SI 1000 Ljubljana
The Mestna galerija Ljubljana at Mestni trg 5 is the largest fine art exhibition space in Ljubljana. Its vantage points are its location in the very heart of the old town nucleus, right next to the Town Hall, and well-equipped, modern, bright and spacious rooms on the ground floor and two upper floors. The premises are well suited to extensive and demanding exhibitions and projects, as well as to smaller, more intimate presentations of all types of contemporary fine and visual art.
The building at Mestni trg 5 was built in the early 16th century by Count Lanthieri. The Lanthieri family resided there for over two hundred years, until the 19th century, when the house became the property of a rich merchant family named Zeschko. One member of the family was the great art lover Josipina Zeschko, dubbed the "glass princess" as her father traded in glass goods; later she married an industrialist and large landowner, Fidelis Terpinec, the owner of the Fužine castle. In 1866, the building at Mestni trg was bought by a merchant named Hamann. He used it as a shop and store, which it remained until 1963 (at which time it housed a fur store), when it was converted into an art gallery by decree of the People's Committee of Ljubljana-Center. The renovation of the building was planned by the architect Boris Kobe and supervised by the institute for the preservation and renovation of the Ljubljana old town.
In December 1961, the old building of the Jakopič Pavilion (the first Ljubljana exhibition space built in 1908 by the painter Rihard Jakopič) was demolished, and the house at Mestni trg 5 was chosen as a suitable new venue for exhibition activities and the management of such. In November 1962, the Jakopič Pavilion was re-named Mestna galerija (the City Art Museum). The new exhibition premises at Mestni trg 5 were inaugurated as the Mestna galerija Ljubljana in October 1963. In 1990 and 1991, the Ljubljana Cultural Community financed a thorough renovation of the building. In addition to modernized exhibition rooms and offices in the converted loft, the gallery also now featured a cafe on the ground floor.