Ljubljanski grad Public Institute

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Javni zavod Ljubljanski grad
Grajska planota 1, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Phone386 (0) 1 306 4230
Mateja Avbelj Valentan, Director

Ljubljana Castle 2008 aerial shot Photo Arne Hodalic.jpgA beautiful aerial view of Ljubljana Castle and the Old Town Centre, 2008

The Ljubljanski grad Public Institute was established in 2011 by the Municipality of Ljubljana. Its main task is to run and coordinate the cultural, educational, and tourist programme at the Ljubljana Castle, which beforehand was under the wing of the Ljubljana Festival. The plethora of various exhibitions and events at the castle – often done in collaboration with various other institutions – numbers up to 400 annually and encompasses cinema screenings, theatre plays, photography and history exhibitions, music concerts, dance performances, children's workshops, and more.

The tourist infrastructure and services of the castle are also managed by the institute, which among other things takes care of the funicular railway to the castle hill and services the long tradition of weddings being held at the Ljubljana Castle. They offer their many venues for hire, organise various guided tours and even arrange birthday parties for children.

Permanent exhibitions

The better part of the permanent exhibitions at the castle are dealing with the history of the castle and the city below. One of them is the Virtual Castle, a 12-minute projection showing the history and architectural development of the castle up until the present day. It is a complementary project to the Virtual Museum – Ljubljana Squares through the Ages, prepared by the City Museum of Ljubljana, which is now available to watch online. A similar topic is dealt with in the multimedia exposition iLjubljana that deals with the urban development of Ljubljana.

Ljubljana Castle 2010 Slovene History I exhibition Photo Matevz Paternoster.jpgThe bronze situla from Vače (500 BC), an original housed at the National Museum of Slovenia, is accessible to wider public at the Ljubljana Castle as a part of the Slovene History exhibition, 2010

Another important exhibition is Slovenian History, which uses original items, replicas, interactive content, and multimedia presentations to outline the political, social, cultural, and economic history of the Slovenian territories from prehistory onwards. Another elaborate but more specific display is called The Penitentiary. It deals with the techniques, concepts, and artefacts of confinement and punishment, a topic which was expanded with an additional exhibition about torture in 2015.

Finally, there is the Museum of Puppetry, an ambitious joint project of the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre and the Ljubljanski grad Public Institute, supported by the Municipality of Ljubljana, which presents the history of puppetry in Slovenia since the early days of the 20th century and also sets up regular puppet shows.

Art exhibitions

Graphic arts form a very important part of the institute's programme, which has – to name but a few – featured photography by Steve McCurry as well as some other collaborations with National Geographic photographers; a contemporary ceramics exhibition co-produced with the International Ceramics Triennial Unicum; interdisciplinary spatial installations done by Urša Vidic as a part of the City of Women International Festival; a display of contemporary Hungarian graphic artists (a joint project with the Hungarian Academy of Arts); and a number of other exhibitions, from children's creations to urban planning.

Of the recent international partners, one can also name the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague and the Venice Academy Gallery of Fine Art.

Educational events

Educational content at the castle spans from history lectures and different guided tours (some even featuring costumed re-enactments of events from certain historical periods) to workshops for children. The latter are done on topics like the cultural legacy of the castle, folk legends and tales, and medieval life at the castle.

Ljubljanski grad Public Institute 2014 Time Machine project team Photo Miha Mally.jpgTime Machine project revives the history of the castle. Organised by the Ljubljanski grad Public Institute, 2014

Alongside these, there are also serious lectures and discussions on history and culture, many of them produced together with the researchers and experts from the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, the National Museum of Contemporary History, or the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana.

Music, cinema, and performative arts

There are quite a few music cycles at the castle, with some of them conceptualised as a series of concerts in which an invited musician curates his own four or five collaborations with other artists. Some such musicians who were given this mandate: Milko Lazar, Matjaž Drevenšek, Tajda Lekše, Mia Žnidarič, Janez Dovč, Uroš Perič, Jure Tori, and Vasko Atanasovski. In 2017 a Jazz Club Ljubljanski Grad has opened with a regular Friday evening programme.

Another set of cycles presents classical music pieces, which were in 2015 coupled with the works of poets like William Shakespeare, Paul Eluard, and Antonio Machado. Some of the invited musicians were Theresa Plut, Nadežda Tokarova, Denys Masliuk, and Gavriel Lipkind. Occasionally, other musical events also take place, from pop music gigs to concerts by theAcademic Choir Tone Tomšič.

Ljubljana Castle 2014 Film under the stars Kinodvor Photo Nada Zgank.jpgLjubljana Castle courtyard as a venue for popular Film under the Stars screenings organised by Kinodvor Cinema during summertime.

During the summertime, the castle courtyard is occupied by Kinodvor Cinema's film screenings called Film under the Stars (co-produced by the institute as well) and a stand-up series titled Comedy under the Stars (done in tandem with Gustav Film). This genre is also represented by an international stand-up comedy festival called Panč Festival.

See also

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