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The Slovenia National and University Library is an enchanting piece of cultural heritage tucked away in the heart of Ljubljana, Slovenia. With its contrast of modernist and classical architectural styles and a vast collection of literary treasures, it is an unmissable jewel for both bookworms and architecture devotees.

History

Designed by the eminent Slovenian architect, Jože Plečnik, the National and University Library was finished in 1941. The imposing stone building is considered one of Plečnik’s masterpieces, reflecting his signature style that elegantly integrates classical and modern elements. It is not only the central Slovenian library but also the nation’s cultural, scientific, and educational institution, holding many centuries-old books and manuscripts.

How to Get There

Located in the center of Ljubljana, the library is easily accessible by public transport. The central train and bus stations are a brisk 15-minute walk away. Visitors can also use the bus lines stopping at nearby stations such as Krek Square (Krekov trg) or Congress Square (Kongresni trg). For travelers with cars, parking is available in nearby paid parking lots or streets.

List of Attractions

  1. Main Hall: A tour of the library should start at the main hall, boasting a grand staircase with unique bronze doors.
  2. Reading Rooms: Visit the well-lit reading rooms, each beautifully detailed with wooden furniture and unique architectural accents.
  3. Prints and Drawings Collection: This section showcases a collection of Slovenian fine art pieces.
  4. Plečnik Collection: Discover the life and work of Plečnik, including his drawings, plans, models, and personal archive.

Ticket Information

Admission to the library is free, but guided tours are available for a small fee and should be booked in advance. Tours are offered in several languages, including English, German, Italian, and Slovenian.

List of Tips for Visiting

  1. Respect the Silence: It’s a working library with students and researchers, so keep noise levels down.
  2. Photography: Photographing the interiors for personal use is allowed, but it’s prohibited to use flash or tripods. For professional photography, permission is needed.
  3. Guided Tours: Opting for a guided tour is highly recommended to truly appreciate the architectural significance of the building.
  4. Availability: The library is generally open during work hours on weekdays, but it’s best to check the latest opening times online before visiting.
  5. Respect the Books: As many of the books are ancient and valuable, proper handling is necessary. Some books can only be accessed with staff assistance.

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