Jože Plečnik and His Work


Architect Jože Plečnik



The fasade of the National and University Library, which is considered to be Plečnik's best creation


An aerial view of the Triple Bridge


The conservatory attached to Plečnik's home, which is open to public as part of the Architectural Museum of Ljubljana

The Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik (1872-1957) significantly contributed to the appearance of three Central European cities: Vienna, Prague and Ljubljana. In Vienna, where he studied under Professor Otto Wagner, he distinguished himself with Zacherl Palace (1903-1905), which belongs among the pioneer works of the European Modernist architecture. Having designed a number of family houses, interior decorations, the Fountain of Karl Borromeaus (1906-1909), and finally the Church of the Holy Spirit in the Viennese district of Ottakring (1910-1912), he left Vienna. His works in Prague comprise the redesign of Hradcany Castle and its gardens (1920-1933) and the design of the Church of the Sacred Heart in the Vinohrady district of Prague (1928-1932).

In 1921, when Plečnik returned from Prague, where he had lectured at the School of Arts and Crafts, he devoted his career to urban planning and architecture in Ljubljana. He wanted to design Ljubljana, Slovenian's new capital, on the model of Athens. All of his most significant works except for the Križanke Summer Theatre (Poletno gledališče Križanke), which was built between the years 1952 and 1956, were created between the years 1925 and 1944. Characteristic of his style are Classicist architectural elements such as columns, lintels, balustrades and turrets, which he reworked and combined in a most inventive way. Plečnik's Ljubljana rates among the 20th century's most prominent holistic pieces of art.

In the 1980s, Plečnik's work was presented to the world at his much talked about Paris Exhibition, a retrospective which later toured Ljubljana, Madrid, Vienna, Munich, Krlsruhe, Milan, Venice, New York and Washington. The exhibition, which was set up by the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris in collaboration with the Ljubljana Architectural Museum, was later donated to the city of Ljubljana. Currently it is on view at Fužine Castle (Fužinski grad), the seat of the Ljubljana Architectural Museum.

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