The multitude of his creations in the city, referred to as a whole as "Plečnik's Ljubljana", is considered to be one of the 20th century's most important total works of art.
Ljubljana Plečnik landmarks listed as UNESCO's World Heritage
Ljubljana's landmarks designed by the famous architect Jože Plečnik (1872-1957) have been included in UNESCO's World Heritage List.
In designing Ljubljana, the nation's new capital, Plečnik tried to use modern approaches while modeling the city on ancient Athens. His style, innovative even by today's standards, is characterized by the use of classical architectural elements, such as pillars, lintels, balustrades, and colonnettes, redesigned and combined in the master architect's own special way.
Mostphotos/ Matej Kastelic
The central of the three bridges forming the Triple Bridge has stood in its place since 1842, when it replaced an old, strategically important medieval wooden bridge connecting the north-western European lands with south-eastern Europe and the Balkans. Between 1929 and 1932, the side bridges, intended for pedestrians, were added to the original stone bridge to a design by the architect Jože Plečnik, who thus created a unique architectural gem of Ljubljana.
Plečnik's Covered Market
The so-called 'Plečnik's Covered Market', built to designs by the architect Jože Plečnik between 1940 and 1944, is conceived as a two-storey range of riverside market halls following the curve of the river.
National and University Library
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.
Mostphotos/ Matej Kastelic
The site of the present Cobblers' Bridge, built by the architect Jože Plečnik between 1931 and 1932, was formerly occupied by a covered wooden bridge connecting the Mestni trg and Novi trg squares, two major parts of medieval Ljubljana. The bridge provided space for cobblers' workshops - hence the name Cobblers' Bridge. The characteristic appearance of the Cobblers' Bridge is due to its balustrades with short balusters and tall, different-sized pillars topped with stone balls.
In 1940 Jože Plečnik completed an unconventionally designed funeral home called Žale, which housed Ljubljana's first chapels of rest and was quite unlike any other funeral home of the time. Its name subsequently became the name of the entire cemetery complex. The entrance to the Žale Cemetery is marked by a monumental arch with a two-story colonnade, which symbolically divides the world of the dead from the world of the living. The arch is topped with a double statue of Christ and St. Mary the Protectress.
STO/ Andrej Tarfila
Trnovski pristan embankment
The Trnovski pristan embankment, with its broad stone steps descending towards the river, is a unique architectural creation designed by the famous architect Jože Plečnik.
Trnovo Bridge, built between 1929 and 1932, was at the heart of Jože Plečnik's project of the Gradaščica channel embankments' reconstruction. Trnovo Bridge's other adornments include massive balustrades, two rows of short columns, and Nikolaj Pirnat's stone statue of St. John the Baptist, the patron of the Trnovo Church. The Bridge's most remarkable decorative element are two rows of birch trees planted into the bridge.
Church of St. Michael
The Church of St. Michael, built between 1937 and 1940 at Ljubljana Marshes, belongs among the architect Jože Plečnik's most original creations. It combines the features of Greek temples with those of the churches of the Slovenian Kras region, which are characterized by open belfries as part of their front façades.
Church of St. Francis
The Church of St. Francis (Cerkev sv. Frančiška) was constructed between 1925 and 1927. The central part of the church is covered with a gently sloping roof topped with a belfry added in 1931. The inside of the church is unusual. Its central space is framed by a row of monumental brick columns, on the outer side of which, next to the walls, there is enough space to walk all the way around the central part of the church. The main altar is positioned right next to the colonnade, at a distance from the church wall behind it. It is flanked by side altars, which are also positioned next to the rows of columns.
Mostphotos/ Matej Kastelic
Ljubljanica River Barrier
The length of the Ljubljanica river embankments landscaped by the architect Jože Plečnik extends all the way to the Ljubljanica River Barrier, located by the Cukrarna building, where Plečnik envisaged a monumental triumphal arch in order to symbolically mark the point where the river leaves the city. Plečnik's original designs of the early 1930s were later considerably revised and the Barrier was only built between 1939 and 1944.
Roman town walls in Mirje
In the 1930s, the town wall complex in Mirje was restored to a design by the architect Jože Plečnik. His additions to the surviving Roman walls include a stone pyramid, upward extensions of the walls, the gates to the wall complex, an arched vault covered in stone remains from nearby Roman buildings, and a park inside the walls. Also the colonnade next to the main southern gate is of non-Roman origin.
Kongresni trg square
Discover Ljubljana, the city of the great mind, with a free self-guided audio tour.
Follow in the footsteps of the great master, who turned his hometown into one wholistic work of art. Find out why the city is an urban phenomenon. Make the first move in a free self-guided audio tour and uncover Plečnik's Ljubljana.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if Plečnik had fulfilled all his dreams?
Behold his visions and discover his hidden ambitious plans. Take a walk from the invisible bridge, the mighty magistrate, and the legendary, never-built square, and marvel at what it would be like if he had made it all happen.
The NEXTO Ljubljana app is available free of charge for Android and iOS.
The investment is co-financed by the Republic of Slovenia and the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund.
Take a pleasant guided walk around Ljubljana city centre and get an insight into some of Plečnik's completed projects.
The unique oeuvre of the architect Jože Plečnik
Plečnik left a lasting mark on three central European cities: Vienna, Prague and Ljubljana. According to Friedrich Achleitner, a renowned art critic from Vienna, Plečnik with his singular style may come to be considered an architect of the future.
A distinguished career in Vienna and Prague
In Vienna, where he studied under professor Otto Wagner, Plečnik designed a number of pioneering works of modern architecture. In Prague, he undertook, among other things, the renovation of Prague Castle for use as the presidential residence and relandscaped of the castle gardens.
Ljubljana as a total work of art
Upon returning to Ljubljana in 1921, Plečnik accepted the post of professor at the newly established University of Ljubljana and focused all his creative energies to designing the city. The so called Plečnik's Ljubljana, a unique example of urban planning, is considered to be one of the 20th century's most important total works of art.
Jože Plečnik's best-known works
Plečnik redesigned Ljubljana with consideration to the city's water and land axes. He undertook the building of several of Ljubljana's key buildings and renovation of numerous existing ones.
Plečnik's best known works include the National and University Library building, the Ljubljanica river embankments and bridges, the most notable among the latter being the Triple Bridge and the Cobblers' Bridge, the Central Market, the Križanke Summer Theatre, the Bežigrad Stadium, the funeral home at the Žale cemetery, and the Church of St. Michael in the Marshes.
Plečnik put his own distinctive stamp also on Ljubljana's surrounding areas, where a number of buildings, monuments and churches were renovated in his signature style.