An architect who made Ljubljana distinctly attractive

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In 2017 Ljubljana will celebrate a Year of Jože Plečnik. The most notable Slovenian architect was born in 1872- 145 yrs ago and he died in 1957- 60 yrs ago.

The architect Jože Plečnik was a special man. As many genies of the world, was not well accepted in an ordinary school. Thanks to a Maecenas- his brother, he became one of the most extraordinary world architects and artists.

Jože Plečnik was born in Ljubljana, today's capital of Slovenia, at his time the capital of Capital of Carniola- a county of Austrian- Hungarian Monarchy. After his unseccucessful schooling, he worked at his father's workshop. His brother admired his precise drawings and noticed a great talent in his brother's hands. He presented Jože's work to at that time the most notable professor Otto Wagner in Vienna. He prooved the talent, but he demanded extra schooling and hard work from him. For Jože that was not a problem: silent and hard working by his nature he followed the master's instructions easily.

In the year 1898 he finished studies as the best student at Otto Wagner School. The price was enviable: an almost one year travel through France and Italy. Italian cities were a wonderland to Jože: so many antique attractions and renessance beauties that no eye can absorbe. Jože's notes were packed and his head was full of ideas. When he came back to Vienna he bursted out ideas, not allways accepted well by a traditional environmet. But he was well recognised by Check's President Masaryk and his daughter Alicia. He was allowed to modernize Hradcany Palace in Prague, what can be admired still nowadays.

In Year 1921 he got a tempting invitation from his birth town Ljubljana: a post of the main proffessor at newly established Technical Faculty at Slovenia's University. After that started his time in Ljubljana. Jože never liked a lot modern acquirements: bicycles or cars. He was to deep in a brown study. While he walked to work or to meet some colleagues, he allways observed, what all the city would make even more comfortable to a human being. He suggested many projects, some of them were made already in his time: Three Brideges, Market, Cobbler's Bridge, Trnovo Bridge, National and University Library, Cementary Žale, Summer Theatre Križanke, Franciscan Church in Šiška and St Michael's Church in Črna vas and many others. When he died in 1957 he left many more planns in his archive and some of them a still followed at today's modernisation of Ljubljana.

His work was rewarded by Prešeren's Prize in 1948 but than somehow forgotten by a comunist regime until in year 1986 was brought to live again with an exibition at Georges Pompidou Center in Paris. We are very proud of him and sometimes we present his work as he would be the only architect in our place. Far away from that, but certainly he was the one who has shown to us that we have to persist in our individuality, but always with a consideration that we are just sent here to make the world better and more beautiful.

He was a very devoted man the most important for him was to live in a corelation with a catholic faith. When he was asked, how come, he can make so many extraordinary works, his only answer was: »I am just a pen in God's hands

Discover the misterious life of Jože Plečnik on one of our City guided tours: walking tour or on a day exploration . If you would like to reveal the life of Jože Plečnik more intensly, we invite you to join our guide/driver and to visit neighbouring towns on a half day or full day tour

Just contact us, we will be more than happy to be a part of your Jože Plečnik local story.

Author: Mateja 

Translated by: Staša 

Jože Plečnik in Ljubljana 



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