Vurnik House, or the Cooperative Business Bank building, is possibly the most colorful building in Ljubljana. The structure was finished in 1922 and is the product of architect Ivan Vurnik’s quest to find a distinctive Slovenian architectural style. The exterior of the building was originally painted by Vurnik’s wife, Helena, who incorporated the Slovenian tricolor with motifs of carnations and Slovenian landscapes into the house’s facade.
National and University Library
The National and University Library is one of the most significant works of famous Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik. The building is considered one of the country’s most important educational institutions and houses over 2.6 million books. Though the architecture of the building follows the rules of Renaissance architecture, Plečnik also added antique style columns in the lobby. The Library’s noticeable facade is a combination of stone and recycled bricks from demolished houses in Ljubljana. With this building, Jože Plečnik succeeded in his plan to design the national house of knowledge.
Though parliament structures are commonly old historic buildings, Slovenian parliament is an exception to the rule. The modern parliament building was built in 1959 and was designed by architect Vinko Glanz. This rectangular building is modeled after the buildings of classical antiquity and traces of realism are incorporated into the design. The magnificent two-story entrance portal of the building portrays an allegory of the working people and is a result of a collaboration between sculptors Zdenko Kalin and Karel Putrih.
Cathedral of St. Nicholas
The first church to stand in this area was a Romanesque style church, built in the thirteen century. The church burned down in a fire and a gothic style church was built on the ruins. The newly built church also burned down and the current Cathedral of St. Nicholas with chapels was built on top of it in 1706, following the designs of architect Andrea Pozzo. The baroque style of the cathedral can be seen it its architecture and in its interior decor. The last alteration of the Cathedral of St. Nicholas was an addition of bronze doors, to commemorate the 1250th anniversary of Christianity in Slovenia.
Nebotičnik is one of the architectural icons of Ljubljana. When built in 1931, Nebotičnik was the highest building in Yugoslavia and the seventh tallest building in Europe. Reaching seventy meters in the sky, the building was designed to house shops, restaurants, and residential apartments. The modern amenities of the time such as fast lifts, air-conditioning, and central heating, made Nebotičnik, designed by Vladimir Šubic, a symbol of the progressive city of Ljubljana. The café and restaurant on the top of Nebotičnik offer stunning views reaching all the way to the Alps on a clear day.
The renovation of Križanke, one of Ljubljana’s most popular concert venues was Jože Plečnik’s last work. From the thirteenth century up until the mid-twentieth century, the building was a convent for priests and seminarians. After WWII, the building was renovated and turned into a music venue. In his design, Plečnik was inspired by Renaissance architectural style. The renovated Križanke building was a concert venue suitable for small events. After Plečnik’s death, his students Anton Bitenc and Viktor Molk, added a larger summer theater in the old convent garden. Today, this unique venue hosts diverse musical and theatrical performances.
The beautiful building of Ljubljana Town Hall was originally built in the fifteenth century and was later renovated in 1791 as a part of the comprehensive renovation of the Mestni Square. The building and its clock tower are the most beautiful examples of Ljubljana’s architectural baroque style. Ljubljana Town Hall now houses the seat of the Municipality of Ljubljana and tours of the building are available upon request.
Most castles in Slovenia are located on a hill, and Ljubljana Castle is no exception. Historical evidence shows that Ljubljana Castle was first built in the twelfth century as a wooden and stone structure. Throughout history, several buildings were added to the castle and created the structure we know today. Stunning views of Ljubljana and its surroundings from the viewing tower, and the fascinating history of the building are reasons why Ljubljana Castle is Ljubljana’s main attraction.
Franciscan Church of the Annunciation
The Franciscan Church of the Annunciation and the adjacent Franciscan Monastery are located in Prešeren Square. The red color on their facade makes the buildings the most noticeable attractions in the area. The church was first built in the seventeenth century and was later rebuilt in the baroque style in the nineteen century. The interior of the church was damaged during Ljubljana’s destructive earthquake in 1896, and new frescos were painted in 1936, by Slovenian painter Matej Sternen. The copper statue of St. Mary on the church’s roof is the biggest statue of Madonna in Ljubljana.