Ljubljana is the capital and largest city of Slovenia. It has been the cultural, educational, economic, political, and administrative centre of independent Slovenia since 1991.
Located on the Ljubljanica River, the city lies in central Slovenia in a natural depression surrounded by high peaks of the Julian Alps.
Ljubljana's climate is an oceanic climate, bordering on a humid subtropical climate zone with continental characteristics such as warm summers and moderately cold winters.
Data and Facts
- The development of Ljubljana dates back to Roman times, where the fortified Roman settlement laid on the area of today’s Ljubljana. Roman name for Ljubljana was Emona.
- After World War II, Ljubljana became the capital of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In 1991, when Slovenia gained its independence, Ljubljana became the national capital.
- The Ljubljana dragon is the symbol of the city and it is possible to find dragons on Dragon Bridge and on the coat of arms in the castle. It represents power, courage and greatness.
- The city covers a total area of 164 square kilometers.
- As of 2020, the population of Ljubljana is about 300,000 people.
- The official language is Slovene (or Slovenian), which is similar to other Slavic languages.
- Head of the state: President Borut Pahor, since 2012; Prime Minister: Janez Janša: Mayor of the city: Zoran Janković
- Currency: Euro (€)
- Country GDP Nominal US$ 55.1 billion; US$ 38,634 per capita
- Median age: 44.2 years
- Life Expectancy: 81.2 years
- Religion: 77.2% Christianity, 3.9% Islam, 18.8% unaffiliated
Slovenia’s constitution, which was adopted in 1991, established a parliamentary form of government. A president serves as head of state, elected for a five-year term and can serve two consecutive terms. The head of government is the prime minister, who is normally the leader of the majority party in the National Assembly.
Of its 90 members, 88 are elected by proportional representation to four-year terms, with the remaining two seats reserved for one representative each from the Italian- and Hungarian-speaking communities.
The city of Ljubljana is governed by the City Municipality of Ljubljana which is led by the city council. The president of the city council is called the mayor. Members of the city council and the mayor are elected in the local election every four years. The municipality is subdivided into 17 districts represented by district councils. They work with the municipality council to make known residents' suggestions and prepare activities in their territories.
Public order in Ljubljana is enforced by the Ljubljana Police Directorate.
Like all other Western economies, Slovenia is continuing the shift toward the service economy, and industrial and manufacturing sectors are in decline. Slovenia is a traditionally export-driven economy, its trade is orientated towards other EU countries, mainly Germany, Austria, Italy and France.
The largest companies in the country show a diversified economy, as these companies deal in energy services, pharmaceuticals, financial services, wood industry, automobile production, breweries, and the manufacturing of household.
Ljubljana is an important centre of rail and road communications with Austria, Croatia, Hungary, and Italy. Its industries remains the most important employer and include pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, food processing, and electronics
Other important fields include banking, finance and tourism. In 2019 were recorded the arrival of 6.2 million tourists and the government policies are orientated to grow in this area.
The public sector provides jobs in education, culture, health care and local administration.
Even before Slovenia's independence, the economy had developed important global brands like PipiStrel aircraft, awarded by NASA, or motorhomes Adria Mobil.
The Ljubljana Stock Exchange purchased in 2008 by the Vienna Stock Exchange, deals with large Slovenian companies. Some of these have their headquarters in the capital: for example, the retail chain Mercator, the oil company Petrol d.d. and the telecommunications concern Telekom Slovenije. Over 15,000 enterprises operate in the city, most of them in the tertiary sector.
Numerous companies and over 450 shops are located in the BTC City, the largest business, shopping, recreational, entertainment and cultural centre in Slovenia. It is visited each year by 21 million people.
Slovenia also boasts exceptional levels of expertise and knowledge. Slovenian companies strive for innovation and excellence of their products, thus maintaining the trust of consumers in the quality of Slovenian brands. Besides that, Slovenians are proud of gender equality, having the lowest gender pay gap of any other country in the EU.
About 74% of Ljubljana households use district heating from the Ljubljana Power Station.
Ljubljana is located where Slovenia's two main freeways intersect. The motorway density and quality in Slovenia is higher than EU-28 average.
The broad network of railway lines enables door-to-door cargo transport services and the shunting yard in Ljubljana guarantees quick transport across Slovenia. Both freight and passenger service with southeastern Europe has grown over the last few years, regaining its importance. The Ljubljana tram system was completed in 1901 and was replaced by buses in 1928. A reintroduction of an actual tram system to Ljubljana has been proposed repeatedly in the 2000s.
The Ljubljana Bus Station, the Ljubljana central bus hub, is located next to the Ljubljana railway station. The city bus network, run by the Ljubljana Passenger Transport (LPP) company, is Ljubljana's most widely used means of public transport.
There is also a considerable amount of bicycle traffic in Ljubljana, especially in the warmer months of the year. Since May 2011, the BicikeLJ, a self-service bicycle rental system offers the residents and visitors of Ljubljana 600 bicycles and more than 600 parking spots at 60 stations in the wider city centre area.
Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, 25 km from the capital is the main Slovenian airport for passengers and cargo. Regular and charter flights carry passengers to all important European destinations. The airport is in a process of continuous transformation, becoming an important regional distribution and logistics centre.
In 2015 it integrated the Aerodrom Ljubljana into the Fraport Group, increasing the passenger numbers.
Ljubljana recognizes the need for a smart city approach that improves the management of urban flows and sustainability of the city, that is why it has been taking big strides in bettering the lives of its inhabitants through the use of green technology. Continuing the city’s transformation into the greenest and smartest among the world’s metropoles, Ljubljana has become a hub for the most advanced smart city solutions, propelled by cooperation with the world’s leading information technology companies.
Ljubljana has become the first city to digitize its public transportation through the use of electronic paper technology. Turning to Visionect, the world leader in implementing energy-efficient digital signs in environments, Ljubljana has installed advanced passenger information displays on bus stops in the very heart of the city center. The e-paper screens show bus schedules, arrival information and route changes. Enabling extremely low energy consumption and featuring minimal environmental impact, they emit no light pollution and can easily run on alternative energy sources.
One of the main trends noticed in the last years about this crop of start-ups is how strongly they have embraced blockchain and are already adepting at fundraising through initial coin offerings.
Also popular incubators in the city include the University of Ljubljana and the Technology Park of Ljubljana, home to more than 300 companies. The capital city offers a welcoming environment for start-ups in terms of talent and education.
The city is home to many innovative startups like CargoX, Doctrina, Equaleyes, Fieldoo and Iconomi.
Social Wellness and Human Resources
Since 1986, Ljubljana has been part of the WHO European Healthy Cities Network. Ljubljana has a rich history of discoveries in medicine and innovations in medical technology. The majority of secondary and tertiary care in Slovenia takes place in Ljubljana.
The Ljubljana University Medical Centre is the largest hospital centre in Slovenia. The Faculty of Medicine (University of Ljubljana) and the Ljubljana Institute of Oncology are other two central medical institutions in Slovenia.
There are three levels of education in Slovenia: primary, secondary and higher education.
According to the legislation of the Republic of Slovenia, all children must necessarily receive basic general education that is to finish primary school (in Slovene: osnovna šola). Training is free for both Slovenian citizens and foreign children. Studying at a primary school lasts 9 years at the age of 6 to 15 years.
The city’s leading educational institution is the University of Ljubljana (1919); the National and University Library, the Jozef Stefan Institute (a public research institute), and the Slovene Academy of Sciences and Arts.
Ljubljana has numerous art galleries and museums. The first purpose-built art gallery in Ljubljana was the Jakopič Pavilion. In the early 1960s, it was succeeded by the Ljubljana City Art Gallery, which has presented a number of modern Slovene and foreign artists.
In 2010, there were 14 museums and 56 art galleries in Ljubljana. Some of the city’s many fine museums and galleries include the National Museum of Slovenia, the Slovenian Museum of Natural History, the National Gallery, and the Gallery of Modern Art.
There are also smaller museums centred on architecture, contemporary history, and ethnography, an opera house, and several theatres
Numerous music festivals are held in Ljubljana, chiefly in European classical music and jazz, for instance the Ljubljana Summer Festival (Ljubljanski poletni festival), and Trnfest.
The Slovenian Philharmonics is the central music institution in Ljubljana and Slovenia. It holds classical music concerts of domestic and foreign performers as well as educates youth. It was established in 1701. The Slovene National Opera and Ballet Theatre also resides in Ljubljana.
SportsThere are a good number of sports that are played in Slovenia at the professional level. Pre-World War II, Slovenia was considered as a powerhouse when it came to fencing, and also gymnastics with world champions like Miroslav Cerar and Leon Štukelj.
Slovenia loves a good number of sports that includes athletics, basketball, boxing, handball, ice hockey, tennis, skiing, and swimming. But by far, the most popular sport is football.