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The Bežigrad Stadium

Ljubljana, Slovenia
1 of 14Outsider

At the beginning of the 20th century, Slovenia saw the emergence of two major gymnastic societies promoting both sports activities and political issues: first the liberal Sokol Society and then the Orel Society, a Catholic organization modeled on the Sokol Society and its mass sports gatherings. The Orel Society's stadium, built between 1925 and 1941 to a design by Jože Plečnik, is now Ljubljana's Central Stadium. Its raked seating, balustrades and stands reflect Plečnik's distinctive style. The Stadium is enclosed by a brick wall. Its entrances are covered by a large canopy supported by a row of pseudo-Doric columns.Next to the southern corner of the enclosing wall, Plečnik erected a memorial column topped with a statue called The Windmill. For the occasion of the 1935 Ljubljana Eucharist Congress, he designed a large stand for the guests of honor, adorned with a stone colonnade.

Functions

In 1935 was used as Eucharistic congress arena where 1st Yugoslavian Eucharistic congress with 120 000 people was held. In 1938 a youth gathering was held. The Gloriette and tribunes were added in 1945, when the stadiums suppose to host football national team Olimpija until 2005 and used as a concerts arena. In 2004 investor awaiting for the environmental consents to rebuild stadium area.

Public Private Partnership

When visiting Plečnik’s most known works, one can easily forget that one of his works has slowly transformed into an urban ruin, the so-called ‘shame of Ljubljana’ and the most neglected and abandoned Plečnik monument. The stadium today is on hold, waiting for a singular subject and hopefully on a chain reaction of a singular subject.

Dunajska cesta