Jože Plečnik (1872-1957) was a renowned Slovenian architect, who transformed Ljubljana. Between the 1920s and 1940s the city of Ljubljana underwent considerable changes in architecture, landscape planning and design, under the influence and direction of Jože Plečnik. He designed the city in a way that reinforced its best qualities, in the process he reinterpreted celebrated architectures of the past, which resulted in unique architecture and planning solutions. He spent nearly two decades on comprehensive planning, and devised and proposed myriad landscape solutions, bridges, squares, parks and other public spaces. The result is a city where every space has something to offer; whether it’s beautiful bridges, green spaces, markets, amazing architecture, or just a shady place to sit, have a coffee and watch Ljubljanians, mainly on bicycles, go by.
The Ljubljanica River was, together with Green promenade, transformed into one of Ljubljana’s central urban motifs, different buildings and spaces were interconnected. Photos of Plečnik’s work on this page are the Ljubljanica river embankments, the Triple Bridge and Cobblers’ Bridge.
Cobblers’ Bridge, built between 1931 and 1932, was formerly occupied by a covered wooden bridge connecting the Mestni trg and Novi trg squares, two major areas of medieval Ljubljana. The bridge provided space for cobblers’ workshops, hence the name Cobblers’ Bridge.
The Triple Bridge, originally called Špital (Hospital) Bridge, was built as a single span in 1842, between 1929 and 1932 Jože Plečnik added the two pedestrian side bridges, furnished all three with stone balustrades and lamps, and forced a name change. Stairways on each of the side bridges lead down to the poplar-lined terraces along the Ljubljanica River.
The Robba Fountain, one of Ljubljana’s best known Baroque monuments, also known as The Fountain of Three Carniolan Rivers, stands at the edge of the Mestni trg square. It was created between 1743 and 1751 by the Venetian-born sculptor and architect Francesco Robba (1698-1757), who spent most of his life in Ljubljana and is considered to be the city’s greatest Baroque master sculptor working in stone. The Robba Fountain is modelled on famous Roman fountains. The sculptures of three river gods adorning it are believed to represent three Carniolan rivers: the Sava, the Ljubljanica and the Krka. The Fountain’s ground plan is shaped in the form of Ljubljana’s ancient three-leaf town seal. The Fountain of Three Carniolan Rivers was Robba’s last work in Ljubljana, while he was sculpting it, he became poor and as soon as the work was finished he moved to Zagreb.
Hauptmann House was built in 1873 and was one of the city’s few buildings to survive the great earthquake of 1895 almost unharmed. After the earthquake, it was bought by the local paint merchant Adolf Hauptmann, who commissioned the architect Ciril Metod Koch to redesign the facade and roof. The house was rebuilt in 1904 in the Viennese Secession style, fashionable at the time. The facade was decorated with a geometric pattern of coloured ceramic tiles in contrasting green, blue and red tones.
Vurnik House, also known as the Cooperative Business Bank building, located in the Miklošičeva ulica street, is one of Ljubljana’s most famous buildings. Despite being situated in a brightly coloured Art Nouveau quarter, its richly decorated facade makes it stand out from the surrounding buildings. Built in 1921 to a design by the architect Ivan Vurnik, it is considered to be one of the finest examples of Slovenian national style architecture.
The Franciscan Monastery and the Church of the Annunciation are situated in Prešernov trg square, the central square in Ljubljana. A public space of understated elegance that links the Centre district and the Old Town and is also the city’s favourite meeting point. Taking pride of place is the Prešeren monument 1905, erected in honour of Slovenia’s greatest poet, France Prešeren, 1800–49.