The green centre of the city.
Congress Square appears as a large green area on the city map and is usually referred to by it’s Slovene name, Kogresni Trg (pronounced “turg”). It’s generally more of a way point than a destination. Located in the centre of the city and around 50m north of the river, this square is home to the Slovene Philharmonic and the central University of Ljubljana buildings. It also has a couple of cafes around the edge, one of which is called Zvezda and that I’m assured has a half-century reputation for good cakes to accompany its coffee. Another is Platana Bar on the south side of the square that has a lively outdoor seating area. Though if I’m honest, I usually head to Čokl or Todz for caffeination.
Beneath Congress Square is the city’s most central parking location with wide, secure bays and easy access to the old town. If you leave the car park by the north exit you’ll also walk past a few exposed Roman ruins which give an insight into the history of Emona, the first century military stronghold built on the site of the present day Ljubljana.
In the summer, the square’s benches are a nice place to sit as they’re shaded by trees. There’s a distinctly above-average takeaway pizza place at the south corner of the square and if you’re lucky, you might see the “library under the treetops” here too. This free cultural initiatives provides books and deckchairs in the summer for people to relax and read interesting literature free of charge right in the city centre. It’s just the kind of initiative you’ll wish we did at home.
In the summer, the square gains a huge stage for the always-amazing Ljubljana festival but that’s something we’ll cover in another post.