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At the turn of the century, many European cities embraced the new art movement called Art Nouveau or secession, that left its mark on art, architecture and design. Ljubljana was no exception, therefore typical secession style can be seen on numerous buildings, all inspired by scenes from nature, religion, folklore and geometry.


In Ljubljana, the majority of Art Nouveau buildings are within the city centre, meaning you don’t have to walk very far. Why don’t you start at Miklošičeva street and work your way down to Prešeren square?

You can start with the Cooperative bank building, that attracts attention immediately. The strong coral red colour adorned with a geometric pattern that reminds me of carnation flowers. There’s a reason it’s one of the most photographed buildings in Ljubljana.

Right next to it, the People’s Loan Bank (the one with Zadružna Zveza sign on it) shines bright with its white façade with blue metal details. Of course, you can’t have a proper Secession building without some statues, so look up, where you’ll see two figures holding a beehive – a symbol of wealth and thriftiness.

My favourite is across the street - the Grand Hotel Union, the city’s first modern hotel. Pretty on the outside, but do check out the interior as well. The etched glass is astounding and the hotel gives that vintage vibe, like you’ve just stepped into a time machine.

At Prešeren Square, you’ll bump into a beautiful Urbanc department store (now called Galerija Emporium). The grand staircase inside is simply remarkable. Can you imagine fancy and wealthy ladies shopping here at the turn of the century?

Another fascinating and colourful building is right across Prešeren Square – the Hauptmann House. Some say this corner building reminds them of the Flat Iron in NYC, however, its green blue and red patterns are without a doubt a lovely example of secession style.

And just a few steps further down the Čopova street, at Municipal Savings Bank (Mestna hranilnica), you’ll find the same motif as you did earlier – an adorable beehive. It’s adorning the bank’s wrought metal sign, along with many metal petals and roses. Did you know this was the first Slovenian banking institution? They don’t put flowers on banks anymore, unfortunately.

So, there you have it, this tiny tour of Ljubljana’s Art Nouveau is perfect for all of you art and architecture enthusiasts. There are many more of course, but I just wanted to point out the most popular ones, plus, they are so densely packed together, you can check them all out, even if you’re in a hurry.

Sorodne zgodbe

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