National Museum of Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia

The National Museum of Slovenia has an extensive collection of archaeological artefacts, old coins and banknotes and displays related to the applied arts.

The museum was founded in 1821. After the establishment of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, the name was changed to National Museum. In 1923 the ethnographic collections possessed by the museum were removed and placed in the new Slovene Ethnographic Museum and in 1933 much of its fine artwork was moved to the National Gallery of Slovenia. In 1944 the Slovenian Museum of Natural History became independent despite being located in the same building. In 1953 the majority of archives were moved to the Gruber Palace.

Renamed to National Museum of Slovenia in 1992, today the museum is divided into Archaeological Department, a Numismatic Cabinet, a Department of Prints and Drawings and a Department of History and the Applied Arts.

The main building of the National Museum is located close to the Slovenian Parliament building and the Slovenian Foreign Ministry, while the Ljubljana Opera House stands just opposite to it on the same square. It was built in the Neo-Renaissance style by the master builder Wilhelm Treo in collaboration with Jan Vladimír Hráský between 1883 and 1885. Treo mostly followed the plans by the Viennese architect Wilhelm Rezori.

The building was solemnly opened on 2 December 1888. In the Slovene Lands, this was the first building used solely for cultural purposes. A bronze monument to the Carniolan polymath Johann Weikhard von Valvasor, designed by the sculptor Alojz Gangl, was placed in front of the museum in 1903.



Your name


Founded: 1821
Category: Museums in Slovenia


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Martin Hendrikx (2 years ago)
There were two museums in this building. I went to the natural History museum which was pretty interesting. There was a lot of taxidermy and lots of interesting information about the animals and the natural environment in Slovenia. There were also a few exhibits about geology. The second museum which is in this building which I did not visit was about Slovenian history from prehistoric days to the medieval era
blanka puž (2 years ago)
An enlightening insight into human history, nature, culture...monuments, mummy, mammut bones, golden statuette, precious stones, everything educational, valuable. It gives us a sence of wonder and makes us curious to know more about the past. Apropriate for every age.
Suza (2 years ago)
Visited the museum as part of an organized event. I was so positively surprised with the exhibits and overall experience. Absolutely amazing, many interesting unique pieces, wonderfully explained, you can use the audio guide or guided tour (many languages available) but all of the panels are also in English so it's no issue to walk around on your own. Time flew by very quickly, it was a blast. There is also a part on the outside and an exhibit behind the museum. As it's located very central, it is very easy to find and come by by foot. There is a vending machine inside available with drinks and even coffee (not great not terrible). Everyone was super nice and all the staff speak English. Besides the building as such being architecturally interesting and beautiful on its own ;), I definitely recommend as a must visit when in the city.
Harold Wood (2 years ago)
Wonderful museum with many excellent displays in both Slovenian language and in English.
Storykept (3 years ago)
Great collection of artifacts from prehistory onwards. The information and contrxt about the periods are also presented in a simple-to-understand manner. It's attractive for children and adults alike.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Church of St Donatus

The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.

The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.

The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.