The Ljubljana accent and/or dialect (Slovenian: ljubljanščina ) is considered a border dialect, since Ljubljana is situated where the Upper dialect and Lower Carniolan dialect group meet. Historically, the Ljubljana dialect in the past displayed features more similar with the Lower Carniolan dialect group, but it gradually grew closer to the Upper dialect group, as a direct consequence of mass migration from Gorenjska region into Ljubljana in the 19th and 20th century. Ljubljana as a city grew mostly to the north, and gradually incorporated many villages that were historically part of Upper Carniola and so its dialect shifted away and closer to the Upper dialects. The Ljubljana dialect has also been used as a literary means in novels, such as in the novel Nekdo drug by Branko Gradišnik, or in poems, such as Pika Nogavička (Slovene for Pippi Longstocking) by Andrej Rozman - Roza.
The central position of Ljubljana and its dialect had crucial impact on the development of the Slovenian language. It was the speech of 16th century Ljubljana that Primož Trubar a Slovenian Protestant Reformer took as a foundation of what later became standard Slovenian language, with a small addition of his native speech, the Lower Carniolan dialect. While in Ljubljana, he lived in a house, on today's Ribji trg, in the oldest part of the city. Living in Ljubljana had a profound impact on his work; he considered Ljubljana the capital of all Slovenes, not only because of its central position in the heart of the Slovene lands, but also because it always had an essentially Slovene character. Most of its inhabitants spoke Slovene as their mother tongue, unlike other cites in today's Slovenia. It is estimated that in Trubar's time around 70% of Ljubljana's 4000 inhabitants attended mass in the Slovene language. Trubar considered Ljubljana's speech most suitable, since it sounded much more noble, than his own simple dialect of his hometown Rašica. Trubar's choice was later adopted also by other Protestant writers in the 16th century, and ultimately led to a formation of a more standard language.
In literary fiction
Ljubljana appears in the 2005 The Historian, written by Elisabeth Kostova, and is called by its Roman name (Emona).
Ljubljana is also the setting of Paulo Coelho's 1998 novel Veronika Decides to Die.
Each year, over 10,000 cultural events take place in the city, including ten international theatre, music, and art festivals. The Ljubljana Festival is one of the two oldest festivals in former Yugoslavia (the Dubrovnik Summer Festival was established in 1950, and the Ljubljana Festival one in 1953). Guests have included Dubravka Tomšič, Marjana Lipovšek, Tomaž Pandur, Katia Ricciarelli, Grace Bumbry, Yehudi Menuhin, Mstislav Rostropovich, José Carreras, Slid Hampton, Zubin Mehta, Vadim Repin, Valerij Gergijev, Sir Andrew Davis, Danjulo Išizaka, Midori, Jurij Bašmet, Ennio Morricone, and Manhattan Transfer. Orchestras have included the New York Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestras of the Bolshoi Theatre from Moscow, La Scala from Milan, and Mariinsky Theatre from Saint Petersburg. In recent years there have been 80 different kinds of events and some 80,000 visitors from Slovenia and abroad. Other cultural venues include Križanke, Cankar Hall and the Exhibition and Convention Centre. During Book Week, starting each year on World Book Day, events and book sales take place at Congress Square. A flea market is held every Sunday in the old city. On the evening of International Workers' Day, a celebration with a bonfire takes place on Rožnik Hill.
Museums and art galleries
Main building of the Slovenian National Gallery
Ljubljana has numerous art galleries and museums. The first purpose-built art gallery in Ljubljana was the Jakopič Pavilion, which was in the first half of the 20th century the central exhibition venue of Slovene artists. In the early 1960s, it was succeeded by the Ljubljana City Art Gallery, which has presented a number of modern Slovene and foreign artists. In 2010, there were 14 museums and 56 art galleries in Ljubljana. There is for example an architecture museum, a railway museum, a school museum, a sports museum, a museum of modern art, a museum of contemporary art, a brewery museum, the Slovenian Museum of Natural History and the Slovene Ethnographic Museum. The National Gallery (Narodna galerija), founded in 1918, and the Museum of Modern Art (Moderna galerija) exhibit the most influential Slovenian artists. In 2006, the museums received 264,470 visitors, the galleries 403,890 and the theatres 396,440. The Metelkova Museum of Contemporary Art (Muzej sodobne umetnosti Metelkova), opened in 2011, hosts various simultaneous exhibitions, a research library, archives, and a bookshop.
Entertainment and performing arts
The Slovenian National Theatre
Cankar Hall is the largest Slovenian cultural and congress center with multiple halls and a large foyer in which art film festivals, artistic performances, book fairs, and other cultural events are held.
The cinema in Ljubljana appeared for the first time at the turn of the 20th century, and quickly gained popularity among the residents. After World War II, the Cinema Company Ljubljana, later named Ljubljana Cinematographers, was established and managed a number of already functioning movie theatres in Ljubljana, including the only Yugoslav children's theatre. A number of cinema festivals took place in the 1960s, and a cinematheque opened its doors in 1963. With the advent of television, video, and recently the Internet, most cinema theatres in Ljubljana closed, and the cinema mainly moved to Kolosej, a multiplex in the BTC City. It features twelve screens, including an IMAX 3D screen. The remaining theatres are Kino Komuna, Kinodvor, where art movies are accompanied by events, and the Slovenian Cinematheque.
Classical music, opera and ballet
The Slovenian Philharmonics is the central music institution in Ljubljana and Slovenia. It holds classical music concerts of domestic and foreign performers as well as educates youth. It was established in 1701 as part of Academia operosorum Labacensis and is among the oldest such institutions in Europe. The Slovene National Opera and Ballet Theatre also resides in Ljubljana, presenting a wide variety of domestic and foreign, modern and classic, opera, ballet and concert works. It serves as the national opera and ballet house. Numerous music festivals are held in Ljubljana, chiefly in European classical music and jazz, for instance the Ljubljana Summer Festival (Ljubljanski poletni festival), and Trnfest.
In addition to the main houses, with the SNT Drama Ljubljana as the most important among them, a number of small producers are active in Ljubljana, involved primarily in physical theatre (e.g. Betontanc), street theatre (e.g. Ana Monró Theatre), theatresports championship Impro League, and improvisational theatre (e.g. IGLU Theatre). A popular form is puppetry, mainly performed in the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre. Theatre has a rich tradition in Ljubljana, starting with the 1867 first ever Slovene-language drama performance.
The modern dance was presented in Ljubljana for the first time at the end of the 19th century and developed rapidly since the end of the 1920s. Since the 1930s when in Ljubljana was founded a Mary Wigman dance school, the first one for modern dance in Slovenia, the field has been intimately linked to the development in Europe and the United States. Ljubljana Dance Theatre is today the only venue in Ljubljana dedicated to contemporary dance. Despite this, there's a vivid happening in the field.
Several folk dance groups are active in Ljubljana.
In July 2015, over four days, the 56th Ljubljana Jazz Festival took place. A member of the European Jazz Network, the festival presented 19 concerts featuring artists from 19 countries, including a celebration of the 75th birthday of James "Blood" Ulmer.
Popular urban culture and alternative scene
Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture in Ljubljana
CC BY-SA 4.0
In the 1980s with the emergence of subcultures in Ljubljana, an alternative culture begun to develop in Ljubljana organised around two student organisations. This caused an influx of young people to the city centre, caused political and social changes, and led to the establishment of alternative art centres.
Metelkova and Rog - A Ljubljana equivalent of the Copenhagen's Freetown Christiania, a self-proclaimed autonomous Metelkova neighbourhood, was set up in a former Austro-Hungarian barracks that were built in 1882 (completed in 1911).
In 1993, the seven buildings and 12,500 m2 of space were turned into art galleries, artist studios, and seven nightclubs, including two LGBTQ+ venues, playing host to all range of music from hardcore to jazz to dub to techno. Adjacent to the Metelkova are located the Celica Hostel with rooms all artistically decorated by the Metelkova artists, and a new part of the Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art. Another alternative culture centre is located in the former Rog factory. Both Metelkova and Rog factory factory located in Tabor neighbourhood are walking distance from the city centre and visited by various tours.
Šiška Cultural Quarter - The Šiška Cultural Quarter hosts a number of art groups and cultural organisations dedicated to contemporary and avant-garde arts. Part of it is also Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture, a venue where music concerts of indie, punk, and rock bands as well as exhibitions take place. Museum of Transitory Art (MoTA) is a museum without a permanent collection or a fixed space. Instead, its programs are realised in different locations and contexts in temporary physical and virtual spaces dedicated to advancing the research, production and presentation of transitory, experimental, and live art forms. Yearly MoTA organises Sonica Festival. Ljudmila (since 1994) strives to connect research practices, technologies, science, and art.