Visiting Prešeren’s birth house in Vrba

Visiting Prešeren’s birth house in Vrba

You cannot visit Slovenia without hearing and learning about the greatest Slovene poet France Prešeren (1800-1849). You will come across his statue right in the centre of the capital Ljubljana. Also, words of the Slovene national anthem are all part of Prešeren’s poem »Zdravljica« (A Toast).

Prešeren’s statue in Ljubljana.

Not a happy life, but a great poetry

As a son of a well-off farmer and a quite well educated mother, France was provided with a good education. Already at a very young age, he learned Latin, Ancient Greek, and German, which was then the language of education, administration, and high culture in most areas of today’s Slovenia (then Habsburg Monarchy).

Against the wishes of his mother, who wanted him to become a priest, he studied law in Vienna. After acquiring a law degree, he returned to Ljubljana, where he was employed as an assistant in the law firm. He constantly strove to become an independent lawyer, but was not successful.

Prešeren's house in Vrba
Prešeren’s birth-house in Vrba.

When he was 33, he met Julija, the daughter of a rich Ljubljana merchant.  She would become the unfulfilled love of his life and his muse. 

After in 1846 he was finally allowed to open his own law firm, he moved to Kranj. He died there on 8 February 1849.

A sonnet to his beloved old home in Vrba

One of his important works are the “Sonnets of Misfortune” (Sonetje nesreče). In its first sonnet titled “O Vrba,” Prešeren reflects on what his life could have been like, had he never left his home village.  Up until this day, Vrba remains one of the biggest symbols of the famous romantic poet.

In a sonnet to Vrba Prešeren described his love for the village, his family and language.

Prešeren’s birth house is open to public.

Getting to Vrba from Ljubljana

It’s easy! There are busses going from Ljubljana Bus Station every hour. Check out the schedule here!

Vrba is a small place with no more than 200 inhabitants. Following the main road you can reach the house on foot in 3 minutes. The scenery on the way is also amazing. The museum (Prešeren’s house)  is well-maintained by Visit Žirovnica.

Additionally,  there is also a permanent exhibition on the life of France Prešeren. The museum was enriched with the numerous translations of Prešeren’s poems into foreign languages in 1980’s. Guided tours can be tailored to school groups, small groups or individuals and families.

Reading Prešeren’s poems in his birth-house.


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