Baroque Ljubljana

After the favorable end of the Middle Ages, Ljubljana had a lot of problems (diseases, earthquakes, invasions) when entering the new century. Things stabilized in the Baroque, which in the 17th and 18th centuries meant a real boom for Ljubljana. It is also a response to reformation. The members of the Academia operosorum wanted to have a modern city. In Baroque art through ornaments, allegories and illusions attract the observer. Here, mainly in architecture, they relied on Italy, Venice, and Rome (Cathedral). Sacral buildings were mostly built or at least remodeled at that time. City palaces and wells followed. Most of these buildings are within the quarters of medieval Ljubljana. In addition to Plečnik’s works, Baroque is probably the second period that left a big mark on the old town.

Below we will mention the most striking examples of Baroque buildings in Ljubljana. We will start in the medieval squares and continue in the city center and in the end, add those buildings out of the city center.

Cathedral st. Nicholas (Miklavž)

The Ljubljana Cathedral was built at the beginning of the 18th century according to the plans of Andrea Pozzo on the site where the churches had been for 450 years. Almost 150 years later, it got a dome. Inside and outside we can found the works of great artists from different periods: 18th century Giulio Quaglio – illusionist painting of the ceiling, Francesco Robba and Giuseppe Groppelli marble statues of cherubs, Angelo Putti – statues of bishops of Ljubljana; 19th-century Matevž Langus – painting in the dome; 20th-century Jože Plečnik – the bishop’s throne, the main Slovenian gate – Tone Demšar, the side Ljubljana gate – Mirsad Begić, windows Ivan Vurnik and Stane Kregar. Definitely a cultural monument worth a visit, that at first glance does not fascinate because it is sandwiched among other buildings.


Theological seminary with library

Right next to the cathedral is a theological seminary built according to the plans of the architect Carlo Martinuzzi in the early 18th century. Today, there is a covered market on the ground floor. On the upper floors, the seminary today only offers housing for theologians and leadership. In the southwestern part, there is another pearl, the Seminary Library. The four sections house over 80,000 books, the oldest manuscript dating back to the 12th century. Here, too, a huge number of artists have left their mark; ceiling painting by Giulio Quaglio, carpenter Joseph Wergant made shelves, portal by Luka Mislej, Chapel of the Immaculate Conception (painting of the Immaculate Conception, 1768 Augustin pl. Dahlstein, Stane Kregar – stained glass). For visit, it is necessary to make an appointment in advance.


Town Hall – Rotovž – Magistrate

The first town hall was probably in the vicinity of Pod Trančo Street in the Middle Ages. It was moved to its present location in 1484 and acquired its Baroque form in the period 1717-1719 (Gregor Maček). At the end of the century, two adjoining houses are added to it. To this day, it has undergone several interior renovations, most recently in 1995. Interesting details are the Venetian-style façade, the clock tower, the arcaded courtyard with the Narcissus Fountain (Robba), the statue of Hercules, the Great Meeting, Wedding and Banquet Halls. On Saturdays, you can visit the town hall accompanied by a guide, and on other days you can access the atrium, where exhibitions are usually hosted.

mestna hiša
town hall

Fountain of the three Carniolan rivers – Robba’s fountain

The marble fountain by Francesco Robbe from 1751 is the most beautiful fountain and probably among the most recognizable symbols of the city. The well of the three Carniolan rivers represents the Sava, Ljubljanica, and Krka rivers. Artist got his idea from Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers of the World. The ground plan is a three-leaf clover, representing three medieval town squares. Among the residents, he is better known by the author as Robba’s Fountain. A replica has been on the market since 2008, and the original is in the lobby of the National Gallery. As a curiosity, all the statues have a ring and a middle finger on their hands together, even on the fountain in the town hall – this was the author’s signature.

robbov vodnjak
robba’s well

Baroque Palace Town Square 10

At the address, Mestni trg 10 is one of the most beautiful examples of baroque palaces in our country. In addition to the facade, there is a beautiful inner atrium with an arcaded staircase

Baroque Ljubljana 1

Erberg house

There is another example of Baroque architecture at Stari trg 9

Schweiger house

Schweiger’s house on Stari trg 11a is a baroque palace with a richly decorated façade, rebuilt in the middle of the 18th century according to the plans of Candid Zulliani. The figure of the Silent (German Schweiger) above the façade comes from the surname of the then-owner.

shwaigerjeva hiša
shwaigerjeva hiša

Stična mansion

On Stari trg 34 is an early Baroque mansion, which was originally the residence of the abbots of the Stična monastery. The facade was remodeled in the 18th century. Today, the Academy of Music in Ljubljana is located there.

stiški dvorec
Stična Mansion

Hercules’ Fountain

The Hercules Fountain is located at the crossroads of Gornji and Stari trg. The Baroque fountain has been withdrawn and the statue of Hercules is currently in the Town Hall. 30 years ago, a new interpretation of the Baroque predecessor was erected on the basis of the original statue under the direction of Marko Mušič.

Church of St. Jacob

On Levstik Square stands the Church of St. James from the beginning of the 17th century on the site where the church was already in the Middle Ages. Among the more important works are the altar and furnishings in the chapels, the work of Francesco Robb and other Baroque sculptors. The subsequently added chapel of St. Francis Xavier boasts rich stucco. The entrance portal was made by Luka Mislej. After the earthquake of 1895, one bell tower replaced the previous two.

cerkev svetega Jakoba
cerkev svetega Jakoba

Church of St. Florian

This church on the Upper Square was erected after the great fire of 1660 and is dedicated to St. Florian. Two chapels were later added to the one-room nave. More well-known equipment is the statue of Janez Nepomuk (Robba) and the statue of St. Charlemagne. Plečnik rearranged the church in 1933.

cerkev svetega Florijana
cerkev svetega Florijana

Church of the Cross

According to the plans of Domenico Martinelli and Domenico Rossi, the Church of Mary Help of Christians was built inside Križanke complex in the early 18th century. The quadrangular ground plan in the shape of a Greek cross and the monumental façade is certainly interesting. The equipment came mainly from Vienna, the altars are the work of Marco Prodi, and the paintings by Martin Altomonte: St. Yuri in the fight with the dragon and Anton Schoonjans: St. Elizabeth of Hungary distributes alms to the poor.

križevniška cerkev
križevniška cerkev

Auerspergova palace

The Auerspergs were one of the richest families in Carniola. In the middle of the 17th century, they built their palace on the site of medieval houses. It got its classicist façade in the 19th century. Today it is home to the City Museum of Ljubljana. Remains of a road from Roman Emona can also be seen in the basement.

Gruberjeva palača
Gruberjeva palača

Neptune’s Fountain

It is the early Baroque fountain of the sculptor Janez Khumersteiner, which initially stood in front of the town hall until it was replaced by Robb’s Fountain. Today, it actually consists of parts from three fountains and is placed at the intersection of Slandrova and Gosposka streets.

Gruber palace

Gruber is best known for the canal that saved Ljubljana from floods in the 18th century. He also built this important facility. On three floors there used to be workshops, classrooms, a library, apartments, an astronomical observatory. Today, the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia are here. The rich decoration around windows and the portal is already a precursor to Rococo. Of particular interest is the oval staircase decorated with stucco, and a beautiful painting at the top.

Gruberjeva palača
Gruber palace

Church of Holly Trinity

To the north, Congress Square is closed by the magnificent facade of the Church of the Holy Trinity. Next to the church is a monastery, which had a beautiful garden later built with buildings around the Republic Square. The church was built in the early 18th century under the patronage of Jacob Schell according to the plans of Carlo Martinuzzi, who sought inspiration in the works of Francesco Borromini. As a curiosity, the church is not painted. Important works include paintings by Jacopo Palm the Younger from the 17th century, the large altar by Francesco Robba, the side altar by Henrik M. Löhr from the 18th century, the bell tower from the 19th century, and the Plečnik staircase from the 20th century.

uršulinska cerkev
uršulinska cerkev

Church of the Annunciation

The Church of the Annunciation stands out on Prešeren Square. The church was built in the middle of the 17th century and the facade at the end of the century. Among the most important works in the church is Robba’s main altar from the 18th century, frescoes by Matevž Langus 19th century, ceiling painting by Matej Sternen, and a cross in the chapel from Plečnik in the 20th century, and a large copper statue of Mary above the facade.

cerkev Marijinega oznanenja
cerkev Marijinega oznanenja

Franciscan monastery

The monastery stands next to the above-mentioned church. The Franciscans at this place succeed the Augustinians in the 18th century, where their provinces are also located. The monastery has played many roles in history from high school to hospital. The monastery hides a beautiful garden and another rich monastery library.

Church of St. Petra

The Baroque church from the 18th century was built according to the plans of Carlo Martinuzzi on the site where the church was already in the 12th century. The three-nave basilica with a dome and 2 bell towers has rich Baroque furnishings, frescoes on the ceiling by Franc Jelovšek, altar paintings by Valentin Metzinger, wooden statues of two angels Henrik Mihael Löhr, the pulpit of Carl Bombasi. Before the Second World War, the Vurnik couple took part in the renovation.

cerkev svetega petra
cerkev svetega petra

Cekin castle

The mansion was built in Tivoli in the middle of the 18th century according to the plans of Johann Georg Schmidt. The rectangular building is set on a hill, the façade is rich and dissected, and above the entrance is a balcony accessed from a painted knight’s hall. Today there is the Museum of Recent History.

Church of the Visitation of Mary

The church stands on Cankarjev vrh on hill Rožnik, which is a popular excursion point. Today’s church was built in the 18th century and replaced the 200-year-old predecessor according to the plans of Candid Zulliani. The equipment is a century younger. The church is visible from the southern part of Ljubljana.

Sela Palace

In the second half of the 18th century, a mansion was built by order of the then owner Jožef Desselbruner in the suburbs, today the quarter Moste. The building has two floors, 15 lines of windows, and a beautiful entrance portal. Throughout history, it has been a sacral, military, and school building. Today there are clinics there.

Church of St. Stefan

In the Ljubljana settlement of Štepanja vas there is a baroque church of St. Stefan, which was built at the end of the 17th century. The church is adorned with the sign of the tomb from the 17th century and Šubič’s painting The Stoning of St. Stephen.

Church of St. Rok

In the part of the city of Dravlje, there is the church of St. Rok, the protector against the plague, which was built in 1730. An interesting bell tower was built above the entrance and the main altar of Matej Tomac from the 19th century. Once a pilgrimage center, today they have a blessing on the feast of St. Rok.

Demolished buildings

The Count’s Palace and Kosler’s Palace are two Baroque buildings, which unfortunately don’t exist anymore, but are still worth mentioning. The palace of the Augsperg princes was damaged after the earthquake of 1895 and later also demolished. NUK (National and University Library) is now located on the site where the Palace once stood. Kosler’s Palace stood on today’s Slovenska street in front of the Consortium and was demolished after the Second World War due to traffic needs on the then Titova street.

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  1. XRumerTest says:

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