Fountains In Wintertime

A halt for birds

There are quite a number of stone fountains in the old part of Ljubljana. In the winter, when they need to be protected, the more relevant ones are covered with glass covering, while the rest is covered only with wooden waterproof panels. During the festive season, the wooden boards of the latter traditionally get wrapped in gift wrapping paper.

Our goal was to try and make the wooden covering more appealing and to give the fountains some added value in the winter, a time when they are often overlooked. During the summer, the fountains are the centre of activity on the squares, people gather around them and the birds often „bathe” in them or use them to quench their thirst. We set out to discover how the fountains could attract birds even in winter time. We furnished the fountains at the Gornji and Levstik Square with a number of bird houses and named them The Dining Hall and The Dwelling Place.

The Dwelling Place at the Levstik Square was a bird fairytale land. 50 wooden birdhouses of different colours formed a bird city, each house bearing a name of a bird species found in Ljubljana. At the Gornji Square Dining Hall we presented the food that can be offered to birds during the cold season. Alongside a few recipes and photographs of birds, we printed the fountain covering with the text on how to feed the birds properly in winter, how to clean the birdhouses and how to birdwatch. We furnished the fountain with several birdhouses made of polystyrene spheres with round hollows.

With the help of DOPPS – BirdLife Slovenia association, we were placing bird food (sunflower seeds and apples) at both fountains three times a week until the beginning of spring, each time cleaning the birdhouses as well.


Gornji and Levstik Square in Ljubljana

Co-authors: Association for Birds Observations, Damijan Denac (expert consultant), Tanja and Jurij

Commissioner: City of Ljubljana