The Ljubljanica is a river
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

 in the southern part of Ljubljana Basin
Ljubljana basin
The Ljubljana Basin is a basin in the upper river basin of Sava. It is the most populated area in Slovenia and it is metropolitan area of Ljubljana.- Cities and towns :* Ljubljana** Brezovica** Škofljica** Ig** Vodice** Dobrova-Polhov Gradec...

 in Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

. The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and its largest city. It is the centre of the City Municipality of Ljubljana. It is located in the centre of the country in the Ljubljana Basin, and is a mid-sized city of some 270,000 inhabitants...

, is situated on the river. The Ljubljanica rises to the south of the town Vrhnika
Vrhnika is a town and a municipality in Slovenia. It is situated on the Ljubljanica River, 21 km from Ljubljana along the A1 motorway.-History:...

 and outflows in the Sava River
Sava River
The Sava is a river in Southeast Europe, a right side tributary of the Danube river at Belgrade. Counting from Zelenci, the source of Sava Dolinka, it is long and drains of surface area. It flows through Slovenia, Croatia, along the northern border of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and through Serbia....

 about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) downstream from Ljubljana. Its largest affluent is Mali graben
Mali graben
Mali graben is an artificial mitigation canal of the Gradaščica river and the largest affluent of the Ljubljanica. It has been dug due to the frequent flooding of the Trnovo district of Ljubljana...

. Including the source affluent Mala Ljubljanica, the river is 41 km (25.5 mi) in length. Mala Ljubljanica confluents with Velika Ljubljanica after 1300 m (4,265.1 ft) and the river continues its flow under the name Ljubljanica.

Ljubljanica is the continuation of several karst rivers that flow from Prezidsko polje till Vrhnika on the surface and underground in cave
A cave or cavern is a natural underground space large enough for a human to enter. The term applies to natural cavities some part of which is in total darkness. The word cave also includes smaller spaces like rock shelters, sea caves, and grottos.Speleology is the science of exploration and study...

s, so the river is poetically said to have seven names (six name changes): Trbuhovica, Obrh, Stržen, Rak, Pivka, Unica, and Ljubljanica.

Archaeological significance

Ljubljanica has become a popular site for archeologists and treasure hunters to dive for lost relics and artifacts. Locations in the river between Ljubljana and Vrhnika have offered up pieces of history from the Stone Age
Stone Age
The Stone Age is a broad prehistoric period, lasting about 2.5 million years , during which humans and their predecessor species in the genus Homo, as well as the earlier partly contemporary genera Australopithecus and Paranthropus, widely used exclusively stone as their hard material in the...

, to the Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, belonging to a variety of groups, from local ancient cultures, to more well-known groups like the Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 and the Celts. One of the more significant findings is a yew
Taxus baccata
Taxus baccata is a conifer native to western, central and southern Europe, northwest Africa, northern Iran and southwest Asia. It is the tree originally known as yew, though with other related trees becoming known, it may be now known as the English yew, or European yew.-Description:It is a small-...

 spearhead, found in 2009 in Sinja Gorica
Sinja Gorica
Sinja Gorica is a settlement immediately to the northwest of Vrhnika in the Inner Carniola region of Slovenia.The local church in the settlement is dedicated to Saint Job and belongs to the Vrhnika Parish.-External links:**...

. It has been dated to about 35,000 to 45,000 before present, the Szeletien period, and supplements the scarce data about the presence of Stone Age hunters in the Ljubljana Marshes area.

Exactly why the Ljubljanica became an article dumping ground is up for debate, but most historians believe that it is related to how local tradition has always held the river as a sacred place. These treasures may have been offered "…to the river during rites of passage, in mourning, or as thanksgiving for battles won".

Being what it is, the Ljubljanica has become a very popular attraction in Europe for treasure hunters. This has created an ethical debate between local historians and international treasure seekers. It is believed that the river has offered up between 10,000 and 13,000 objects, of which many have been lost to the public. Many pieces have been sold into private collections, or are hidden away by the original treasure hunters. In 2003, to help curb this trend, Slovenia's national parliament declared the river a site of cultural importance and banned diving in it without a permit.

External links

  • http://expo98.literal.si/eng/zakladi/vode-slovenije/ljubljanica.html
  • http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0701/feature6/index.html
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