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Archive for the ‘Special Report’ Category

Those who follow my blog know I’ve ranted at times trying to champion the causes and find solutions for historical or social problems I’ve seen here in Slovenia be they old buildings, the youths disinterest in anything more then temporal materialism, or intolerance for Muslims and gypsies. Those are all important but not among the main memories I’m leaving with.

The other day I got on the bus heading to town and was preoccupied with one of these “euphoric crusades” on my mind. Another man got on the bus a few stops later, obviously homeless and at least a hundred cents short of the 1.20 Euro bus fare. The driver had to do his job and not let the man ride without the full fare, most of us felt sorry for him but only one lady stood up and said, “here, have this” and proceeded give him a spare bus token from her purse to give to the driver. We all could have done that, yet she was the one who did. Then I thought to myself, Slovenia will be alright without my latest crusade as long as there is still people like her in this world.

The next time I was out walking I had an opportunity to follow her sample. I saw a very old man across the street from me trying to get off the curb and cross the street before the light went red again. I did not have to think twice how to respond this time, I went over and took his frail arm in both hands and helped him down the curb and onto the side I’d just come from.

 

These are the things that make the world better, in our lives, in our families or just for a perfect stranger in need. We often get so busy looking for the big things and ‘saving the world’ that we miss the most important and often little things right there in front of us. As long as we can keep that chain of kindness going everything else will be alright and start to sort themselves out.

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This is the text to a special report I was putting together with video footage but being a new year and an important time of reflection I will add the text here now with pictures and then the video when it is completed.

Save Kolizej

‘You don’t know what you got till it’s gone’

This is Kolizej palace.
lj-kolizij-palace-06-jw.jpg Built in 1845, and originally used to house both enlisted troops and officer quarters.

At the time it was built it was on the edge of the city but now as the city’s grown it has become a part of Ljubljana’s vibrant city center.

Like much of this city it has gone through the last two hundred years when most of this city was new or being rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 1895. It went on to see three wars and a city siege come and go.

It is still here.

Some might say barely, it has new trendy neighbors and a few small tenants but mostly it is just a casualty to the evolution process of this city, and more currently the capitalist influx the country of Slovenia is experiencing now that it is a member state in the European Union.

You see, as big and historical as this is in the big picture this building is not up to the times. Developers can build cheaper then to renovate, so this sits, for now.

It is currently in private hands and this real-estate is set to go through the roof in the coming years meaning that it is just a matter of time before these walls see the broad end of the wrecking ball or hear the hiss of the explosives, and just like that, history will be over.

There are already plans in the works for a shopping mall and cinema to rise here in it’s place.

You might wonder why any city would not cherish this building more. The only conclusion is that there is so much here in Ljubljana that this one sadly means so little.

The city of Ljubljana’s attractions read like the perfect wish-list any city would dream of having in their gates, here are a few examples.

lj-buildings-06-jw.jpg

Countless buildings showcasing the glory and splendor of early 20th century architecture.

lj-train-station-06-jw.jpg

One of the oldest train stations in the region.

lj-posta-06-jw.jpg

A grand post office dating back to 1846 – that’s when the mail still came with horses’ attached.

lj-ljubljanica-river-06-jw.jpg

A beautiful river (the Ljubljanica) running through the old town.

lj-hiltop-castle-jw.jpg

A medieval hilltop castle.

lj-3-bridges-06-jw.jpg

Even Three Bridges for the price of one.

These are just a few of the things to see around here, but can we really fully celebrate them knowing that other historical sites are not as celebrated to their potential?

I wonder what wiser men would think.

lj-kapital-palaz-06-jw.jpgWith vision, ideas and proper care, past history and future successes can live side-by-side. They can co-exist.

It is possible to leave history in tact for future generations, if for no other reason then to show them that we care. That the beginning of the 21st century is not just about making big money and globalization.

That is the greatest legacy one can leave on a city and its inhabitants.

That is the lesson of Kolizej Palace. Will it take learning it the hard way?

They say you don’t really appreciate something till you no longer have it. An 1800’s Mansion blown to smithereens and carted off as land-fill seems like a pretty expensive way to learn historical appreciation.

There is another way, it’s called save Kolizej!

This site encourages all constructive comments, criticisms or alternate views on these writings. Please feel free to express your feelings on this article for other readers by leaving a comment, thank you. – Justin W.

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