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Jablje (Jable) Castle

The castle is located near Loka pri Mengšu on the western edge of Mengeš Fields,  only 10 km drive from Ljubljana but we have to admit that we have heard about it only when exploring places around Ljubljana for Share your postcards from #CentralSlovenia campaign. It is build above the source of a stream, almost like Castle Snežnik and it is backed by a rocky hill slope.

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Just underneath  the castle hill lies a huge Infrastructure Centre of the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia so the view on the castle is limited, only short distance is left to photographing it from bellow.

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Nevertheless, the access to the castle is very photogenic as well as it is a small pond on the left.

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In fact maybe the view from the pond is even more photogenic that the pond itself:).

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First mention of the castle dates back to the 13th century, it’s Renaissance architectural concept was established around 1530 by Lamberghs.

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Castle was renewed between 1999 and 2006 and it served as one of the main protocolar objects during the Slovenian EU presidency. Unfortunately it is not regularly open to public, only twice a month and per request.

20170416_132649From above there is not much space for photographing the castle since the woods are beginning very  close to it. There is also the beginning of a path to the popular hiking destination above Ljubljana – Rašica.

On the fields just near the castle is  the Church of St. Primus and Felician which in certain conditions could be quite photogenic too.

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Written by @zokus_gf.

Info with the help of Wikipedia.

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Ljubljana Castle

I’ll be honest: Ljubljana Castle is my favourite photo-spot in Ljubljana. Perched on top of a hill, just above the old town, it offers amazing views on the whole city and surrounding area, all the way to Kamnik-Savinja & Julian Alps. Wherever you look, whatever you do … there is something to see & photograph; the castle itself, architecture details, people (getting married), couples in love, rich cultural program, view on the city, mountains in the distance … It really doesn’t matter what are you looking for … you will find it!

There are many trails leading to the top of the castle and every one of them offers different photo opportunities. Ok, the easiest way to get up there is to take the funicular (located near the central market, on the Krekov trg), but taking photos from the funicular is no fun (due to the ‘dirty’ windows you will never get the photo you are looking for).

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So – walk! My favourite time to visit the castle is spring, when colour green takes over the castle forests. Walking up there between lush green trees opens ‘windows’ in the trees allowing you to take picture perfect photos.

I also love the views from the castle in the winter, when you can see almost all city. I prefer view toward Trnovo district (south-west of the city), where you can take best sunset photos. Don’t forget; You will never be alone at the Castle Hill in the sunset time, so if you are looking for a really nice place and photo – be there before sunset!

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Also – don’t forget to visit the Castle Tower! It offers unobstructed (360) view of the city so – it’s a must! The views of the city from here are the best and you can capture details of the rooftops & Ljubljana’s notable bridges, squares and buildings.

If you get hungry  or thirsty… there are 2 restaurants (that I really, really like), Strelec & Gostilna na Gradu and a Castle Coffe House, so … just sit down and enjoy. If you need more ideas about perfect photo spots don’t forget to check out an amazing SNAPP guide to photographing Ljubljana by dear friend, Luka Esenko.

So … when in Ljubljana … Castle is a must. Also – let me know you are around. I’ll just might join you.

Sanja

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Ljubljana (from Trg revolucije to the Town Hall)

Ljubljana is a small city by the standards of capitals but as Slovenia itself offers  many great views at the short distances. Since we are dedicated to show you not only the obvious few spots of Slovenia we decided to divide descriptions of Ljubljana to shorter walks which offer great photo opportunities.maximStarting point is Trg Republike (Republic Square). It is the centre of contemporary Ljubljana built in 1960 by famous architect Edvard Ravnikar and  surrounded by the Parliament (just behind my back), Cankarjev dom – cultural and congress centre, Maximarket department store and TR3 and Ljubljanska banka office buildings (on the photo). All building were built between 1954 and 1975  and that’s why I call the square “contemporary”. Until a few years ago it used to be a parking space. Now, when empty, these two buildings stand as a kind of entrance (or exit). Since the square itself is fairly empty it offers fine but tricky photo opportunity.The square and the buildings are huge and the sunlight comes mostly from behind of Maximarket or the towers. See it for yourself. In the late autumn sun sets just between the towers.

 

ursulinskaUrsuline church and monastery are just a passage of Maximarket store away – facing the towers just turn left. Too close in fact to find enough space for a proper shot. The church tower is also visible from the Republic square over the roof of the store and from some side views, but always just partially. But if you turn left again and use the underground passage just a few steps away you’ll find yourself in a fine park of Kongresni trg (Congress Square). Now, on your right, is a front side of the same church from 1726.

ursulinkskafrontThe concrete part of the square where you stand now also used to be a parking lot but now offers a clean view on the magnificent Ljubljana Castle over the building of Slovenian Philharmonic, one of the oldest of the kind, from 1701. Just behind your back, taken from the steps of the church.

gradThe beautiful park itself is also called Zvezda (Star), in past times also Sidro (Anchor). Just take a stroll and you find the reason for yourself.

zvezdaMany different approaches are possible now to the river bank, personally I prefer  the narrow one beside the Philharmonia building.

filharmonijaFrom the other side, back to the square, a few days of the year you can catch a sunset around late spring. But in the autumn the view on the river, old city buildings and the castle is enriched with large leaves.

listgradOn your left is now the famous Tromostovje (Triple Bridge). Many different angles are accesible, one of the best is from the new small bridge or from Makalonca bar just bellow the bridge.

 

tromostovjeThe best view on Prešernov trg (Preseren Square) in the front of Triple Bridge is from the steps of the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation, the red building on the photo above. It is difficult not to catch at least a glimpse of the castle from spots around here.

presernovCrossing the Tripple Bridge you’ll find yourself in front of the Town Hall and famous baroque Robba Fountain with a view on the Cathedral.

magistratEarly morning is always the best time to take photos around here since sun rises somewhere behind the castle, exact point of course depends on the time of the year. Daily sun can be very harsh and  the whole area is already in the shadow afternoons.

For more information about the sights and Ljubljana Visit Ljubljana, one of the best tourist websites and offices in the world.

 

Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf

Škofja Loka

Škofja Loka is positioned at the transition of the Sora Plain (Sorško polje) into the Škofja Loka and Polhov Gradec Hills (Škofjeloško in Polhograjsko hribovje). It guards the entrance into the Selška Valley and Poljanska Valley, two beautiful valleys with the rivers of the same name, Sora (Poljanska Sora and Selška Sora). The medieval town, which was first mentioned in 973, is build at the junction of both rivers into one.

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Small old city centre is considered as the most beautifully preserved medieval city in Slovenia. It had an interesting and rich history, which is presented in the museum at the Castle of Škofja Loka. Town Square is built on the higher river terrace, Lower Square lies just above the river, naturally the best connection between the two leads close to the church.

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Castle was built in 12th century and dominates the city sights.

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One can easily spot the best places to take photos of the castle. Among them are all bridges, especially the lowest one where traffic enters the lower old town and the one close behind the main bus station, which is also a good place to shot the river and old houses above, with the popular local hill, Lubnik, in the background.

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Path to the castle which begins at the City Hall also offers great view at it and the Castle Park behind the castle is also worth exploring.

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With some proper gear more landscape photos of the surrounding hills and Škofja Loka itself can be made from the castle or the hill above it.

Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf

Otočec Castle

If you ask me Otočec Castle is simply the most beautiful castle in Slovenia. Not only it rises like a jewel from the mists of the Krka River and is the only water castle in Slovenia, you have to love this castle because it is not as crowded as for example Bled or Predjama Castle and it offers so many photo opportunities.

Leave your car on the parking space just near the river (you can’t miss it) and start taking photos. Immediately! Some of the best views of the castle can be captured from there. Most of the time you can find some boats in the river that can make a great addition to your photo (we all know boats are a must:)

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When you are done with the first few photos cross the first wooden bridge & start exploring. The island on which the castle stands is really small, it is basically just a park and you can walk all around it. You can capture photos of the wooden bridges (there are two, one on each side), trees, paths, river, swans, ducks, flowers … and the castle itself.

Even the castle is a popular wedding destinations, it is a hotel and it has a bar & restaurant, I’d advise you to – skip it. As long as I know and as long as I explore Slovenia this place is just too expensive. I don’t mind paying a little extra for something great, but whenever I was there – the coffee sucked and the service to. #myopinion

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Instead of drinking coffee … cross the second bridge and turn right. There you will find a path going up the river through some nice woods. Follow it. You will come across some great views of the castle and the river and finally (after a half of an hour walk) you will end up on a bridge near Village Otočec. The place also offers some great photo options.

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You can return to the castle (& your car) on the other side of the river (from Otočec Village), but you will be walking on a quite busy road so I would recommend you to go back where you came from.

To see everything there is to see – 2, 3 hours should be more than enough. If you are looking for great photos you already know to be there early in the morning or late in the afternoon. There are some other nice places to visit nearby so you can spend a day or two in the area.

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If you have any questions don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail to info@igslovenia.si or leave a comment.

Sanja Leban Trojar – @sanya_lt

Snežnik Castle

Snežnik Castle is the best-preserved castle in Notranjska region. It was first mentioned in the year 1268, but the formation of the existing castle reaches back to 1462. The building itself is amazing.  White walls, red roof, stone bridge and a romantic pond with ducks beneath the castle … will simply take your breath away.

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The castle is built on a rock at the source of the Obrh and the Brezno Spring. The spring is dammed into a large pond below the castle. The beautiful surroundings have been arranged into a park with walking paths that make it easy to go all around the magnificent building and take some nice photos.

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Water makes magic! You can capture many reflections in the castle and sometimes you can get ‘the double view’; A castle in the water and one above it. This place is one of the few in Slovenia that we would recommend you to visit in late autumn, winter or early spring. Why? Because the trees will not obstruct your view.

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