Jože Plečnik in Ljubljana

Photo of a chair designed by Jože Plečnik in the Plečnik House museum

Jože Plečnik was an extremely interesting architect born in Ljubljana in 1872. He was a student of Otto Wagner in Vienna in the 1890s and worked with Wagner on some of his most famous projects including the Vienna Stadtbahn. The photo above is a chair he designed that you can see in the Plečnik House museum, it looks a little like him! (As I said, interesting guy.)

Plečnik is one of those architects whose work you notice and think, hmm, that’s an interesting building, I wonder who the architect was. In Vienna this has happened to me with two of his three buildings the fascinating Holy Spirit Church (Zum Heiliegen Kirche) and the Zachlerhaus, a mixed-use building in the centre.

At the Plečnik House museum in Ljubljana I also learned he was the architect responsible for remodeling Prague Castle for the new democratic government after the fall of the Hapsburg Empire.

The Plečnik House museum is a small exhibition space with information about his life and buildings, connected with the house he built for himself in central Ljubljana when he returned to teach architecture in the 1930s. It’s a great way to learn about Plečnik as preparation for walking around Ljubljana looking at his buildings.

There are two parts to the museum: the exhibition area and a guided tour of his house. Both are well worth your while because you’ll learn a lot about the architect himself seeing how he lived and from your tour guide’s description.

I was lucky when I visited because there was also an exhibition titled Plečnik: Metropolis, Place, Garden at the City Museum of Ljubljana for the Jože Plečnik 150th anniversary celebration. The museum’s permanent collection is also very interesting and worth a visit especially for city history fans.

I was also able to visit several of Jože Plečnik’s building projects: the riverbank architecture including the triple bridge, cobbler’s bridge and covered market, the university library, and St. Bartholomew’s Church. The city of Ljubljana has a nice webpage listing 10 Masterpieces of Jože Plečnik.

Ljubljana is a wonderful city to visit and learning about Jože Plečnik’s architecture was fascinating. Well worth a trip!

Andy Nash

January 31, 2023


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