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Nov 22 2013

Dragon Bridge: The Symbol of Ljubljana

The reason why I originally started Foto Friday was to highlight things I come across on my travels that not only inform but are quirky and/or amusing. The photo I have selected matches the criteria perfectly although, at first glance, you might be wondering why.  It’s a statue of a dragon, right?  Wrong!  Well, you’re sort of right.

It is a statue of a dragon but it is one of four big and sixteen smaller dragons which happen to be on a bridge in Ljublijana, Slovenia.

It replaced an oak bridge that was damaged by an earthquake at the end of the 19th  century.  The bridge was originally called The Jubilee Bridge of the Emperor to commemorate Franz Joseph I but was renamed Dragon Bridge in 1919.  I don’t know why it was renamed and whether it was officially changed.  I assume it was renamed because Dragon Bridge aptly describes the bridge more so than the original.  Certainly, when using it as a reference point for directions or as a meeting point, it’s easy to identify which bridge is Dragon Bridge as opposed to any of the other bridges that cross the Ljubljanica River.

So, considering it was built while under Austro-Hungarian rule, why does it have so many dragon statues on it? .Well, the dragon stands for power, courage, and greatness and is the city’s symbol because, as legend has it, Jason, from Jason and the Argonauts, founded Ljubljana.  Since Jason  famously slayed a dragon, the dragon became the city’s symbol, which is also why there are dragons on the bridge.  That’s a good enough reason for me!

I love legends, so I’ll leave you another: When a virgin crosses the bridge, the dragons wag their tails.


This is where Dragon Bridge is located in Ljubljana, although I don’t think you can miss it if you go for a walk along the river.

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Have your say

What do you think about the legends?  Do you have any further information on Dragon Bridge?  As always, I’d love to hear from you.

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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