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Explore Jose Plecnik's City Part 1
I told you to remember the name, didn't I?
Plecnik (1872-1957) is almost synomynous with the city, considering how almost single-handedly he enriched the city with his architectural vision.
Let me get my bearings and start from Kongresni Trg (Congress Sq) on the left bank of the river. You'll know it by the star-patterned pathways and the crowds of students hovering just before the neo-Renaissance University Building. Plecnik was once the head of the School of Architecture and his bust can be found here around the entrance.
Heading south along Vegova Ulica, where Plecnik took great pains to rearrange the entire street to its present form and where you may find some of his greatest works. The most significant building of note is the National And University Library, completed 1941 after 5 yrs of construction. Its variegated facade consisted of grey stones from Vrhnika and orange bricks from Podpec.
At the end of the street, you'll find Trg Francoske Revolucije and the Illyrian Monument, designed by Plecnik in 1929 in belated recognition of Ljubljana's role as capital of Napolean's Illyrian provinces, celebrating a time when the Slovenes were allowed a greater degree of self determination.
Further south is the Križanke, once a monastery but now an open-air theatre and home to the International Summer Festival. A band was trying to knock my eardrums out when I managed to sneak in for a peek, courtesy of my young chap and his sis. Yes, this is another of Plecnik's legacy and I remembered the sail-like retractable canopy over the courtyard (and the stares I got for being the only Asian amidst an ocean of white, not that I am caring too much!)
One last curiosity of note, again by Plecnik. He created a park area in front of the walls of the old monastery of Križanke and in 1927, he constructed a pyramid at 1 end of the street to act as a ‘link’ to the spires of the church on the other side of Ljubljanica River. This is one of many he threw throughout the city.
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National & University Library (NUK)
The National & University Library was another building designed by Jože Plečnik and built between 1936 and 1941. The building is located on the site of the former Ducal Palace, a 17th century Baroque palace destroyed in the earthquake of 1895. The characteristic façade combining bricks and stone blocks in variable finishes was designed on the model of the house of the Roman artist Federico Zuccari.
National and University Library
This building of National and University Library ( NUK) is J. PleCnik's most important secular work in Ljubljana.
NUK stands on the site of the former Auersperg Pucal Palace built between 1660 and 1662. In 1895 the palace suffered severe damage from the earthquake so that it had to be pulled down.
The exterior surface is made up from various materials, such as bricks and stone blocks, some of them smooth, others rough, some large and some small.
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National and Universitary Library
The library was built to the plans of architect Joze Plecnik between 1935 and 1940. It stands in the site of the former Ducal Palace (1660-62) which bekonged to the noble Turjak family and stood here until the earthquake of 1895. Today, the library preserves a number of medieval documents, incunabula and renaissance editions, and as a special curiosity, underground literature printed in occupied ljubljana from 1941-1945.
On this picture you can see the massive National and University Library which is only one of Jože Plecnik's buildings in Ljubljana. He basically seems to have built the whole city ... whereever we walked I heard his name ;) He built bridges, houses, the market, lampposts.-.. everything!
The National and University Library
As many other buildings, the library was designed by Joze Plecnik, the famous Slovenian architect. His beautiful buildings give something special to the city.
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