Until the late 19th century, the street was known as Elephant Street (Slonova ulica) in memory of the first elephant present in the city since Roman times. A gift from the Ottoman sultan, the animal had been traveling in the entourage of Emperor Maximilian II on his way back from Spain to Germany, and had been stabled at what is now the upper part of the street in 1550, where the Slon Hotel now stands.
In 1892, the name of the street was changed to Prešeren Street (Prešernova ulica). In 1949, it was renamed Čop Street after Matija Čop, an early 19th-century literary figure and close friend of the Slovene Romantic poet France Prešeren.
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- Kopriva, Silvester. 1989. Ljubljana skozi čas: ob latinskih in slovenskih napisih in zapisih. Ljubljana: Borec, p. 149
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