1895 Ljubljana earthquake
The 1895 Ljubljana earthquake refers to an earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

 that struck the Ljubljana
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and its largest city. It is the centre of the City Municipality of Ljubljana. It is located in the centre of the country in the Ljubljana Basin, and is a mid-sized city of some 270,000 inhabitants...

, the capital and largest city in Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

, on 14 April. A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck at 11:17 pm and shocks were felt as far away as Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 and Split
Split (city)
Split is a Mediterranean city on the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea, centered around the ancient Roman Palace of the Emperor Diocletian and its wide port bay. With a population of 178,192 citizens, and a metropolitan area numbering up to 467,899, Split is by far the largest Dalmatian city and...


The city's population at the time of the earthquake was some 31,000, with around 1,400 buildings. About ten percent of the buildings were damaged or destroyed, although few people died in the destruction. On Vodnik Square
Vodnik Square
Vodnik Square is a town square in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. It spans the area from the Dragon Bridge across Pogačar Square to the Triple Bridge....

 an old monastery which contained a girls diocesan college and library was sufficiently damaged that it had to be razed, and the site eventually was turned into an outdoor market (Ljubljana Central Market
Ljubljana Central Market
Ljubljana Central Market in the capital of Slovenia was designed by Jože Plečnik in 1939-41. The market building stretches between the Triple Bridge and the Dragon Bridge, following the curve of the Ljubljanica river.-History:...

, Osrednja tržnica), now an important site in the city.


The morning after the quake, the Municipal Council adopted emergency measures to assist the worst-affected victims, to direct the police force in extra security measures, and to direct the police force to inspect the damaged houses. All the city's schools were temporarily closed, and some factories temporarily ceased operation. A few days after the earthquake emergency shelters were created for the homeless. Many citizens of Ljubljana left the city as refugees. Lack of food was quickly felt in the city, and five emergency kitchens were established, which were free or low cost and distributed several thousand hot meals each day. Other areas of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, especially Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, the Czech Lands
Czech lands
Czech lands is an auxiliary term used mainly to describe the combination of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia. Today, those three historic provinces compose the Czech Republic. The Czech lands had been settled by the Celts , then later by various Germanic tribes until the beginning of 7th...

 and Croatia-Slavonia assisted in the aid. Among the individual members of the Municipal Council, the Liberal Nationalist
National Progressive Party (Slovenia)
The National Progressive Party was a political party in the Carniola region of Austria-Hungary. It was established in 1894 by Ivan Tavčar as the National Party of Carniola and renamed in 1905 to The National Progressive Party...

 Ivan Hribar
Ivan Hribar
Ivan Hribar was a Slovene and Yugoslav banker, politician, diplomat and journalist. At the turn of the century, he was one of the leaders of the National Progressive Party, and one of the most important figures of Slovene liberal nationalism...

 showed particular organizing abilities in providing the aid; soon after the earthquake, he was elected mayor and organized the town's extensive reconstruction. The damage after the earthquake was substantial. Most houses were damaged in Špitalska, today Stritarjeva Street, where all houses were destroyed except for one, and the markets.

Post-earthquake development

The earthquake brought about a wide expansion of the city and a widespread Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art"...

 architectural change which today is juxtaposed against the earlier Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 style buildings that remain. Many buildings such as the Mladika building date from soon after the earthquake. The rebuilding period between 1896 and 1910 is referred to as the "revival of Ljubljana" not just because of these architectural changes from which a great deal of the city dates back to today, but for reform of urban administration, health, education and tourism that followed.

From 1895 to 1910 436 new buildings were created and hundreds of buildings were renovated or extended in the Art Nouveau style. Most of Ljubljana's bridges, monuments, parks and main buildings date back to the post-earthquake development.
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