National and University Library of Slovenia
The National and University Library is one of the most important national educational and cultural institutions of 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...

. It was established in 1774 by a decree released by the Empress Maria Theresa. It is located in the centre of 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...

, in a building designed by the architect Jože Plečnik
Jože Plecnik
Jože Plečnik , was a Slovene architect who practised in Vienna, Belgrade, Prague and Ljubljana.-Biography:...

 in the years 1930–31 and constructed between 1936-41. The building is considered one of the greatest achievements by Plečnik.


Plans for a new building were created between 1930-31 by Jože Plečnik
Jože Plecnik
Jože Plečnik , was a Slovene architect who practised in Vienna, Belgrade, Prague and Ljubljana.-Biography:...

. Initially the project encountered resistance by the Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

n 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".


The planned construction of the new NUK building (known as NUK II) that will stand on the Zois Street is scheduled to begin in 2011, although the plans for it were prepared by the Slovenian architect Marko Mušič
Marko Mušic
Marko Marijan Mušič is a Slovenian architect. He has designed buildings in cities such as Zagreb, Skopje and Ljubljana. Since May 2008 he has been a vice-president of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts .-Works:* Dom 7...

 already in 1989. Till the beginning of construction, the site will serve as a provisional parking lot
Parking lot
A parking lot , also known as car lot, is a cleared area that is intended for parking vehicles. Usually, the term refers to a dedicated area that has been provided with a durable or semi-durable surface....

. There are several causes for the delay, among them problems in the process of the acquisition of the real estate
Real estate
In general use, esp. North American, 'real estate' is taken to mean "Property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals, or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this; an item of real property; buildings or...

, the preparation of the documentation necessary to obtain the construction permit
Construction permit
A construction permit or building permit is a permit required in most jurisdictions for new construction, or adding on to pre-existing structures, and in some cases for major renovations. Generally, the new construction must be inspected during construction and after completion to ensure compliance...

 and the archaeological excavations of the remains of the Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

The Latin word castra, with its singular castrum, was used by the ancient Romans to mean buildings or plots of land reserved to or constructed for use as a military defensive position. The word appears in both Oscan and Umbrian as well as in Latin. It may have descended from Indo-European to Italic...

Emona or Aemona, short for Colonia Iulia emona, was a Roman castrum founded in 14-15 AD, possibly by the Legio XV Apollinaris , on a territory already populated by ancient settlers of uncertain origin...

 that took place in 1990–99 and in 2008.

Further reading

  • Gooding, Mel: National and University Library, Ljubljana, Architecture in Detail Series, Phaidon Press
    Phaidon Press
    Phaidon Press is a British publisher of books on the visual arts, including art, architecture, photography, and design worldwide.As of 2009, Phaidon's headquarters are in London, UK, though they were in Oxford for many years, with offices in New York City, Paris, Berlin, Milan, and Tokyo...

    , 1997, ISBN 0714829382

External links

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