Ljubljana Marshes

The Ljubljana Marshes, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, is a unique landscape at the doorstep of Ljubljana. View the gallery displaying its ten most distinctive features.

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Unique nature and historical heritage © Branko Čeak

Unique nature and historical heritage

The Ljubljana Marshes, a natural area of swamps and peat bogs, is known for rare animal and plant species. Its area covers about 160 square kilometres. Due to peculiar features of marshy ground and the river bed of the Ljubljanica River, the Ljubljana Marshes have preserved artefacts from all historical periods and cultures.

Ljubljanica river © Karel Dolenc

Ljubljanica river

In the area of the Ljubljana Marshes, the Ljubljanica riverbed is one of the most important archaeological sites in Slovenia. Archaeologists who found items from various historical periods, from prehistoric times to the present, believe that the river had a very important role. Visit the Ljubljanica River Exhibition and discover its rich heritage.

The legacy of Pile Dwellers (Koliščarji) © Matevž Paternoster

The legacy of Pile Dwellers (Koliščarji)

In prehistoric times, a large part of the marshes was submerged by a shallow lake with pile-dwellers living nearby. Their legacy has been preserved in the wet marshy ground. The most important among the findings, exhibited in the City Museum of Ljubljana, National Museum of Slovenia and Ljubljanica River Exhibition in Vrhnika, is the oldest wooden wheel yet discovered, dating back to 3350–3100 BC.

Cycling tours of Ljubljana Marshes © Jošt Gantar

Cycling tours of Ljubljana Marshes

The Ljubljana Marshes is an ideal place for cycling on less busy roads and gravel paths offering picturesque views. The Trnulja Estate, Iški Vintgar Gorge, Podpeč Lake are among the most popular cycling destinations. For more fit cyclists, we recommend the ascent to Rakitna or Krim.

Nature reserves in Ljubljana Marshes © Jošt Gantar

Nature reserves in Ljubljana Marshes

Peat bogs in the Marshes have disappeared due to parching and use of peat in recent centuries. However, some of them are still preserved in natural reserves of Goriški Mah and Mali Plac. At the Iški Morost Nature Reserve you can watch rare species of birds, or take a walk along the educational trail passing seven ponds in the Draga pri Igu valley.

Abundance of rare animal species © Davorin Tome

Abundance of rare animal species

About 100 different species of birds nest on the wet marshy ground, while even more of them pass by during migrations. This is also the habitat of roe deer, otters and other small wild game and 89 species of butterflies. At the Iški Morost Nature Reserve you can watch rare species of birds, such as corn crake, Eurasian curlew, common quail etc.

Colourful flora © Simon Širca

Colourful flora

In spring, marsh meadows are vibrant in colours of extravagant dark red blossoms of snake's heads and yellow marsh-marigolds. Then, different colours take turn during the warm months – Scheuchzer's cottongrass, orchids, lady orchids and numerous other species.

Floods in Ljubljana Marshes © Matevž Lenarčič

Floods in Ljubljana Marshes

The floods in the Ljubljana Marshes are a natural phenomenon during spring and autumn rains and in winter. The Ljubljanica River and its tributaries are filled with an enormous volume of water which cannot recede immediately. Floods offer impressive sights immortalised every year by photographers.

Plečnik's Church of St. Michael in Črna vas © Miran Kambič

Plečnik's Church of St. Michael in Črna vas

The Church in Črna vas in the Ljubljana Marshes is one of the most original buildings of the famous architect. Due to a marshy terrain, it stands on pylons. Since there was a lack of assets for its construction, Plečnik fully embraced the skills of local craftsmen and used recycled materials.

View from St. Anne’s Church © Jošt Gantar

View from St. Anne’s Church

A small hill where the picturesque pilgrimage Church of St. Anne has been standing since 16th century offers a beautiful vista of the Ljubljana Marshes, hilly areas of the central Slovenia and the Slovenian Alps rising behind. The path to this popular photo site leads from the Podpeč Lake.

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