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Often overlooked among the traditional architectural treasures of Ljubljana, Slovenia, the Cooperative Business Bank Building stands as a stunning embodiment of Slovenia’s interpretation of Art Nouveau architecture. Designed by the renowned architect Ivan Vurnik and adorned with a colourful façade painted by his wife, Helena Vurnik, this iconic landmark personifies the couple’s dream of creating a national Slovenian architectural style.

History

Constructed between 1921 and 1922, the Cooperative Business Bank Building was a statement project during a time of significant socio-political change in Slovenia. This period saw the Slovenian public desire to express national independence and pride, and the building’s Slovene Art Nouveau style—more precisely termed ‘Vurnik’s National Style’—reflects this sentiment. The ornamental façade with its red carnations, Slovenian tricolor, and depictions of workers symbolizes both Slovenian identity and the cooperative movement’s ideals.

How to Get There

Situated in a bustling part of Ljubljana’s city centre, the Cooperative Business Bank Building is best reached on foot or by cycling. The closest bus stops are Konzorcij, Nama, and Pošta, operated by Ljubljana city buses. If you’re coming from abroad, Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport is just about 20km away from the city center, with good bus and taxi connections.

List of Attractions

  1. The Façade: From red carnations and geometric patterns to scenes of peasants at work, the Façade of the building is an iconic mix of Slovenian symbolism and Art Nuevo majesty.
  2. The Interior: Although often used as business premises and not always open for public, when accessible, the building’s internal architecture provides a unique reflection of Slovene Art Nouveau style.

Ticket Information

There is no entry fee to view the building’s exterior. However, since the building often houses business offices, access to the interior may be restricted. If open to the public or for an event, the ticket information will be specified accordingly.

List of Tips for Visiting

  1. Early Visits: Light conditions in the morning provide an excellent visual of Helena’s vibrant frescoes on the building’s façade.
  2. Photography Enthusiast: With its unique patterns and depiction of Slovenian identity, the building offers excellent photography opportunities.
  3. Walking Tour: Add the building to your Ljubljana walking tour to appreciate the city’s architectural diversity.
  4. Appreciate from Afar: If the building is closed, it’s still worth admiring the architecture and artwork from outside.
  5. Inquiry: Check with the city’s tourist information centre if any guided tours or events are being held in the Cooperative Business Bank Building.

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