Take the bicycle tour through Plečnik’s Ljubljana

by Eva Gale

If you love architecture and if you love biking, then continue reading. I've got a fabulous idea on how to spend time in Ljubljana actively, see architectural gems and learn something on the way. It’s called the Plečnik bike tour, which will take you all over Ljubljana, where you’ll meet works from the city’s favourite architect.

I’ve already written a short love story about bicycling in Ljubljana and how great it is. Ljubljana is mostly flat and super pocket sized, so you won’t sweat too much on your trip.

And because I know how much you love to learn about architecture, here’s my cool tip. How about taking a bike tour around Ljubljana and visit all the masterpieces made by our city’s favourite architect, Jože Plečnik? He really did change the way we see and feel our city today and left an unbelievable mark. I love how his style is so obvious and typical. If you see a building that feels like Plečnik, then it’s probably Plečnik. Look for numerous collumns, arches or anything that reminds you of Ancient Greece. It’s very likely they were built by Plečnik.

Even Plečnik would take the bicycle tour

You start at the Slovenian Tourist Information Centre, you get a cool bike and a helmet if you wish. The tour takes approximately three hours and you see and learn a lot in this time. Just bring a bottle of water with you, in case you get thirsty.

You continue to the well-known, iconic (and my favourite) Triple Bridge. Because why build one bridge, if you can build three? You then make your way to the northern part of Ljubljana, where you’ll visit the remarkable and peaceful Žale cemetery. Remember the columns I mentioned earlier? The monumental arch at the entrance is full of them. I dare you to count them all.

You will also visit another neighbourhood – Šiška and its Church of St. Francis. You can’t really miss the cone shaped roof and the inside is unusual too. The altar is positioned much closer to the congregants and that huge chandelier truly fascinated me.

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What is not unusual is to take a break after cycling around Ljubljana. You will stop at the National and University Library (remember to check out the windows on the building – do they remind you of something?) where you’ll sit down at a library café and have some herb tea (just like Plečnik drank!) and a cookie similar to gingerbread or lebkuchen. The tea is very refreshing and the cookie was one of the best I’ve ever had. Some of the herbs are actually from the garden at the Plečnik House, which is the next stop on your tour.

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Hi, is Plečnik home?

Sorry, Plečnik passed away in 1957, but his belongings are still with us. His sketches, his tools and models, even cups of coffee and cigarette cases. His creative mess is now all a part of an exhibition in his house in Trnovo neighbourhood. You’ll love the little quirks that are so typical of Plečnik, like his DIY tea kettle in his reception room or the lamp on a pulley above his bed. Quirky, but clever. You get a glimpse of how busy his lifestyle was and how he took his privacy seriously. But to be frank, that quirky, bearded man made Ljubljana what it is today and wouldn’t be the same without his visions and original approach.

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Eva Gale

Eva is a true Ljubljana fan and a city explorer. Loves urban art, galleries and cheap lunch places. 

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