National and University Library (NUK)
NUK- National and University Library. The building of the National and University Library was built on the site of a late Renaissance princely mansion, which was badly damaged in the earthquake of 1895 and therefore had to be demolished. The plan for the library was prepared by the architect Jože Plečnik as early as 1927. The foundations for the construction were laid in 1936.
The construction of the library "sanctuary of spirituality", as Plečnik understood it, was completed shortly before the Second World War in Slovenia in 1941. is a trapezoidal library with four tracts surrounding the inner courtyard. An intermediate stairway in black marble and a peristyle with 32 marble columns connects the main entrance from Turjaška Street with a large reading room.
The large reading room has 240 seats and is popular especially among students, as they find a 'refuge' for their studies. The interior of the library boasts beautiful and handcrafted furnishings. The National and University Library (NUK) is Plečnik's most important work in Ljubljana. The National and University Library (NUK) is the National Library of the Republic of Slovenia and the largest library in the country. Its basic task is to collect, organize, preserve and disseminate Slovenian written cultural heritage. In addition to the national NUK, it performs a number of other functions, namely the central state library, the university library of the University of Ljubljana, the center for the development of Slovenian libraries, and the IFLA is also the central scientific library in Slovenia.
On 28 July 2021, the National University Library was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the entry of Jože Plečnik's Work in Ljubljana - Urban Design Tailored to Man. The creation of the library is connected with the decree of Empress Maria Theresa from 1774, which donated 637 books, which were saved by the fire of the disbanded Jesuit college on Levstikov trg in Ljubljana, for general use to the established library at the Ljubljana Lyceum (Lyceum Library). In 1791, the collection contained 20,000 books, and found its premises in the Ljubljana Lyceum on Vodnikov trg.
In 1794 it became a public library, and in 1807 it received the right to receive a mandatory copy of all publications from the territory of Carniola, and during the French occupation from the entire administrative area of the Illyrian provinces. After the abolition of the Ljubljana Lyceum in 1850, it became the "Ljubljana Study Library", and in 1919, with the renaming to the "State Study Library", it became the central library for all of Slovenia with the right to receive a mandatory copy of the press. In 1921, it became the "State Library" and compulsory copies from other parts of the former Yugoslavia began to flow into its holdings. With the founding of the first Slovenian university in Ljubljana in 1919, the library also took over the functions and tasks of the central university library, and space constraints forced it to temporarily use the adapted part of the Poljanska Gymnasium.
For a long time, the government in Belgrade was not in favor of building a new building, and the library received a new building only in 1941 after mass student demonstrations and protests. The new building was built according to the plans of architect Jože Plečnik and is a cultural monument of the highest order. On the basis of the Universities Act and the General University Decree, the library acquired the title of University Library in Ljubljana in 1938. The library moved into the building just at the beginning of the Second World War and the occupation of Slovenian territory.
The relocation was hastened, as the occupation administration threatened to move into the new and empty building. Until 1961, the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana also operated in the building. On January 29, 1944, an Italian postal plane in German service crashed into the building. About 60,000 books were destroyed in the fire. The crew and one visitor lost their lives.
The library was completely renovated and reopened only in 1947. In 1945, the university library was granted the legal status of the Slovenian National Library and its name was changed again, becoming the National and University Library in Ljubljana. After the independence of Slovenia in 1991, the National and University Library was given additional tasks and responsibilities, which were previously performed by the federal institutions of the former Yugoslavia. For example, she established the State Agency for International Bibliographic Control of Publications, the State Library. In 2003, the National and University Library became an associate member of the University of Ljubljana with contractually defined activities and services provided by the library for the needs of educational, scientific research and artistic activities of the University and its library system. Sources:
"Description of the immovable cultural heritage unit, record number 373". Reviewer of the Register of Cultural Heritage (Cultural Heritage Protection Act, Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 16/2008). Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia. Krusic, Marjan; Peter, Skoberne; Gojko, Zupan; Anton, Gosar