Sitting atop Castle Hill in central Ljubljana is a medieval fortress, one of the most popular attractions in the city. The current Ljubljana Castle was built in the second half of the 15th century, although older castles occupied the site perhaps as far back as pre-Roman times. The purpose in building the current castle was to defend against frequent Ottoman invasions and peasant uprisings, and to serve as the home for the lords of Carniola. It stopped being an important defensive structure in the 19th century, after which it was used as a hospital, prison, and pauper's residency. The Castle was renovated in the second half of the twentieth century and today it is a tourist attraction and cultural venue.
Admission to the castle courtyard is free, and it's a pleasant place to relax with a cup of coffee or glass of wine on a fine day. A steep walk up the hill is the challenging but free way to reach the top; an easier option is to take the castle funicular railway, shown below, for a modest fee. I decided on the latter option.
Some of the sights in the courtyard are what you'd expect to see in an old castle, like fortified walls, a well, and cannons.
There's a tactile model of Ljubljana Castle in the Castle Courtyard. A legend in Braille enables blind visitors to tactilely become familiar with the Castle, and the model provides a good visual overview of the Castle complex for sighted visitors.
(tactile model of Ljubljana Castle)
There are a number attractions beyond the courtyard, all of which charge admission. These include a brief glimpse of Slovenian History in this Museum.
There`s a small church in the Castle -- the beautifully painted St George's chapel -- which dates to the 15th century.
Dragons are an important part of Slovenia folklore and a small but fun museum within the castle has exhibits that look at this myth.
My favorite spot in Ljubljana Castle was at the top of the Tower, which offers outstanding views of the city. One of these views (including part of the courtyard, shown below) was used as last weekend's One Clue Mystery photo. It was recognized by the incomparable George G -- good work, as always, George!