Ljubljana was the capital of the Austro Hungarian Province of
Carniola at the end of the 19th century having less than 30000
inhabitants and being very rural in appearance. The turning point was
the devastating earthquake which struck the town in 1895. Immediately
after that the regulation plan was prepared with the help of two top
experts in urban planning of the time in Vienna, Camillo Sitte and
Maks Fabiani. The image of Ljubljana started to change rapidly and the
first echoes of the new Secessionist style in Ljubljana appeared.
Secessionist Ljubljana", which developed mainly in the first
decade of the 20th century is the synonim for the whole town quarter
between the old medieval core and the railway line. The first real
secessionist work, Dragon Bridge (Zmajski most) by the Dalmation
architect Jurij Zaninovic was erected only in 1901.
The architecture of Ljubljana was mainly influenced by Vienna
Secession and its special variant of modern art, accentuating more
rational and geometric forms. Maks Fabiani and Joze Plecnik, two
central figures of modern Slovene architecture are internationally
recognized as co-founders of modern art movement in Vienna.
While Plecnik contributed to the Secessionist movement only in his
early works in Vienna, Fabiani gave an important character of the
period to Ljubljana. His architecture shows the evolution from the
decorative Secessionist to the modernist phase, in which he
concentrated on trying to use and re-create the traditional local
elements in a modern way.
Although Secession mainly left its imprint on the decoration of the
facades, in some cases, modernism surpassed the use of individual
stylistic elements and intervened also in the building structure.
Even more than architecture Art Nouveau influenced the style of
furnishing domestic and public interiors. Several important factories
in Slovenia produced decorative and functional objects for everyday
use. The ideals of Art Nouveau inspired painting as well, particularly
the caricature, illustration and different kinds of graphic arts. The
most important was the group of young painters Vesna, who studied in
Vienna at the turn of the century, absorbing the decorative language
of Vienna Secession and introducing the Slovene folk art motifs into