PPAC: Ljubljana train station

Okay, painted trains are not all that unique and are visible from afar, but there is a little hidden something too that nobody ever notices and now you will.












I had intended to search it out and photograph it for a long time, but it was only while searching for the vaccine station last Monday that I found myself at the central train station with all the eight platforms of my life. I spotted a waiter and he looked like a Yugoslav waiter of my youth, all-knowing and willing to share. So I asked.

Alas, his eyes glazed over when I said “James Joyce”. Better ask at the info point, he said. That one was closed and all three foreign tourists had to manage, including me. A ticket seller knew. “Look down when you reach the stairs,” she said, “right there at the top of the staircase. It’s on the ground.”

It certainly is. Looking like a spittoon or a boot scraper or a manhole cover doesn’t help. You must look really closely to see the words and even closer to spot another plate with the following inscription in Slovenian and English: “On October 19, 1904, James Joyce spent the night in Ljubljana.” He and Nora thought that their train had reached Trieste and went off and the train continued without them. Imagine their joy at finding out they still had 100 km to go.

The (bilingual) words on the monument, from Ulysses, I had to find online as they are barely legible: “He swept the mirror a half circle in the air to flash the tidings abroad in sunlight now radiant on the sea.” The author, sculptor Jakov Brdar who created several sculptures around Ljubljana, hopes that you like his extreme style. The monument was unveiled on Bloomsday – James Joyce celebration day – in 2003. I needed only almost twenty years to locate it.

Quite by chance there is a monument from the gardens of the Miramare castle near Trieste in my today’s blogging memories below. Unlike then, nowadays it is quite impossible to reach Trieste by direct train from Ljubljana.

For Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) hosted by Cee at Cee’s Photo Challenges

This day in my blogging history


24 thoughts on “PPAC: Ljubljana train station

  1. This was very interesting, Manja. I’m glad you took the time to ask. It’s great finding things like this,

    There’s a small plaque embedded in one of the stairs to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. It’s at the spot where Martin Luther King was standing when he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. It took me three visits to find it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, our trains are nothing like ICE (I’m sure, even though I don’t know how ICE looks like. In Italy they have freccia trains). The entire Slovenian railways are falling to pieces. Sad to see. And I’m really glad you showed my trains to your son. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You don’t see such painted trains in the UK – any graffiti is washed off immediately by the authorities. A shame, as done well I rather like them 🙂

    That tiny ‘monument’ is fascinating, I’m so glad you searched it out. Maybe your photos make things look clearer as I didn’t have any real problems reading the inscription (the English one that is, naturally!) But finding it must have been quite a challenge – it looks just like a regular drain grating until you look closely!


  3. I’ve always been a fan of trains. I like how brightly they are painted–our graffiti artists aren’t nearly that creative or colorful.

    Yes that monument needs a better setting. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That monument has to be the strangest one I’ve ever seen. I’m sure I would have missed it. I love your painted trains, too. Thanks for joining us, Manja You gave me a lesson in public art! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, one of the rules of monumentality should be a required minimal height. LOL Of course that would rule out all the Stars in Hollywood, bricks on pathways in people’s honor, grave markers, and manholes, just to name a few things. Maybe I should rethink those rules. Yours was a fun find! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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