Plečnik’s Ljubljana

Famous architect who left his imprint on Slovenia’s capital and placed it on the UNESCO World Heritage List

By Slovenian Tourist Board

View of the Ljubljana Castle (2017) by James Relf Dyer, Beautiful DestinationsSlovenian Tourist Board

✒️ The work and vision of architect Plečnik ...

... left a unique mark on the image of contemporary Ljubljana. In addition to the Slovenian capital and other towns, Plečnik left a significant mark in wider Europe, for example, in Vienna and Prague, where he also worked from the end of the 19th to the mid-20th century.

Plečniks portrait by iStockSlovenian Tourist Board

From a drop-out to a professor

Plečnik was not the most talented or ambitious of students; he left grammar school early, in his first year, and then toiled in his father’s woodworking workshop in a Ljubljana suburb for several years. He continued his education in Graz, Austria, where he  encountered civil engineering and architecture and proved himself an exceptional draftsman.

Plečniks portrait by iStockSlovenian Tourist Board

Later, he worked as a furniture and interior designer in Vienna and was taken under the wing of the renowned architect Otto Wagner. In 1898, Plečnik completed his studies of architecture at the academy in Vienna as the best student in Professor Wagner’s class and then built a successful career in Vienna and Prague. Among other things, he planned the renovation of Prague Castle and became a professor himself.

Plečniks portrait by iStockSlovenian Tourist Board

In 1921, Plečnik returned to his hometown of Ljubljana and began teaching at the newly established Department of Architecture of the Technical Faculty in Ljubljana. At the same time, his projects began changing the image of Ljubljana from that of a rather sleepy town into a modern capital with a unique architectural character.

... and continue your tour through the town to the master’s famous bridges, such as the Triple Bridge and the Cobblers’ Bridge ...

Ljubljanica with Cobbler Bridge by Andrej TarfilaSlovenian Tourist Board

Walk in Plečnik’s footsteps

Start the walk in Plečnik’s footsteps at Trnovski pristan embankment ... 

Plečnik Ljubljanica Sluice Gate by Miran KambičSlovenian Tourist Board

... all the way to the sluice gate in Poljane.

Ljubljana market by Miran KambičSlovenian Tourist Board

Along the way, you can also admire his other masterpieces, i.e. the Križanke Summer Theatre, the National and University Library, the Central Market and others.

The view of Ljubljana from Ljubljana Castle by Alan KosmačSlovenian Tourist Board

Plečnik’s Ljubljana on the UNESCO World Heritage List

Plečnik’s works are admired by visitors from around the world and, in 2021, his works were entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List under the title "The works of Jože Plečnik in Ljubljana – Human Centred Urban Design" and thus became recognised for their exceptional universal value.

With canoe on Ljubljanica river by Andrej TarfilaSlovenian Tourist Board

1. Town’s water axis

The Ljubljanica River embankments with bridges from the Trnovski pristan embankment to the sluice gate.

2. Town’s land axis

3. Arrangement of the archaeological park

The Roman Wall.

Žale Cemetery - Ljubljana city cemetery by Miran KambičSlovenian Tourist Board

4. Complex of the city of the dead

Plečnik’s Žale Cemetery – Garden of All Saints.

Church of St. Michael by Miran KambičSlovenian Tourist Board

5. Church in a rural suburb

The Church of St. Michael in Črna vas.

Church of St. Francis in Ljubljana's Šiška District by Miran KambičSlovenian Tourist Board

6. Church in a working-class suburb

The Church of St. Francis of Assisi in Šiška.

Plečnik House by Miran KambičSlovenian Tourist Board

Plečnik’s House

A unique insight into the everyday and work of the greatest Slovenian architect is revealed by his house and garden in Ljubljana’s district of Trnovo. A house with a tower, a design which Plečnik had always dreamed about, is today arranged into a museum of his life and work.

In the company of a guide, you can also visit his private quarters: the kitchen where he would make himself a cup of Turkish coffee, an ascetic bedroom, study and architectural studio where many devices, sketches and knick-knacks can still be found on his desk.

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