Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Plecnik - Ljubljana's Greatest Architect

Here in Ljubljana, you may notice that many buildings have the same classic style of Greek columns and Egyptian pyramids. That is because classic style lover, Plecnik, designed many buildings in the city and became Ljubljana's greatest architect.

When we came to Ljubljana, my Mom had heard that you could take a tour of Plecnik's former house (it is now a museum). After we went, we saw a brochure map of some of the buildings he designed and Mom thought it would be fun to map out a route and do a tour of all of Plecnik's designs throughout the Old City. Siena and I were made tour guides and we planned out the 10 structures in the Old City and the route to them all.

We will now begin our tour, starting with Cobblers Bridge. Cobblers Bridge was given the name because when it was created, three cobblers lived right next to the bridge. Plecnik designed it as you can see; notice the traditional columns lining the rails of the bridge!

We will now be moving on to the Ljubljana University and National Library. Ljubljana has been well known for their high - quality education. The main university building was not designed by Plecnik but the amazing library a block away is. On the inside, there are many stone columns lining the walls and floor. Plecnik's two favorite materials were stone and wood and they are highly exhibited in his designs. On to the St. Ursuline academy!

The St. Ursuline Academy was a former academy belonging to the church of the same name. It was designed by Plecnik, not even a block away from the church itself. It is now called the Joze Plecnik High School to honor the designer of the building. We will now be moving onto Congress Square in front of the St. Ursuline Church.

Congress Square is not much of a square. It is mostly a small park like area in the midst of a parking lot. All around are randomly placed elegant columns and a great many trees. Congress Square was designed by Plecnik but it is one of his lesser known designs. We will now be leaving the area to move to our next destination.

~Written by Avocet

We are now standing in front of the ampitheater. You may not be able tell if the ampitheater was designed by Plecnik, because we are not allowed to go inside of it. Most of this street where the ampitheater is located was designed by Plecnik. Plecnik never had a car so he designed the sidewalks and streets for walking. Every corner and edge is modeled exactly for the pedestrian. On to Levstikov Trg - a square!!

Levostikov Trg is a tiny little square that has a fountain. The fountain may be designed by Plecnik as well because, it has a column in the middle of the statues. The square is shaped in traditional Egyptian design with three streets coming together in a graceful triangle, to form the square. My Mom says it gives her a peaceful feeling when she's there. Come on, we have to get to Triple Bridge!!!

Triple Bridge is three bridges right next to each other. The middle bridge is the wide bridge and the two bridges on the sides are skinny. It is the widest bridge because it used to be for cars - not people. Actually, the middle bridge was originally there and Plecnik's design turned it into Triple Bridge. You may notice that in between the two railings there are small little columns. To get back to our apartment, we usually take the middle bridge but sometimes we take the other two. On some nights we will also walk a little further and take Dragon Bridge, which is where we are heading right now.

Plecnik didn't design Dragon Bridge but he did design the Dragons on it!! The bronze Dragons that stand proudly on both sides of the bridge representing their city are very well designed by Plecnik. It is surprising that the dragons are bronze because Plecnik usually worked with wood, stone, or concrete. The dragon is the crest of Ljubljana because legend says that when Jason and the Argonouts were sailing down the Ljublianica river, they slayed the dragon that lived in the river. Almost all of the souvenirs have a dragon on it and there are also dragon stuffed animals. Time to see the indoor market!!

The indoor market is in classical style which is no suprise because Plecnik designed it as well. It is nicely done with columns in front, and the wideness of the building offers lots of ways to take a great picture. It is a very beautiful building with lots of intricate designs and the food you can get from there is great!! It is a very nice building to see from far away and it makes great postcard pictures. If you want to know more about the indoor market, please refer to my other blog, THE MARKET- AWESOME STUFF FOR CHEAP PRICES.

I hoped you enjoyed the tour and we hope you come again!! Remember, if you want to spot a Plecnik building or structure just look for classic style. You can also go to Plecniks former house to see how he designed his house and you can learn more about him from your tour guide. If you have any compliments or complaints on our tour please write them in the comment box. Thank you!

~Written by Siena

1 comment:

Aunt D said...

Avocet and Siena,

It certainly appears as if you have a future as Architects or Architect Historians.

I really enjoyed the architectural tour of Plecnik's Ljubljana! Thank you.