Summer Theatre Križanke

Križanke began as the medieval monastery of the Teutonic Knights. It incorporated a small church, three monastic cloisters, a prior’s living quarters, and walled-in gardens. Its location was prime, right in the city center, at the end of Vega Street, which Plečnik had renovated with the idea that this would be the arts center of the city.

In 1952, Plečnik was commissioned to transform the monastery into a performance space. He first opened up the external walls, adding arches and walkways along the ramparts, and decorated the interior faces of the wall with patterns. Next, he renovated the cloisters and inner courtyard and converted the vegetable garden into an outdoor theater space.

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For the large performance space, Plečnik created an open-air stepped seating arrangement, which was a variation on the traditional Greek theater. He intentionally retained a low wall around the performance space and created a public garden on the far side of it, so that anyone could sit outside of the wall and listen to the performance, even if they could not afford a ticket.

Perhaps the most original invention of his later years was Peklensko dvorišče, or the Devil’s Court in English. At night, when internal lights are turned off and four rows of lamps on the walls are turned on, a magical thing happens. The walls themselves seemingly disappear, and are replaced by a constellation of lights, each one of which appears to float in space.

Today, Križanke is one of the most popular event venues in Ljubljana, hosting numerous concerts all-year-round. It is home of the famous annual Festival Ljubljana, which brings the world’s best classical music to Ljubljana.

Directions to Summer Theatre Križanke

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