National Gallery of Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia

The National Gallery of Slovenia was founded in 1918, after the dissolution of Austria-Hungary and the establishment of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. Initially, it was hosted in the Kresija Palace of Ljubljana, but moved to the present location in 1925.

The gallery hosts a permanent art collection from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century. The original of the Baroque Robba fountain can also be seen in the central glass gallery of the building.

The present building was built in 1896, during the administration of Mayor Ivan Hribar, whose ambition was to transform Ljubljana into a representative capital of all the Slovene Lands. It was designed by the Czech architect František Škabrout and was first used as a Slovenian cultural center as the central seat of various cultural associations of national importance. The building stands near Tivoli Park and was completely renovated in 2013-2016.

In the early 1990s, an extension to the main building was built by the Slovene architect Edvard Ravnikar. In 2001, a large transparent glass gallery, designed by the architects Jurij Sadar and Boštjan Vuga, was built to connect the two wings of the building.

The gallery hosts a permanent art collection from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century. The original of the Baroque Robba fountain can also be seen in the central glass gallery of the building, where it was moved after extensive restoration in 2008.

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Details

Founded: 1918
Category: Museums in Slovenia

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Super Kozy (2 months ago)
Main Slovenian gallery with all main Slovenian painters. If you have kids and you do not know where to have their birthday, maybe you should consider it. You can have a nice cup of tea or coffee with nice cakes in lobby.
Jernej Krmelj (3 months ago)
A great exhibition of Ivana Kobilca painter.
William Cornforth (3 months ago)
It was not as big as I thought it would be but the permanent art collection was worth my time/money.
Raquel Vilela da Mata Miranda (3 months ago)
Ljubljana is a beautiful city, clean and bright. The people are very kind. I loved the National Gallery. Excellent collection and very well preserved. In February 2019 the entry fee was 10 euros per adult.
bruno lopes (9 months ago)
Mixed feelings .Good if you like baroque and impressionist art, if this is not your thing you may be bored. High entrance fee but very helpful and knowledgeable staff, an interesting building and some good sculpture. Could be curated in a much more effective and exciting way.
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The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

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