Ljubljana Cathedral

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana Cathedral, also named St. Nicholas' Cathedral, was originally a Gothic church. In the early 18th century, it was replaced by a Baroque building. It is an easily recognizable landmark of the city with its green dome and twin towers and stands at Cyril and Methodius Square by the nearby Ljubljana Central Market and Town Hall.

The site was originally occupied by an aisled three-nave Romanesque church, the oldest mention of which dates from 1262. It was a succursal church of the ancient Parish of Saint Peter. An extensive fire in 1361 saw it refurbished in the Gothic style but underwent alterations when the Diocese of Ljubljana was established in 1461 and the church became a cathedral. However, in 1469 it was burnt down again. This time, it was suspected to be arson, presumably by the Turks.

In 1700 the Capuchin friar Florentianus Ponnensis from Milan or Bologna designed a new Baroque hall church. The following year, after the construction already started, the plan was revised and complemented by the Jesuit architect Andrea Pozzo who designed it as a basilica and added to it a dome. He did not supervise the realisation of his plan, so the buildings was significantly adapted by the builders, in particular by Francesco Bombassi of Venice. The two belfries, resembling of the Salzburg Cathedral, were added upon the plan by Lombard Giulio Quaglio.

The construction took place between 1701 and 1706. The first worship took place in the new building in August 1706, and the consecration took place on 8 May 1707. Originally, a fake dome was painted on the arch above the centre until the church's real dome was constructed in 1841.

Inside much of the original Baroque decor remains with frescoes painted by Giulio Quaglio between 1703–1706 and later 1721–1723. Other notable decorations in the cathedral include the altar angels by the brothers Paolo and Giuseppe Groppelli on the right part of the nave (1711) and by Francesco Robba on the left (1745–1750). Angelo Putti was assigned to much of the artwork, with his painting of Thalnitscher (1715) and the statues of the four bishops of Emona seated under the dome beam (1712–1713). The dome was painted by Matevž Langus in 1843–44. The fresco in the cupola depicts the Holy Spirit and angels, whereas the frescos on the walls of the dome depict the coronation of the Virgin and the glorification of Saint Nicholas, surrounded by angels and saints. In the 1950s, the architect Jože Plečnik made plans for new church furnishings.

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Details

Founded: 1701-1707
Category: Religious sites in Slovenia

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Lee Wall (2 months ago)
Quite a nice cathedral on a small but impressive scale inside. €2 entry fee
Cristina Siciliano (3 months ago)
It’s a lovely church. Why three stars? Cos They ask for 2€ to enter. Maybe cos I’m Italian, so I’m used to our churches all around, with marbles and frescos etc, but I have to admit I probably wouldn’t give those euros again if I were to come back. The entrance door though is quite unique.
Dmitrii Dorozhkoff (3 months ago)
The most beautiful temple in Ljubljana. What a gorgeous door! Very nice. high ceiling with magnificent paintings by artists. entrance 2 euros. provides emptiness in the temple from different tourists.
Berna Iriza (4 months ago)
Very beautiful inside. There was a small fee to pay at the entrance.
Hana Ivanković (6 months ago)
Beautiful church, outside with pictures on the walls and details on the door. From the entrance you will be amazed by the interior. In the Baroque style it is covered with frescoes and statues, a gilded pulpit and a stunning roof. The photographs are not adequate to do justice to this magnificent cathedral. So spend time touring and just watching this amazing work of art. A must if you are passing by.
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