Historic Buildings Walking Tour, Ljubljana

Historic Buildings Walking Tour (Self Guided), Ljubljana

The Slovenian capital Ljubljana is known for its beautiful historical buildings. Over the years, the city has accumulated an extensive collection of architectural monuments. The city's architectural landscape got a major uplift in the beginning of the 20th century when the famous Solvenian architect, Jože Plečnik, a classicist, tried to model the city on ancient Athens.

Take this self-guided walking tour to see some of Ljubljana's most prominent historical landmarks.
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Historic Buildings Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Historic Buildings Walking Tour
Guide Location: Slovenia » Ljubljana (See other walking tours in Ljubljana)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Author: Tom
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Ljubljana Central Pharmacy
  • Stolnica Svetega Nikolaja (Ljubljana Cathedral)
  • Ljubljana Town Hall
  • Kresija Palace (Kresija Palace)
  • Šentflorjanska Cerkev (St. Florian's Church)
  • Šentjakobska Cerkev (St. Jacob's Church)
  • Križanke Cerkev (Our Lady of Mercy Church)
  • National and University Library of Slovenia
  • Slovenian Philharmonic
  • Slovenska Matica (Slovene Society)
  • Cerkev Svete Trojice (Holy Trinity Church)
  • Ljubljana Opera House
Ljubljana Central Pharmacy

1) Ljubljana Central Pharmacy

The Ljubljana Central Pharmacy is one of the most prominent buildings at Preseren Square, the central square of the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. It is also known as Mayer Palace or Preseren Square 5 Palace.

The Neo-Renaissance building was designed in 1896–97 by Ferdinand Hauser and was built before the end of the century by Gustav Tönnies, whereas the façade was carried out by Filip Supančič. Until World War II, the building also housed a cafe, Preseren Cafe, named after the poet France Preseren (1800–1849). Today it houses the city's central pharmacy.
Stolnica Svetega Nikolaja (Ljubljana Cathedral)

2) Stolnica Svetega Nikolaja (Ljubljana Cathedral) (must see)

This location has hosted a church since the 13th century. The original church was built in the Romanesque style. Ljubljana Cathedral was refurbished several times before it was destroyed by fire in 1469.

A new Baroque cathedral was designed and completed in 1706. The cathedral features an octagonal dome and two belfries. One of the tower's bells dates to 1326. The gable between the belfries was built in 1989 to replace the original Baroque gable destroyed in an 1895 earthquake.

The cathedral's facade features various statues of bishops and saints. Niches feature Baroque frescoes. Visitors will find a sundial on the southern side.

Bronze entrance doors were created to celebrate Pope John Paul II's visit in 1996. The front door is known as the Slovene Door and features a relief created to celebrate 1,250 years of Christianity in the area. The side door is known as the Ljubljana Door and is decorated with portraits of 20th century Ljubljana bishops.

The cathedral's interior features original Baroque frescoes. The right-hand side altar angels were created by brothers Paolo and Giuseppe Groppelli. Francesco Robba created the angels on the left of the altar. Statues of the four bishops of Emona, the original Roman settlement, are seated under the dome beam.
Ljubljana Town Hall

3) Ljubljana Town Hall

Ljubljana Town Hall was originally built in the 15th century. An annex was added in the 1700s, giving the building its current appearance. The facade has a Venetian influence, as shown in the gable front, the three-part staircase, and the loggia. Visitors can climb the impressive steps and admire the Venetian-style arched balcony. The town hall also features a pediment with a clock tower.

A Gothic plaque with the original medieval coat of arms from the original town hall building is displayed in the vestibule. A 17th-century statue of Hercules with a lion is also on display in the town hall. This statue was part of the 17th century Hercules Fountain from Old Square. The Hercules statue replaced the monument to Yugoslavia's first king, Peter I. The statue of Peter I was removed by Italian troops during World War II.

A replica of the Narcissus Fountain is on display in the Town Hall's courtyard. Francesco Robba designed the fountain, which originally stood in Bokalce Castle. The Narcissus Fountain features three river gods who represent Slovenia's major rivers.

The courtyard features arches with intricate designs. In addition, a variety of statues are on display in the courtyard's niches.

Visitors can tour the wedding hall, the banquet hall, and the Grand Council Chamber. Ljubljana's famous mayor from 1896 and 1910, Ivan Hribar, is commemorated in a monument next to the staircase.

There are four exhibition spaces in the town hall, including the Glass Atrium, the Central Atrium, the Right Atrium, and the Historical Atrium. Exhibitions are organized by the city and include local and international art exhibitions.
Kresija Palace (Kresija Palace)

4) Kresija Palace (Kresija Palace)

The Kresija Palace (Slovene: Kresijska Palaca) is found in the central part of Ljubljana, on the bank of the Ljubljanica River near the Triple Bridge. Noted for its blend of Neo-Baroque and Neo-Rococo styles, the building was completed after the Ljubljana earthquake of 1895 to house the Ljubljana district bureaucracy of the then Duchy of Carniola. The name of the palace derives from the old Slovenian word "kresija", used as a common colloquial name for the Austrian districts, known as Kreise in German ("okraji" in standard Slovene). It was commissioned by Mayor Ivan Hribar as part of the larger plan of urban renovation of Ljubljana.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Šentflorjanska Cerkev (St. Florian's Church)

5) Šentflorjanska Cerkev (St. Florian's Church)

St. Florian's Church is a Roman Catholic church in Ljubljana. It was built in 1267 by an unknown Roman Catholic Bishop. The church was destroyed in a fire in 1774, but was rebuilt shortly afterwards. Throughout its history, the building has changed many appearances, the last of which was given by architect Joze Plecnik in 1934. A statue of St. John of Nepomuk was also added back then.
Šentjakobska Cerkev (St. Jacob's Church)

6) Šentjakobska Cerkev (St. Jacob's Church)

St. Jacob's Church in Ljubljana is a Baroque-style church built between 1613 and 1615 on the site of an older Gothic church, erected in the early 15th century by the Augustinian Order. In 1598, the old church was acquired by the Jesuits and thus became the first Jesuit church in the Slovene lands, and one of the first in Inner Austria. Its interior was designed by Italian architect Francesco Robba and Slovene painter Luka Mislej. After the Ljubljana earthquake of 1895, the church was renovated by the Linz-based architect Raimund Jeblinger and the interiors were redone by Janez Šubic. Nevertheless, much of the original Baroque construction has remained intact.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Križanke Cerkev (Our Lady of Mercy Church)

7) Križanke Cerkev (Our Lady of Mercy Church)

The Church of Our Lady of Mercy was rebuilt in 1714 and 1715, after being nearly completely destroyed. The rebuilt version was designed in a Baroque style by Venetian architect Domenico Rossi, to honor the local tradition. The main altar features the copy of a Madonna painting, made by Master Rothmayerja, the original of which was destroyed by fire in 1857.
National and University Library of Slovenia

8) National and University Library of Slovenia

The National and University Library is one of the most important national educational and cultural institutions of Slovenia. Plans for a new building were created between 1930-31 by Jože Plečnik. Initially the project encountered resistance by the Yugoslavian authorities based in Belgrade. However, persistent student protests and demonstrations have been effective, and the new building was erected between 1936-41.

The library building is the most monumental of Plečnik's works. The central staircase which leads to a reading room, set between colonnades of dark stone, is characteristic to his design style. Contrasted with this is the powerful, expressive street façade, which is representative of Plecnik's most "eccentric mannerist style"
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Slovenian Philharmonic

9) Slovenian Philharmonic

The Slovenian Philharmonic, namely Academia Philharmonicorum, was founded in 1701. Its Neo-Renaissance building was completed in 1892, designed by architect Adolf Wagner. Having survived two revolutions, two world wars, and the earthquake of 1895, the Slovenian Philharmonic building is listed as a "cultural monument of national importance", and is a home to the much acclaimed Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra.
Slovenska Matica (Slovene Society)

10) Slovenska Matica (Slovene Society)

Slovenska Matica, also known as Matica Slovenska, is the second-oldest publishing house in Slovenia, established in the 19th century as an institution for the scholarly and cultural progress of Slovenes. The name is literally translated into English as the "Slovene Queen Bee," which is a metaphor meaning "the parent body of the Slovenes." It should not be confused with Matica Slovenská, the analogous institution in Slovakia.

Slovenska Matica reached its peak at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time, it functioned as a regular publishing house in a free market, publishing books for the general public, many of which became bestsellers; at the same time, it also performed the role of an Academy of Sciences, fostering high culture and maintaining close contacts with the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts in Zagreb, the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Belgrade, as well as similar institutions in Prague, Krakow, London and St Petersburg.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Cerkev Svete Trojice (Holy Trinity Church)

11) Cerkev Svete Trojice (Holy Trinity Church)

The Ursuline Church of the Holy Trinity is a Baroque-style church built between 1718 and 1726. It was designed by Carlo Martinuzzi, a Friulian architect, and is noted for its extensive altar made of African marble, designed by Francesco Robba, who also built the Fountain of the Three Rivers of Carniola, which stands in Town Square in Ljubljana. The original bell tower was destroyed in the Ljubljana earthquake of 1895. The current replica was built in the 1900s.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Ljubljana Opera House

12) Ljubljana Opera House

Located between the Slovenian Parliament, the National Museum and the National Gallery is the Ljubljana Opera House - previously the home of the Provincial Theater, built between 1890 and 1892 in Neo-Renaissance style by Czech architects Jan V. Hrasky and Anton Hruby. The facade of the Opera House has Ionic columns, supporting a tympanum above the entrance, and two niches at the sides, adorned with Alojzij Gangl's allegorical statues of Tragedy and Comedy.

Prior to the construction of the German Theater (the present Drama Theater) in 1911, it held productions in both Slovenian and German; afterwards, only in Slovenian.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Walking Tours in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Create Your Own Walk in Ljubljana

Create Your Own Walk in Ljubljana

Creating your own self-guided walk in Ljubljana is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Ljubljana Introduction Walking Tour

Ljubljana Introduction Walking Tour

Ljubljana is the capital and heart of Slovenia. It is Slovenia's largest city and is the country's cultural and political center. Ljubljana has a long and storied history. A Roman settlement known as Emona once stood in the area. It was the capital of the ancient region of Carniola, which was part of the Habsburg Monarchy. After World War II, Ljubljana was part of the Socialist Federal...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles