Ljubljanica, the river of seven names


An aerial view of the Ljubljanica river and a part of the city centre


An evening view of the river and the colonnade of architect Plečnik's Central Market with Dragon


The tourist boat Ljubljana I with the Cobblers' Bridge in the background


A line of buildings by the Ljubljanica river

The Ljubljanica river, which is also called The River of Seven Names, is the lower reaches of a karst river which on its way towards Ljubljana disappears underground a number of times and springs again at different places, every time under a different name. Ten kilometres to the northeast of Ljubljana city centre it empties itself into the Sava river. Until the railway became a commonly used means of transportation in the middle of the 19th century, it was the main route for carrying goods to and from Ljubljana. The main quay was located at the present Breg embankment.

Ljubljana is a city of many beautiful and interesting bridges. It is believed that the first bridge across the Ljubljanica river was built back in Roman times, most probably somewhere between the present Cobblers' Bridge (Čevljarski most) and Šentjakob Bridge (Šentjakobski most). The medieval Ljubljana boasted two wooden bridges, an old bridge located at the site of the present Triple Bridge (Tromostovje) and the Butchers' Bridge (Mesarski most), which was located at the site of the present Cobblers' Bridge. At the end of the 18th century, when the city walls were pulled down, the danger of floods was reduced with the building of the Gruber Canal (Grubarjev prekop) in 1783, and the city expanded to the left bank of the Ljubljanica river, a number of new wooden bridges were built and later replaced by metal, stone or concrete ones.

The Ljubljanica river often flooded until the course of the river was thoroughly improved in the first half of the 20th century. Today's tamed Ljubljanica river and its attractive concrete embankments owe much of their appearance to architect Jože Plečnik. He redesigned the embankments with tree-lined walks including the romantic multi-level willow-lined walk running along the length of the Trnovski pristan embankment, and designed or redesigned a range of bridges on the Ljubljanica river and its tributaries, including the Trnovo Bridge (Trnovski most), the Cobblers' Bridge and the centrally located Triple Bridge, which considerably contribute to the city's unique character.

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