The Slovenia Times

Tens of thousands expected at memorial walk around Ljubljana


The event is held on the specially marked 33-km gravel path that runs along what used to be a barbed wire surrounding Ljubljana when it was occupied first by Italian and then German forces.

As highlighted by the head organiser and Ljubljana Deputy Mayor Aleš Čerin, the hike incorporates all generations, starting with kindergarten children - 9,000 to 12,000 are expected to brave a part of the path on Thursday.

Around 9,000 primary and and secondary school children are to follow on Friday, while the central event will take place on Saturday.

Organisers expect even more hikers on Saturday than last year when 8,000 attended, while the programme also includes a run of three-member teams, with more than 2,000 teams registered so far.

A novelty introduced this year at the initiative of the WWII Veterans' Association is the Let's Hug Ljubljana moment, which will see participants of the hike hold hands at noon at the sound of the civil defence siren to form a human chain around the capital.

The event along what used to be known as the Path of Remembrance and Comradeship in the past is free of charge and will go even greener this year.

Litter, to be collected along the entire route, will be recycled, while drinking stations will be set up to avoid the use of plastic water bottles.

The barbed wire around Ljubljana was put up in 1942 by the Italian occupying forces in order to stop supplies to the Partisan resistance movement.

Ljubljana was the only European city at the time to be locked out in such a way, a regime lasting for 1,170 days until the end of WWII in 1945.

Put up within three days in the length of almost 30 kilometres, the wire was lined with bunkers and minefields and patrolled by 2,500 troops.


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