ŽALE Javno podjetje, d.o.o.
Med hmeljniki 2

tel: +3861 420 17  00
faks: +3861 420 17 02

Contact and working hours


Ljubljana's Žale cemetery complex receives the EVROPSKA DEDIŠČINA / EUROPEAN HERITAGE / PATRIMOINE EUROPÉEN label

This exceedingly renowned award is presented by the Committee for European Heritage, composed of the Ministers of Culture and Heritage from the Member States of the European Union who confirm the proposals of the National Committees for the European Heritage Label in accordance with strict criteria and rules and through consensus. At its session in Madrid on 25 January 2007, the European Heritage Committee awarded the European Heritage label to three areas of cultural heritage in Slovenia: the memorial church of the Holy Spirit on Javorca above Tolmin, the Franja Partisan Hospital in Dolenji Novaki near Cerkno and Plečnik's Žale – All Saint's Garden in Ljubljana.

The purpose of this initiative is to foster European identity and the awareness of mutual European history based on European heritage. This action is intended to fortify the feeling of European affiliation among the citizens and residents of the European Union, contributing to its increased awareness.

The EUROPEAN HERITAGE label is a means of supporting and protecting cultural goods, monuments and natural and urban areas, as well as non-material heritage, both tangible and intangible and both contemporary and traditional and sites that play a significant role in understanding European history and culture, including at the transnational level. The EUROPEAN HERITAGE label should awaken awareness of the value of heritage in the European alliance, encourage the activities of the community, strengthen cooperation between the European Union Member States and the national institutions, the European Union and Council of Europe and the public and private cultural sectors.

PLEČNIK'S ŽALE – ALL SAINT'S GARDEN received this award as an extraordinary model of respect and a democratic attitude towards those who have passed away, as the architect Jože Plečnik originated squarely from the heart of the European cultural tradition. Through various methods of layout, he brought a feeling of equality and democracy to the space, thus assuring respect and dignity even after death.

In the nineteen thirties, larger European cities began centralising funerals, removing them from the mortuaries. Plečnik opposed such an impersonal method, which made the deceased merely a number in an almost industrial burial process. Instead, he combined the monumental symbol of the propylaeum marking the transition from the city of the living to the city of the deceased with an apparent sprinkling of small funeral chapels on green lawns, preparing intimate spaces for the mourners’ farewells. Instead of a mourning area for grief and despair, he designed a space for comfort and hope. In this way, the architect adopted the manner of burial that has been maintained in this part of Europe for a century, where the family and friends accompany the deceased from the church parish to the cemetery. He named the funeral chapel after the patron of the Ljubljana parish church and unobtrusively introduced this new manner of burial into the domestic Slovenian cultural tradition. The funeral procession, following the farewell at the funeral chapels, then proceeds between the mighty portal pillars with their high arches to the nearby cemetery. The design of the funeral chapels is linked with the Mediterranean architectural tradition – the idea being based on the antique edicule garden. However, at the same time, it is a far cry from classical and dry eclecticism. The chapels are interesting derivatives of historical European vaulted tombs, distinguished by original designs as well.

The entire project was carried out using modest resources; its implementation attracted a variety of local craftsmen from bricklayers, stonecutters and concrete layers to carpenters and belt-makers. From this aspect, several Žale buildings were conceptualised on the old Semper theory, which says that architecture should originate from the craft trades and also utilise the motive of textiles and ceramics in a transitional sense.

Žale is certainly the most original solution regarding cemetery architecture in the 20th century and is admired by the expert and wider publics throughout the world. The City Municipality of Ljubljana and the ŽALE Javno podjetje, d.o.o. company, who manages Plečnik's Žale, are the founding members of the Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe (ASCE).

This site uses cookies for better performance and user experience. Do you agree to use of cookies?

Find out more

Cookies on our web page

What is Cookie?

A cookie is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user's web browse while a user is browsing a website. When the user browses the same website in the future, the data stored in the cookie can be retrieved by the website to notify the website of the user's previous activity

How do we use cookies?

A visit to a this page could generate the following types of cookie.

Strictly necessary cookies

These cookies are essential in order to enable you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies services you have asked for, like shopping baskets or e-billing, cannot be provided.

2. Performance cookies

These cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don’t collect information that identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works.

3. Functionality cookies

These cookies allow the website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced, more personal features. For instance, a website may be able to provide you with local weather reports or traffic news by storing in a cookie the region in which you are currently located. These cookies can also be used to remember changes you have made to text size, fonts and other parts of web pages that you can customise. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. The information these cookies collect may be anonymised and they cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.

4. Targeting and advertising cookies

These cookies are used to deliver adverts more relevant to you and your interests They are also used to limit
the number of times you see an advertisement as well as help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaign. They are usually placed by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. They remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Quite often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.

Cookie management

Cookies can be managed via the web browser settings. Please, see you browser help how to manage cookies.

On this site you can always turn cookies on/off on menu item “Cookie Management”.

Website management

This website is managed by:

ŽALE Javno podjetje d.o.o.