The Golden Triangle of Ljubljana’s Star Venues

City Museum of Ljubljana, Photo by Andrej Peunik
City Museum of Ljubljana, Photo by Andrej Peunik

When it comes to business, efficient exchange of information is naturally essential. The setting, though, can still be organized in a static or much more engaging way. Data alone, as key as it is, often fails to attract the amount of attention generated by a compelling story that connects facts into a narrative, driving the visibility of the brand and transferring it into the mental landscapes of the listeners where it can take seed and excite curiosity. That’s when the best ideas are born! Ljubljana’s Old Town district features many locations suited to the hosting of a truly marquee event, one in your own style. This time we’ll be focusing on the “golden triangle” of special venues on the left bank of the River Ljubljanica – the Križanke Open Air Theatre, the City Museum of Ljubljana, and the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Medieval Ljubljana once sat between the Castle Hill and the River Ljubljanica. The left bank, where you’ll find the contemporary event golden triangle of Ljubljana, was initially a fishermen’s settlement, growing in prominence as a district ever since 16th century. Nowadays the Novi Trg Square represents the gentry part of Ljubljana, marked by palaces and the seats of important institutions as well as the masterpieces of renowned Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik. Nearby you will also find one of Ljubljana’s loveliestalleys, Križevniška Street, where pleasant shade, an artistic verse and a relaxing bench await even in the hottest summer days.

Križanke Open Air Theatre – charms of the past for a memorable present

On Novi Trg Square, close to landmarks like the Jewish Quarter, the Provincial Mansion and the University of Ljubljana Palace, rests the beautiful Križanke Open Air Theatre: a monastery complex of the medieval church and school of the Teutonic Knights (Križniki), whose name it carries to this day. Alongside the Mestni and Stari Trg squares, the Novi Trg Square was surrounded by walls already in 13th century, with a greater part of the area belonging to the Teutonic order. Their mission was to care for the poor and the sick, defend the land and educate the masses. The order pursued extensive charity work and established hospices for travellers, with the monastery remaining active until 1949.

In 1551, the Križanke complex was severely damaged by an earthquake. Several renovations followed, the final and most extensive one under the guidance of celebrated architect Plečnik. In the fifties of the past century, the entire site was then refurbished into a house of culture of national significance. The ancient monastery grounds thus became one of the most prominent event venues of the Slovenian capital. Far more than just a wonderful summer theatre, Križanke is considered one of the most beautiful and acoustic open-air venues in Slovenia. In addition to its colourful history and unique architecture, the location is an intimate oasis in the busy city core. The theatre with its extraordinary acoustics stretches over 2,700 square meters of surface, admitting up to 3,400 standing attendees. Events may be held in the Summer Theatre, the Knights’ Hall, the Devil’s Courtyard, the Church, the Entrance Hall or the Pergola. The seasoned professional team of the Ljubljana Festival managing the venue handles the planning and execution of a wide range of events. Setting foot in the Križanke Open Air Theatre, you will no doubt find it a place of stirring, sensual ambience.

Did You Know?

The first Ljubljana Festival was organized in 1953, featuring diverse events and famous guests such as José Carreras, Zubin Mehta and many others.

Auersperg Palace – fascinating atmosphere and the scent of coffee

A stone’s throw from Križanke and just steps from the riverbanks of Ljubljanica, the historical Auersperg Palace is home to the City Museum of Ljubljana. This was once the abode of the noble Auersperg family, one of Slovenia’s oldest lineages who lived here for nine centuries. The palace now houses the City Museum’s ages-old heritage of the Ljubljana region, caring for its preservation and popularisation. In its rich collection of artefacts, the foremost are certainly the oldest preserved wooden wheel in the world, and a wooden arrow dating back some 40.000 years.

The modernly renovated Auersperg Palace also represents a popular special venue for the organization of receptions, banquets, smaller conferences or seminars, as well as cultural and other events. The Renaissance palace excites with its stone arches, curious sights and impressive remnants of the past. Your event can be hosted in one of its five special venues: the heart of the palace nestles a gem, the museum Atrium welcoming up to 200 reception guests (or 400 if joined with the courtyard), or up to 80 guests for a seated banquet. The quiet museum premises also offer the 81-seater Projection room with tables and 30 optional additional seats. The Lecture room is great for holding workshops and academic events, whereas the Mayor’s room is a fine pick for more solemn events, protocol and other festivities, with its elegant 45-seat chamber that conversely accommodates 60 standing guests. They say the best coffee in town is found in the museum cafe Stow, whose unique position provides views of the courtyard and cellar with in situ remnants of a Roman road. Imagine a fabulous reception for 60 people between such wonders!

ZRC SAZU – a space of academic cooperation and cultural exchange

A stroll across the street from the National and University Library towards the banks of Ljubljanica, and you’ll be standing before Slovenia’s leading research and academic centre. The Carniolan Provincial Mansion, known as the Lontovž Palace or Landhaus from 1467, is now the seat of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU) which ranks among the foremost academic institutions of Central and Southeastern Europe. It’s also a distinctive special venue whose arcade hallways, glass roof, historical spirit and lively academic beat come together to offer a pleasant space for all types of meetings. The ZRC Atrium hosts daily events centred on science and art. The sunlit atrium is heated and furnished with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, accommodating up to 200 attendees. The hallway also features a popular coffee bar, the LP, and the Beletrina bookstore to round out the flexibility of the location.

The Ljubljana Old Town “golden triangle” of event venues – Križanke Open Air Theatre, City Museum of Ljubljana, and ZRC SAZU – is complete. You’re kindly invited to experience it, #myway as we like to say.

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Author: Jasna Jašič, Marketing & Communications Manager, Slovenian Convention Bureau