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Ljubljana - Three top galleries and museums

Text: Nika Gričar Photos: Narodna galerija Ljubljana, Andrej Peunik, Domen Pal


The National Gallery is Slovenia's most important national institution for the art of earlier periods and houses the largest collection of art in the country. This year it is celebrating the centenary of its foundation. It includes a permanent collection that is divided by historical periods and contains almost 600 works of European and Slovene art. As you walk through the rooms of the gallery, you will discover examples of medieval religious art, baroque works, Biedermeier portraits, neoclassical paintings, realist works and the works of notable Slovene artists such as Ivana Kobilca, Ivan Grohar, Rihard Jakopič and Matija Jama. The National Gallery also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Other facilities at the National Gallery include Gal's Room (a special room hosting regular events for children and families), an extensive library, a gallery shop, a reading corner and a café.


Slovenia has a rich tradition of puppetry, which is considered an important part of its cultural heritage. Three years ago Slovenia's great puppeteers and their creations were given a permanent exhibition space above the Estates Hall at Ljubljana Castle, where visitors can learn about important milestones in the history of Slovene puppetry and discover different puppetry techniques. After viewing the exhibition, visitors can try out three different puppetry techniques – marionette, hand puppet and shadow puppet – for themselves. A "Puppet Path" leads up to the museum from Krek Square (Krekov trg), along the route of the funicular, where an installation of mechanically operated puppets symbolically links the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre to Ljubljana Castle.


Since it was founded in 1935, the museum has occupied the Auersperg Palace next to the Križanke complex in French Revolution Square (Trg francoske revolucije). Notable among its tens of thousands of exhibits are the oldest wooden wheel and axle in the world (a prehistoric artefact from the Ljubljansko Barje wetland that is around 5,200 years old) and a wooden arrow with an estimated age of around 40,000 years. The new permanent exhibition "Ljubljana. History. City." opened at the museum this year offers a clear chronological account of the development of the Ljubljana Basin from prehistoric times up to the twentieth century. The exhibition presents important historical figures and ordinary people who lived in the city and left their mark on it. End your visit to the museum with refreshments at the museum café or buy a souvenir at the museum shop.

Ljubljana 980X500 foto Narodna galerija Ljubljana2