Roaming around Ljubljana through ten doors

Ljubljana doors
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

Sartre’s Closed Door, Gide’s Narrow Gate, Dylan’s Celestial, Golden Gate. Passage is open to communication, agreement, transition… and closed to the borders preventing our step, closing off our access to the intimate world of other people. Many doors in Ljubljana are boring, industrially made, having inconspicuous design and colours that match the house’s facade. But some, especially in the city centre and the old town, are real works of art. These are mostly bet on thoughtful design. They are heavy, classic and elegant, richly decorated with mainly stone and metal, some also bet on patterns and colours.

Ever since the existence of the social network Instagram, doors have nearly reached star status. There’s a large community of door fans who post their photos under the hashtag #doortraits; there are profiles with many followers where only doors are posted. So forget about selfies, the trend that social networks are obsessed with are “doortraits” or “door portraits”. The lockdown during the coronavirus epidemic also brought consequences of its own – people were staying at home. So, taking photos of these homes’ doors along with the owners was some type of corona-era selfie.

Some Instagram profiles we recommend checking out to see fabulous doors around the world include: @doorsofitaly@ihaveathingforwalls@doortraits@doors_of_england@100doors.escape@doors­_outdoor@prettydoorsofbritain@maltadoors@thedoorproject@thedoorsofdublin@knockinondoors. Ljubljana has no such profile yet, so we are waiting for an enthusiast to open one.

We also offer a glimpse of some front doors that caught Denis’s attention while taking walks around the city, leading to some gorgeous #doortraits. Not obsessed with doors yet? We believe you will be soon.

National and University Library

Ljubljana doors
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

Plečnik’s artwork also contains many wonderfully designed details. Some are found on the door, such as horse-headed handles depicting Pegasus, the mythological winged horse. The door leads from the entrance hall to a central, well-known and mighty black staircase with 32 pillars made of marble from the village of Podpeč, leading up to a large reading room.

Covered market

Ljubljana doors
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

In every city, the market is the heart of the city – and it’s no different in Ljubljana. Plečnik’s market will delight you with its elegance. And in the covered market building, on the ground floor of the Seminary Palace, the interesting entrance with a beautifully designed inscription will capture your attention.

Church of St. Joseph

Ljubljana doors
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

The bell tower of St. Joseph’s Church in Poljane is quite special. From a square on the ground, the stepped tower elevates upward, ending in a pointed tip shaped like a lemon squeezer. At 69 meters, it’s just a meter lower than the Ljubljana skyscraper, making it the tallest church in Slovenia. As befitting for a church, it has a unique entrance. The semi-circular arches strung across the depths above the densely placed pillars appear to have no end. The door seems to be far away and unreachable, but the door handle is at your fingertips.

 

Pogačnik’s house (Pogačnikova hiša)

Ljubljana doors
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

Cigaletova street, densely filled with Art Nouveau facades, widens into Miklošič Park at the southern end. At the crossroad with Tavčarjeva street, you will find the white Chuden house (Čudnova hiša) which has a circular corner tower, and next to it stands Pogačnik’s house. On the façade above the front door, the plastic relief of a female figure sprinkled with Art Nouveau decor will welcome you with arms wide open.

House on Dalmatinova street

Ljubljana doors
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

Denis’s favourite door in Ljubljana. In a high arched frame with restrained geometric decoration, they give them a shiny character of vivid colours of green-blue and yellow shades.

Postal savings bank

Ljubljana doors
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

The door of the building on Cankarjeva 18 is marked by a huge rosette, which, like a cyclopean eye with a nice grille, watches over the entrance to the palace – and next by stand two figures of savings, made by sculptor Ivan Jurkovič.

Ljubljana skyscraper

Ljubljana doors
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

An elegantly retained entrance of the building on Štefanova 3, with a somewhat strict yet bright appearance and tall doors, as befitting for a skyscraper.

Slovenian Cinematheque

Ljubljana doors
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

The Slovenian Cinematheque is housed in the building of the former Workers’ Chamber designed by architect Vladimir Šubic. The entrance is adorned with statues and an imaginatively devised inscription above the door.

Slovenian parliament

Ljubljana doors
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

Four oak doors lead to the Slovenian Parliament, surrounded by pilasters with sculptures made by Karl Putrih and Zdenko Kalin. They will impress you with their elegance, symmetries and, above all, motifs of everyday life displayed by plastics.

Metelkova

Ljubljana doors
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

Metelkova is a classic case of “street art”, an eclectic mix of nearly everything, with relaxed and colourful artistic expression that radiates joy in life and freedom of spirit.

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