Sometimes we find ourselves caught completely unawares by a place. Turn a corner, and it’s there, speaking its way into our consciousness, tugging at our frame of reference, and messing with our head. Begging to be received, noticed and responded to, it reveals little by little all manner of tantalising and surprising offerings.
Križevniška ulica is such a place. Sitting literally on top of an old Roman road in what was formerly the Roman city of Emona, this tiny corner of Ljubljana has, too, been a Templars outpost. The Knights of the Teutonic Order and the dukes of Spannheim inhabited the area over successive periods of time – all have left their legacy in the buildings, services and spirit of the street. In more recent times it has been and continues to be a gathering place for intellectuals and those engaged in cultural pursuits (including my favourite Slovenian poet, Srečko Kosovel)
To inch one’s way along the street is to become absorbed by and subsumed in the whimsical, the literary, the poetic, the artistic immortalised in permanent structures and fleetingly shared on temporary structures. The white benches, covered in poetry, are providing me with many translation challenges. This is turn allows me to dig deeply into the cultural treasures of a place that is working its magic on me and rapidly becoming my home away from home. The presence of artists, composers and intellectuals who continue to carry the creative torch can be easily felt in this really very small space that bonds all who work in it.