Ljubljana Sleeping Beauties

Bazen Vevče, Ljubljana
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

Every even such a beautiful city has abandoned buildings or whole areas that are not keeping abreast of time. They have turned into gathering places for artists, the homeless, houses of fear, spaces that stir the imagination. Their fate is different: some buildings will inevitably fall into disrepair, some will be renovated and given a new purpose, some demolished. We looked for some sleeping beauties in Ljubljana and captured some of them. For remembrance for the future and admonition for the present. Above all, because their exterior is particularly suitable for photography. However, we recommend visiting these buildings only in photos or from afar.

Military Barracks on Roška Street

Vojavnica na Roški v Ljubljani.
Fotografija: Denis Simčič

We start our walking on the map of stumps in Ljubljana in the barracks on Roška Street. In the mighty building, which takes us back to the Austro-Hungarian times when it was built, the windows are gaping with broken panes, and the plaster off the once bright yellow facade is peeling off. In memory, the building also takes us back to the heroic times of Slovenian history, when in 1988 a military trial against the Four took place here, and demonstrations in front of the barracks in defence of human rights. Part of the former barracks is now occupied by various cultural services, and part is still empty.

Hotel Bellevue

Hotel Bellevue, Ljubl
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

The Bellevue Hotel, located above the Tivoli Hall, is reached by path past the Old church in Šiška. The visitor is greeted by an object that has almost been overgrown with bushes, and if it is left to decay for a few more years, it will be swallowed up by the forest. So there is nothing left of the former grandeur. The hotel in the Art Nouveau style was built at the beginning of the 20th century, but after the war it was nationalized and after the independence of Slovenia returned to its owners. The hotel then changed owners several more times. Now the owner intends to demolish the building and build a new luxury hotel according to identical plans, but for now, it does not look there has been any progress.

Rog Factory

Tovarna Rog, Ljubljana.
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

The buildings of the former Rog Factory on the banks of the Ljubljanica River in the very centre of the city have hosted a squat in recent years, which has caused a big commotion. Tourists probably liked this colourful and artistic space, but the city authorities did not for various reasons. The authorities decided to vacate the premises and demolition will begin this year. The city authorities intend to establish the Rog Centre in this area.

Plečnik Stadium

Plečnikov stadion v Ljubljani.
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

The stadium is one of the masterpieces of the architect Jože Plečnik and it is quite incredible that covered by overgrown vegetation it is every day a step closer to destruction. Plečnik’s colonnades still stand firm, the stadium is surrounded by a protective fence, graffiti is everywhere, and the view through the crack in the door reveals a space overgrown with grass. The stadium is a victim of opposition between the owner, who intends to build a large sports and business complex here, and those who believe that Plečnik’s heritage needs to be preserved in its original form.

Litostroj Industrial Building

Tovarna Litostroj, Ljubljana.
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

The Litostroj complex is located in Šiška. After the factory closed, about 10,000 square meters of space remained empty. The halls are mostly in disrepair, the surroundings are being turned into a landfill. Cultural events have already been organized in one of the industrial halls, and a discussion of revitalizing the buildings is currently taking place.

Saturnus Industrial Building

Tovarna Saturnus Ljubljana.
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

The premises of the former administrative building of the Saturnus factory in Moste by the railway have been mentioned for some time as a location to be occupied by squatters who were driven out of Rog. But for now, it looks like the premises will be left empty. Broken glass on the windows, some graffiti and debris, a parking lot overgrown with grass… The space where the packaging sheet metal factory once stood and employed up to 1,800 workers is deserted and empty.

Cukrarna – Abandoned Sugar Factory

Cukrarna, Ljubljana
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

The Cukrarna building on Poljanski nasip has long been the main haunted house in Ljubljana, but now it is shining in a new image. From September onwards, it will house an art centre with galleries, a club, a bar, a bookstore and other spaces. However, the building on the other side of Fabiani’s bridge, the Cukrarna Palace, is still awaiting renovation. It is still possible to see its original form (of course only from the outside) where Slovenian modernists lived and died.

Stožice Stadium

Arena Stožice v Ljubljani, nedokončan trgovski kompleks.
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

It has been eleven years since the opening of a new stadium and a multi-purpose sports hall in Stožice. The commercial part of the project remained unfinished, there are pits and a concrete structure on the site. In addition to the shopping centre, a hotel is to be built here, but nothing is happening yet.

Swimming Pool Complex Vevče

Kopališče Vevče, Ljubljana.
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

The Vevče swimming pool offers an impressive image of an abandoned building. The empty pool, where until 2007  people crowded, is slowly falling apart, more and more covered with dirt. The city municipality, which is the owner, intends to establish a multi-purpose sports complex here, and the swimming pool will also be renovated.

The Old Rice Mill Rižarna

Stara rižarna, Ljubljana
Photo credit: Denis Simčič

At the crossroads of Topniška and Linhartova Streets, the old rice mill stands alone for many years. The owner wanted to build an underground garage here years ago, but the city plan does not allow it. A large building with a yellow facade has been falling into disrepair for decades.

 The Railway Museum

Železničarski muzej, Ljubljana
Photo credit Denis Simčič

The Railway Museum is located on Parmova Street in picturesque old industrial buildings. A few buildings have not been restored, so they are slowly falling into disrepair. Old locomotives and coaches standing in front of them are suffering the same fate.

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