Jože Plečnik is regarded as the famous pioneer of modern architecture of the 20th century. The most important Slovenian architect was the student of the famous Otto Wagner and spend a number of decades leaving his imprint on the historic cities of Vienna and Prague. His life’s work, spanning from the late 19th century and all the way until the 1950s, is nowhere more evident than in his hometown of Ljubljana, to where the architect returned in 1921. After being offered the position of professor at the newly established university in Ljubljana, he devoted all his creative powers to shaping the city. Plečnik’s Ljubljana, as a unique urban specialty, ranks among the most important integrated works of art
His mark on Ljubljana can be compared to that of Antoni Gaudí on the city of Barcelona. With his work, Plečnik managed to realise his vision to transform a once sleepy little town within the Hapsburg monarchy into the true capital city of Slovenia. Through daring architectural and urban planning projects, he transformed it into a comprehensive piece of art, while keeping in line with the local spirit despite his own excitement over Antiquity. Among the selected works that are important for all mankind are the works created during the interwar period, with which Plečnik tried to shape Ljubljana in a modern way, but following the example of ancient Athens. His style, which is still considered innovative today, is characterized by classic design elements, such as columns, lintels, balustrades and columns, which he reworked and combined in his own way.
His most famous works include the National and University Library, the arrangement of the banks of the Ljubljanica river, especially the Triple Bridge, Cobbler’s Bridge and the Trnovo Pier, the covered market buildings, Križanke Summer Theatre, Žale Cemetery, Bežigrad Stadium and the Church of St. Michael on the Ljubljana Marshes. He also left a distinct mark in the vicinity of Ljubljana, where he renovated a number of buildings and monuments, especially churches, in his recognizable style.
Selected works of Plečnik’s exceptional and creative opus are now also on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List.