EX-YU artists

Traces of the artists from Ex-Yugoslavia in elite culture of Ljubljana

We will take you in the footsteps of sculptors and architects from the former Yugoslavia that worked in Slovenia’s capital in the 20th and 21st century. Some of the most distinctive statues and buildings in Ljubljana were created by artists from the former common country. Following the works of five architects and sculptors - Jurij Zaninović, Josip Vancaš, Mirsad Begić, Jakov Brdar and Josip Costaperaria - we will show you how the architecture and sculptures and Ljubljana itself have changed from Austro-Hungarian period until today.

Duration: 120 min

Guide: Danijel Osmanagić. D. Osmanagić, M.A. in History and Political Sciences, has been a tour guide since 2012. He was born in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one year after the 1984 Winter Olympics in the country and lives in Ljubljana since 2003.

5 Chosen points

1. Ivan Hribar was the mayor of Ljubljana from 1896 to 1910. 60 years later, a talented student from Bosnia, Mirsad Begić, moved to Ljubljana. Over time, he became one of the most prominent local sculptors. Destiny brought Hribar and Begić together in 2010 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of Hribar’s term as the mayor of Ljubljana. This was marked by Begić's immortalization of Hribar by making a statue of him on the shore of Ljubljanica.

2. One of the most distinguishable features of Ljubljana, the Dragon Bridge (Zmajski most), was created by Jurij Zaninović, a Dalmatian architect from the city of Split, after the great Ljubljana earthquake. Although Zaninović died far away from here (in Buenos Aires) the memory of him remains in Ljubljana because he gave the city one of the most beautiful Secession style bridges in Central Europe.

3. The construction of the Butcher's Bridge (Mesarski most) next to Ljubljana's central market was one of unfulfilled desires by Jože Plečnik, the greatest Slovenian architect. When it was finally built in 2010, more than half a century after Plečnik's death, it was decorated with bronze statues by Jakov Brdar, a sculptor from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The statues of Prometheus, Satire and Adam and Eve are one of the final works of Brdar, who’s sculptures adorn the capital dating from the time of Slovene independence onwards.

4. Just like many other fine architects from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a Sarajevo architect Josip Vancaš was brought to Ljubljana by the earthquake that struck the city in 1895. Vancaš used the years of restoration and renovation to build the most modern hotel in Carniola at the time – the Union Hotel. At the time of opening it was the largest building in Ljubljana.

5. Josip Costaperaria moved to Ljubljana after World War I. In the early 1920’s he imagined a multi-purpose building - at the time a rarity in Yugoslavia. City Palace, the Ljubljanski dvor, formally opened in 1925. It provided a café, bank, supermarket, residential apartments and business spaces, and it even housed a cinema hall. Unfortunately, the building was intended only for Ljubljana's upper-class residents.

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