Path Along the Wire

 

If you stay in the centre of Ljubljana you will never find it; we were fortunate to just happen upon it. Walking home one day to our flat on the north side of the city, a copper emblem embedded in the asphalt sparked our curiosity.

POT path emblem

 

It can be found many times in the city, specifically along a 33 kilometre walking path. The POT, known as the Path Along the Wire, surrounds the city of Ljubljana and permanently reminds of the hardships endured during the Second World War.

In 1941, Ljubljana became occupied by Italy and after the locals resisted, the Italian army surrounded the city with a barbed wire fence. The intent was to cease communications from the city to the activists residing in the surrounding countryside. The city and its people were fiercely controlled.

40 years later, the path was paved and completed in 1985. It encircles the entire city, and is marked with signposts, maps, copper emblem markers and memorials.

POT signpost Ljubljana

 

POT Bunker Memorial Ljubljana

 

Despite the path’s dark history it is now a popular place for locals. It’s constantly in use with people walking their pets, out for a run, or drinking a morning coffee in nature. During the winter there are well-used cross-country ski trails. The path is lined with trees, apartment buildings, parks and graffiti artwork. There are cafes to stop in to enjoy an afternoon drink and just watch others go by. It is a great way to experience the real and true Ljubljana and its people.

Walking path Ljubljana

 

But the most important day is May 9. This day commemorates when Ljubljana was liberated after the War. Each year, on the closest weekend to that day, the locals will line the path and walk either some or the whole distance. Anyone who manages to walk the whole 33 kilometers and visit the 8 checkpoints along the way are rewarded with a memorial badge and a medal.

For some it is about remembering, for others it is learning about the city’s past. Whatever the reason, the people will not forget what the path signifies, and continue to move forward.

POT path map, Ljubljana

 

26 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own

  • August 17 2012

    Wow… looks like a nice walk for such a dark subject. I’m glad something positive has seemingly come from it, in that it’s now a site of enjoyment!

    • Pete
      August 18 2012

      I only explored a fraction of the 33km, but it seems that a lot of the locals take part and enjoy what the path now has to offer. Agreed that I’m glad that something positive has come from this but still a way for them to remember its past.

  • August 17 2012

    I never noticed this path while I was there. Next time I visit I certainly want to walk all 33km! For the views and the history! Thanks for writing about it otherwise I may not of heard about it!
    Chrystal McKay recently posted..Daily Activities of Destination Staff

    • Pete
      August 18 2012

      I imagine, apart form locals, not too many know about this. You get to see a side of Ljubljana you would not normally.

  • August 17 2012

    I love Ljubljana but had no idea this path existed!
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..A photo journey through Hungary: Budapest, Eger, and Recsk

    • Pete
      August 18 2012

      Us too Jeremy until we literally stumbled across it because our flat was on the very north side of the city. There is so much that this city and country offers up. It’s a shame that the majority of tourists that come in give it so little time and don’t really get to explore it more.

      • August 18 2012

        I’ve written more about Slovenia than any other country and I didn’t know anything about this. Just goes to show there are always things to discover when exploring a place – no matter how much you love it or how many times you’ve been there.
        Jeremy Branham recently posted..A photo journey through Hungary: Budapest, Eger, and Recsk

        • Pete
          August 18 2012

          I’m not surprised you didn’t know about this Jeremy. I would be surprised if any tourist to Slovenia would actually know about this. I agree that no matter how much time you spend in a place there are always new things to discover. It was just nice to discover some of Slovenia other than the typical 2 day tourist stuff (Bled, Ljubljana center, Postajna, Bohinj etc.). We really hope that it works out and we get offered the chance to live there, we’re getting close :)

  • I love to walk in the park and under the trees, would love to reflect where my life heads out from Ljubljana and wished I can do that soonest. I will really think of my Europe travels soon.

    :)
    Wends of Journeys and Travels recently posted..Meet the Backpackers: Alexandra Kovacova

    • Pete
      August 18 2012

      It’s a pretty magical place and it has won a place in our hearts :)

  • August 18 2012

    Thanks for this – I’m really interested in war history and relics and the many ways that communities preserve and remember.
    hayley recently posted..Portsmouth Historic Dockyard (& more ships than you can shake a stick at)

    • Pete
      August 18 2012

      You are welcome Hayley. We love to learn more about the history of where we go/stay as well. It was lucky that we came across this and learned a little more about this beautiful little city.

  • August 18 2012

    Thank you so much for your beautiful photos and essays on life in Ljubljana. We are moving there in January and I am thrilled at the opportunity to live in such a magical place.

    • August 19 2012

      We are envious of you moving there! :) It really is a beautiful city, I am sure you will love it.

  • August 19 2012

    This is fascinating. I’ve been to Ljubljana at least a dozen times and never knew this path existed.
    Jennifer recently posted..That Time We Swam with Sharks

    • August 19 2012

      We wouldn’t have known either had we not just happened upon it!

  • August 19 2012

    That is indeed a fascinating tidbit. Looks like a lovely walk and great way to be reminded of the history.
    Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted..Eating Cheap(er) in Paris

    • August 19 2012

      Slovenia has such a fascinating history and has been through so much. I feel like even though we were there a month, we barely scratched the surface.

  • August 19 2012

    This looks like an amazing experience.

    With all I’ve read about Slovenia and Ljubljana on the blogosphere over the last couple months, I’m surprised I never heard about this.

    Sounds like a must-see.
    Erik recently posted..Photo of the Day- Old Post Office Tower, Washington, D.C.

    • August 19 2012

      Most people don’t venture far out of the center of the city and so would completely miss it. It’s also not on any “to do” lists! We were fortunate to just happen upon it!

  • Wow a 30 k walk… thats like… 10 hours! It would be cool to say you have done it though

  • August 20 2012

    We’re just back from a very short stay in Ljubljana as part of a longer holiday in Slovenia and loved the city straight away. Although I’d heard about the barbed wire fence, I didn’t know about these markers and will seek them out next time I’m there (and there definitely will be a next time). Thanks for posting, Pete.

  • August 20 2012

    Thanks for sharing – I’ve never been to this part of the world, but I’ll be sure to check this path our when I make it here. And I love me a good walk, so I’ll probably try the whole thing :D
    Laurence recently posted..In photos: Purnululu National Park (the Bungle Bungles)

  • August 21 2012

    I would love to do this and no, had never heard of it, thanks for revealing this Llubljana walk!

  • August 23 2012

    I love the way so many cities pay tribute to their past with parks like this … what a beautiful area!

  • October 23 2012

    It seems to be a pattern where cites are taking industrial land and turning it into green space. I’m glad to hear that the POT can now be a place of new happy memories.
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..JORDAN Nature Reserves: Dana Biosphere Reserve & Wadi Mujib

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