The Sava River
The riparian zone of the Sava River with gravel bars, islets and flooded riparian forest is an exceptional ecological area which greatly contributes to the preservation of biotic diversity. It is more or less densely located along the entire current of the Sava River to the settlement of Sava (at Litija) where the river enters the gorge. There are 28 species of fish in the Sava River (7 of them are protected) and 9 species of amphibians (all protected).
This area is an important habitat for more than 100 species of nesting birds and is a wintering area and/or migratory route for numerous species of duck, grebe, goose, heron and other water species.
Some natural assets also appear at the discussed area. Five horse chestnuts and three European hornbeams grow at the garden of Tavčarjev hram Inn. A poplar tree at the crossroads with Cesta 24. junija Road and Dunajska Road in Ljubljana is also worth mentioning.
Bridges over the Sava River in Ježica
The Sava River and centenary paths connected with bridges over the river have always dictated the rhythm of life in this area. This area has always been of great strategic importance. It was here that the passages and bridges over the Sava River were built and for centuries served as a central military or merchant path to Eastern Europe. The stone pylons of the Roman bridge over the Sava River, which was 300 m long and 8 m wide and was supported by 27 stone columns, were found in the present area. The remains of the bridge are kept by the National Museum of Slovenia and the National Technical Museum in Prague. A Roman post stop, Savus Fluvius, was located by the bridge. A 2000-year old Roman tomb was also found here. Commerce and military significance of the bridge faded away when the Roman Empire collapsed. The bridge was worn by the ravages of time. Afterwards, passengers and tradesmen had to wade or sail across the river. A meeting of 6,000 peasants who were unsatisfied with the increased taxes and demanded stara pravda (the old law) took place in the time of feudalism in 1515 in the area of the present Ježica autocamp. The peasant revolt ended in blood, brutally suppressed by mercenary army. A memorial plaque in the memory of this peasant revolt was erected at the entrance to the swimming pool complex.
During their ravaging through Slovenia in the 15th century, the Turks conquered both riverbanks of the Sava River and waded across the river while they plundered to the north. An important cart drivers' centre with numerous inns was located in this area in the 16th century where the cart drivers waited for their transport over the Sava River. When the French advanced to Vienna in the time of Illyrian Provinces, they intended to cross the Črnuče Bridge. The bridge being wooden, the Austrian army simply uncovered it and only the pillars remained. It was then that Napoleon Bonaparte occupied Carniola and came to the Črnuče Bridge. Many French soldiers died in the battles and thus remained forever buried in the surrounding graves. The French era ended, however, the names of the hills on the Črnuče side of the river still remind of it (Tabor, Stražni hrib, etc.). On 7 January 1821, the Russian Emperor Alexander crossed the Črnuče Bridge on his way to the Holy Alliance Congress in Ljubljana. Pri ruskem carju Inn still bears witness to that event. The Slovenian poet France Prešeren also frequently visited Ježica as he came to visit his uncle Jožef Prešeren who served as a priest in the Ježica parish. The famous swimming pool was already there in the time of Prešeren and the poet also swam there from time to time. A new bridge over the Sava River was built in 1846 and the area lost its former transit character which was marked by the cart drivers and numerous roadside inns due to the opening of the railroad between Kamnik and Ljubljana in 1891.
Bunkers at Črnuče railway bridge
During World War II, it was this section of the Sava River that separated the area of Ježica which belonged to Mussolini's Italy and the area of Črnuče which came under the rule of Hitler's Germany. The Črnuče Bridge represented the border control point between Italy and Germany which is nowadays still denoted by the German and Italian bunkers S25] at the bridge of the Kamnik railway line. The bunkers were built on both sides of the banks of the Sava River.
Stožice Hippodrome in Ljubljana is located between the Sava River and the Ljubljana bypass or the new Stožice Stadium. Already in 1946, the military parades took place here with horsemen on trained military riding horses. The equestrian club was soon formed, and in 1950, the first club competition in dressage was organised. Ljubljana Equestrian Club moved to this location from Trnovo. Its ambitious members managed to achieve that the hippodrome is nowadays known as an important competitive location. An important role in the arrangement of the hippodrome played a versatile constructor of sports equipment, engineer Stanko Bloudek.
Besides dressage, competitions in hurdle racing and harness racing events also take place at Stožice Hippodrome. The first harness racing event was in 1957; while Pope John Paul II held a mass there in 1996 in front of 150,000 people. A riding school for children and adults is also organised at Stožice, while in the summer, riding camps take place, as well as programmes for socialising and acquaintance with horses in the autumn. In short, a right place for nature and horse lovers .