Prešeren Square (Prešernov trg) marks the heart of Ljubljana’s city center. It’s an attractive cobblestone square beautified by historical landmarks and views of Castle Hill. Prešeren Square is a great place to admire a range of architectural styles and enjoy people-watching opportunities. Attend concerts, markets and political rallies here.
The square began as a crossroads at one of the main gates to the city’s Old Town. Appreciate its present appearance which came about following an earthquake in 1895, after which several lavish palaces were added.
One of the only surviving buildings from the original square is the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation. Stand back and admire the façade, decorated with capitals, pilasters, onion-shaped spires and a statue of Madonna and Child. Step inside to see an altar designed by Francesco Robba and the glass-fronted crypt of St. Deodatus. Don’t miss the 19th-century paintings by Slovene artists Matevž Langus and Matej Sternen.
Look for the bronze Prešeren Monument in the square’s southeast corner. Designed by Italian architect Maks Fabiani and locally born sculptor Ivan Zajec, it depicts the revered national poet France Prešeren. Mounted on a building on the opposite side of the square is a statue of the poet’s muse and unrequited love, Julija Primic.
Take a moment to appreciate other notable landmarks. Among these are the Viennese Secession-style Hauptmann House and the art nouveau Urbanc House, which housed Ljubljana’s first department store. At the southern edge of the square is Triple Bridge, a three-lane bridge that crosses Ljubljanica River to the medieval Old Town. Position yourself here to spot the turrets of Ljubljana Castle atop Castle Hill and watch tourists and locals pass by.
Time your visit to the square to coincide with the Mardi Gras Carnival, held in February or March. Watch the dragon parade and see masquerade groups perform flamboyant dances. Concerts, sporting events and a Christmas market also take place here. Ask for an event schedule at the tourist information office near Central Market.
Prešeren Square is less than a 10-minute walk from Congress Square, Dragon Bridge and the Cathedral of St. Nicholas.