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Dragon Bridge in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The Ljubljana Dragon

The Dragon of Ljubljana

Dragon Bridge in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Dragon Bridge

If you have ever taken a stroll around the beautiful city of Ljubljana, then you couldn’t have failed to notice the abundance of dragons. In particular, the famous Dragon Bridge. But if you’ve also wondered why there are so many, then here is the legend of how the Dragon became the symbol of Ljubljana:

Jason and the Argonauts

Many famous people have visited Ljubljana over the centuries, but the most famous of all, and the one attributed to its founding, is the ancient Greek mythological hero Jason. Leading his band of warriors, the Argonauts, Jason’s famed quest for the legendary Golden Fleece ultimately led him across the Black Sea, up the Danube, Sava and finally the Ljubljanica River. He got as far as a large lake near the source of the Ljubljanica, on the Ljubljana Marshes, when the waters became too shallow for their great ship. So they set about disassembling it for the remainder of its journey to the Adriatic Sea and onwards back to Greece. As they had arrived in the dead of winter, they setup a temporary village of wooden houses on stilts beside the lake.

However, Ljubljana’s protector was not about to make it easy for them; for the lake was the dwelling of a great dragon, which rose up out of the water and attacked the warriors. With the help of his lover, the sorceress Medea, Jason fought and defeated the fiery monster, and the dragon now sits atop the Ljubljana Castle on the city’s coat of arms, and in various locations around the city centre. See how many you can spot.

Dragon Bridge in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Sunburst through them mouth of a dragon on the Dragon Bridge in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Sunburst through them mouth of a dragon on the Dragon Bridge
Dragon Bridge in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Sunburst through a dragon on the Dragon Bridge

Dragon Bridge in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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About Ian Middleton

Ian Middleton is a professional writer and photographer from the UK. He is the author of several books, including Mysterious World: Ireland and A Practical Guide to Photography. His photos have been published in various books and magazines such as Lonely Planet, Bradt Travel Guides, Guardian newspaper and more. He has written several articles for Landscape Photography Magazine, Total Slovenia News, and many more.... Ian has travelled around the world, and also lived and travelled for many years in Ireland. He currently divides his time between the UK and Slovenia. All articles here are copyrighted. For permission to reproduce or syndicate any of these, please contact Ian directly.