The Dragon Bridge (Slovene: Zmajski most, historically also Zmajev most) is a road bridge located in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. It crosses the Ljubljanica River. between Kopitar Street (Kopitarjeva ulica) and Ressel Street (Resljeva cesta), to the north of the Ljubljana Central Market at Vodnik Square. It was built in the beginning of the 20th century, when Ljubljana was part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. As one of the best examples of reinforced concrete bridges and of the Vienna Secession style, the bridge is today protected as a technical monument. It is intended primarily for motorised traffic.
The bridge was originally named The Jubilee Bridge of the Emperor Franz Josef I (German: Franz Josef I. Jubiläumsbrücke, Slovene: Franca Jožefa I. jubilejni most). In July 1919, it was renamed to Dragon Bridge. The Dragon Bridge, although significantly modelled after the Nußdorf weir, is often regarded as the most beautiful bridge produced by the Vienna Secession. It is the first bridge in Slovenia paved with asphalt, the first reinforced concrete bridge in Ljubljana, and one of Europe's earliest reinforced concrete bridges.
When opened in 1901, it had the third largest arch in Europe at that time. The bridge is built to the Melan System invented by Josef Melan, which gained popularity particularly in the United States and Germany because the bridges could be built without a supporting stage. Rigid truss arches made of iron are set into the reinforced concrete bridge. The load-bearing core of the bridge were the truss iron frames during construction. After concreting these became a part of the supporting structure.
Dragon Bridge is a triple-hinged arch bridge and has a span of 33.34 metres (109 ft 5 in). Its style was designed by Jurij Zaninović. He envisaged the concrete covering, the balustrades and the sheet-copper dragon statues of the bridge, which became a symbol of the city. The chief attraction of the bridge are these four dragon statues standing on pedestals at its four corners. In addition, the bridge is decorated by sixteen smaller dragon statues.