ŽALE - Ljubljana Cemetery, Ljubljana
Zale, which is an old Slavic word for a cemetery, is the main cemetery of the city of Ljubljana. It was founded in 1906 and is still in use today. In the years 1938/40 its design was made by architect Joze Plecnik (1872-1957), who was undoubtedly the most important figure in the history of Slovene architecture.
Through the cemetery runs the Pathway of Memory and Companionship, in memory of a barbed wire fence, which surrounded the city from 1942 until 1945. After the war it was developed into the 30 km track around the city with the aim to provide a green recreational facility.
The new part of the cemetery was designed in 1988 by architect Marko Music.
Located to the North of the town is the Ljubljana cemetery or Zale. I found the main part of the cemetery uninteresting but there is a small section at the front of the cemetery which contains tombs, graves and buildings designed by Joze Plecnik which are really attractive.
It takes about 15mins to walk here from the train station. Head to the North side of the train station on the underpass and turn right at the road (Vilharjeva cesta). Continue walking over a major cross-road and up Smartinska cesta. After a bit walk up Savska cesta which branches off on the left until a roundabout. You can see the cemetery to your right on the roundabout.
By bus take bus no 2 to Nove Jarse and get of at circle crossing at Žale
A great man once said 'The true measure of a civilisation is not how its citizens are treated in life but in death' OK, I just made that up! but in Zale Cemetery Plecnik has created a place that conveys a great feeling of respect for the deceased. By designing such an impressive propylaeum and garden of tranquility beyond Plecnik has conveyed sucessfully the journey from a city of life to one rest.
This cemetery is about 3 km from the center of Ljubjlana. The buildings there were designed by the architect Jože Plečnik – like lots of buildings in Ljubljana! At the entrance you’ll find a monumental arch, it’s remarkable and a bit unusual for a cemetery. Unfortunately this part of the cemetery was closed so that we couldn’t see much.