Jože Plečnik (1872 – 1957), one of the world’s most important pioneers of modern architecture, was born and lived in Slovenia’s capital. With no doubt, we can stand on any of Ljubljana’s corners and come face to face with one of the great master’s works. He left a significant masterpieces in three European cities – Vienna, Prague and Ljubljana. Some like to claim his creations are one of the 20th Century’s most important total works of art. Plečnik’s Ljubljana, for example, presents a unique urban specialty that is completely distinctive from any other known architectural opuses.

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Photo credit: Blaž Pogačnik

In designing Ljubljana, Plečnik used modern approaches while modelling the city on ancient Athens. If you might wonder why locals like to call the city Plečnik’s Ljubljana, the answer would be clear – you can admire his work on every step of the way through Ljubljana’s streets and bridges. His best known architectural superabundance includes the Triple Bridge, Cobblers’ Bridge, National and University Library building, the Central Market, the Križanke Summer Theatre, the Ljubljanica river embankments and bridges, the funeral home at the Žale cemetery, Church of St. Michael on the Ljubljana Marshes and many more.

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In 2017, Ljubljana Tourism commemorated the 145th anniversary of Plečnik’s birth and the 60th anniversary of his death with a special Plečnik Campaign. The project distinctive on its own as distinctive the Plečnik’s work, brought Ljubljana Tourism the Emerging Europe Tourism Campaign of the Year 2018 award.

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Photo credit: Dunja Wedam

The promotional activities of the project included: two specialised tourst of Plečnik’s landmarks, two open-air exhibitions, and other open-air activities. In addition, a special Plečnik-themed exhibition space was designed, while Plečnik’s story and products and experiences related to it where circulating through social and printed media. The international jury of the Emerging Europe organisation was persuaded by the overall success of the Plečnik’s Ljubljana project which served as an introduction into the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

Photo credit: Dunja Wedam

In its justification of the selection criteria in the Tourism Campaign of the Year category, the international jury stated:

»The emerging European region has a rich and diverse culture and a no less exciting history; you could travel for years and not see even a fraction of what there is to experience. In such competitive environment tourism campaigns have to really stand out, draw attention and step out of the shadows of other top tourism destinations, such as Paris or Rome. In the emerging European region there are many hidden attractions – many unusual and unique features still remain to be discovered. We were searching for campaigns which would embody this spirit and spread their message in different languages across diverse platforms.«

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Photo credit: B.Jakse & S.Jersic
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Photo credit: Ljubljana Tourism / B. Cvetkovic

Emerging Europe is an organisation established in London bringing together 23 countries of Central South-Eastern Europe with the aim of promoting their social and economic development and connecting them with potential investors beyond the region. The Emerging Europe awards are an initiative with which it wants to raise the international reputation of its member states as well as affirm and build upon their progress and best practices.

Awards in ten categories in total were presented.  Ljubljana celebrated another achievement: in the category Equality-Friendly Initiative of the Year, the City of Ljubljana was also nominated with its LGBT-Friendly Certificate.