in 1911.   In 1888, the building of the Provincial museum, today National museum, was solemnly opened at Muzejski trg in Ljubljana. In the forefront is the monument to the historian Janez Vajkard Valvasor (1641-1693).   Ljubljana Tivoli: the green lungs of the town. In the background is the Tivoli palace, built in 1713.  
  View towards the hospital part of the town at the beginning of Zaloška cesta.   Within the Ljubljana hospitals functioned the sanatorium Leonišče (1893), one of the most modern health institutions of that time in Ljubljana.          

© Institute for Slovenian Emigration Studies, Slovenian Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Ljubljana | Ljubljana, Slovenia | 2007 | All rights reserved.