Iconic Houses Visiting Plečnik’s Ljubljana

From Sunday, 28 May, to Tuesday, 30 May, we hosted the participants of the international conference organised by the Iconic Houses network, of which the Plečnik House is also a member. As part of the conference ‘Icons of Czech Avantgarde: Authenticity & Style Diversity’, the central part of which took place in the Czech Republic, conference attendees were also welcomed in (Plečnik's) Ljubljana during the post-conference expert excursion.

© Els Zweerink/Iconic Houses

On Sunday, the Iconic Houses delegation was warmly welcomed by Blaž Peršin, Director of the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana, and Špela Spanžel, Director General of the Cultural Heritage Directorate at the Ministry of Culture. The welcome was then followed by a visit to the exhibition Plečnik: The Metropolis, Place, Garden, as an overture to understanding Plečnik's Ljubljana. 

On Monday, we opened the doors of the Plečnik House, as understanding Plečnik's works requires peeking into his residence and garden. Subsequently, in the company of curator Ana Porok and art historian Matic Šavli, we set out to explore Plečnik's cultural axis. Our journey led us across the Trnovo Bridge, past the Križanke complex, and all the way to the National and University Library, where we were warmly received and invited into Plečnik's temple of knowledge.

We naturally also explored Plečnik’s water axis, the Ljubljanica River, without which Ljubljana could never be the city it now is. We listened to Natalija Lapajne (curator at the Museum of Architecture and Design), while Tomaž Štoka, coordinator of the Nomination of Plečnik’s Works to the UNESCO World Heritage List, unveiled the background of this complicated and, ultimately, successful project.

The evening was spent in the company of another great master of his craft. Our visit to the exhibition Rembrandt. Prints by the Greatest Old Master at the National Gallery took us into the world of the artist and presented his creative process and life story. At the National Gallery we were also welcomed and addressed by Derk Jan Nauta, Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, who emphasized the importance of collaboration and the exchange of ideas. He congratulated Natascha Drabbe, founder and executive director of Iconic Houses, and all the partners involved in organising the conference.

Tuesday morning was once again dedicated to Plečnik. We first visited the Church of St. Michael in the Moors and Plečnik's Žale, followed by a visit to the highlight of the excursion, the inspiring and unique Villa Prelovšek. Naturally, our gratitude and special thanks on this occasion goes to Dr. Damjan Prelovšek for his reception and insightful glimpse into the numerous symbolic meanings of Plečnik's creations.

We are proud to have been involved as co-organisers of this important collaboration among numerous European museum houses, and we also wish to express our gratitude to the Iconic Houses network for their trust. We also extend warm thanks to other Slovenian supporters: Ljubljanski potniški promet d.o.o., Žale Cemetery, National and University Library, Museum of Architecture and Design, National Gallery, and Visit Ljubljana.

Posted: 31. 5. 2023

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