National and University Library

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The National and University Library, whose archives contain, among other things, a rich collection of medieval manuscripts, incunabula and Renaissance prints, was built between 1936 and 1941 to designs by Jože Plečnik. It is considered to be the architect's most important work in Slovenia.

It stands on the site of the former Ducal Court (Knežji dvorec), a 17th-century Baroque palace destroyed in the earthquake of 1895. The building's exterior reflects Italian influences. Its characteristic façade, combining bricks and stone blocks in variable finishes, was modelled on Zuccari Palace (Palazzo Zuccari) in Rome. Each of the two handles on the main entrance door is decorated with a head of Pegasus, a winged horse symbolically guiding visitors to the realm of knowledge.

From the vestibule, a door leads to the famous monumental central staircase with 32 pillars of black Podpeč marble and further on to the library's grand reading room. The reading room's most outstanding details are Plečnik's chandeliers and a couple of glass walls allowing light to reach wooden reader desks and books from two sides.

The Library's side entrance is surmounted by a bronze statue of Moses by the Slovenian sculptor Lojze Dolinar. To indicate the course of the Roman and medieval town walls which ran alongside the Library building and continued alongside the Glasbena Matica building across the street, Plečnik erected a line of monuments to famous Slavicists and Slovenian composers.

Opening hours

NUK tourist tours

Mon-Fri* (free entry)                                                                    10:00-18:00
Saturday** (entrance fee €5, children under 15 have free entry)      14:30-18:00

Sunday and public holidays                                                              no tours

* The entry is free. You can visit the central staircase with the hall and the exhibition of Plečnik's library: created for all times.
** Entrance fee: €5 (children up to 15 years of age have free entry). You can see the central staircase with the hall and the Great Reading Room.

A group of tourists must register in advance to visit the NUK during the week (Monday-Friday) at: Registration is not required on Saturday.

Admission fee

Prices for reading room visit:

  • Adults: €5 (for children under 15 free of charge)


Turjaška ulica 1 1000 Ljubljana

Phone: +386 (0)1 200 12 09

Website: National and University Library

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