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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Founded: 1701-1707
Category: Religious sites in Slovenia

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Noah Segal (9 months ago)
Came here as a tourist, not as a worshiper. Absolutely stunning cathedral - would recommend to any tourist doing a day tour of Ljubljana. Probably would spend about 15-30 minutes there at most.
Marek Tkaczuk (10 months ago)
Striking ceiling frescoes and the massive golden organ are special. Be dure to chevk put the entrance door too. Only 2 Euro entrance fee!
Joshua Sohn (10 months ago)
Located right on the main street so it's easy to find. Great interior and nice place to cool off. Cost a few euros to enjoy.
sava brankovan (12 months ago)
Katedrala svetega Nikolaja (St. Nicholas Cathedral) is a prominent Catholic cathedral located in the heart of Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia. It is also known as Ljubljana Cathedral or Stolnica in Slovene. The construction of the cathedral began in the early 18th century, replacing a previous church that stood on the same site. The Baroque-style cathedral was designed by the Italian architect Andrea Pozzo and was completed in 1706. However, it underwent further renovations and modifications over the years. The exterior of St. Nicholas Cathedral features a stunning green dome, which is one of the most recognizable symbols of Ljubljana's skyline. The facade is adorned with elaborate sculptures and intricate details, showcasing the grandeur of the Baroque architectural style. Inside, visitors can admire beautiful frescoes, altars, and statues that enhance the overall ornate interior. The cathedral holds great religious significance for the Catholic community in Ljubljana and serves as the seat of the Archbishop of Ljubljana. It is not only a place of worship but also a significant cultural and historical landmark in the city. Visitors to St. Nicholas Cathedral can attend Mass, explore the interior, and appreciate the religious art and architecture. The cathedral is open to the public, and entrance is generally free, although donations are appreciated to support the maintenance and preservation of the building. The location of the cathedral in the city center makes it easily accessible, and it is often included in guided tours of Ljubljana's historical sites. It is also a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, offering a serene and contemplative atmosphere within the bustling cityscape
Matthew Smith (13 months ago)
A low profile cathedral but worth visiting for only €2. The door you through which you enter is impressive and worth seeing alone
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