Slovene architecture


Jože Plečnik / 1938, 1952
LOCATION: Navje, Ljubljana

The area of the Navje Memorial Cemetery is the last remnant of the former city cemetery at the Church of St. Christopher, which stood along Dunajska Street in Ljubljana. Since its foundation in 1779, the city cemetery has expanded to the east and north. In 1865, the city architect Pollak drew up a plan for a monumental cemetery arcade structure, the complete execution of which would have represented one of the earliest monumental cemetery designs in the Habsburg Monarchy. The cemetery was gradually abandoned at the beginning of the 20th century. In the late 1930s, at the eastern edge of the cemetery space, where also his parents were buried, the architect Jože Plečnik created a ‘grove of the meritorious’, named Navje. Plečnik transformed the narrow elongated triangular space into a geometric and level-articulated layout with a system of paths, thoughtfully placed tombstones, stone steps and walls, a portal, and trees. The arcade structure has also been redesigned through several architectural and visual interventions, due to the now changed spatial context. In the design of the space, the built and vegetative elements as well as in the remodelling of the arcades, he has applied different approaches to monumentalise and liturgise the space, to reuse on site found materials, and to create a symbolic space of reverential memory. Plečnik’s original design, which was gradually degraded in the aftermath of the Second World War, will be reconstructed as part of the forthcoming renovation of this memorial space.


Open space: architect Jože Plečnik (conceptual design), architect Ivo Spinčič (supposedly implementation plans), gardener Anton Lap (planting) Arcade building: Pollak 1865 (plan), Jože Plečnik (alteration) 1938

The tour will be led by: conservator, dr. Tina Potočnik, ZVKDS OE Ljubljana and landscape architect, dr. Tanja Simonič Korošak, Studio TSK Maribor

Object information

Construction year
1938, 1952
Total Area
5200 m2
Mestna občina Ljubljana

Technical team

Peter Naglič, Studio TSK, Tina Potočnik

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