Published Categorised as Art & Design, Photography, Slovenia, Travel 2 Comments on Metelkova


Metelkova is an area in the centre of Ljubljana that was origin­ally a milit­ary barracks, then was squat­ted in the early 90s when the Yugoslav army pulled out after Slov­e­nia declared inde­pend­ence, and is now full of social centres, work­shops and gig venues. (And a hostel where I stayed overnight before cross­ing the border to Klagen­furt for work).

The most famous area like this is Chris­ti­ania in Copen­ha­gen. I was very disap­poin­ted with Chris­ti­ania when I visited last year. I liked some of the build­ings there, but the cent­ral market area was sleazy and tacky and there was an aggress­ive atmo­sphere, and the place it most honestly reminded me of was the red light district in Amster­dam. Maybe its glory days were in the 60s and 70s when it was foun­ded.

Metelkova is a differ­ent propos­i­tion. It had a friendly and relaxed atti­tude, and I never felt any qualms about wander­ing round by myself, an atmo­sphere prob­ably helped by the fact that the city govern­ment takes a gener­ally posit­ive atti­tude to its exist­ence. They still don’t pay any rent, but no-one seems to care. It was clean and pleas­ant- people seemed to respect the commun­al space.

Almost every build­ing was covered in paint­ings.

Or wheat paste designs.

Serbia and Croa­tia might still be bick­er­ing about what coun­try Tesla came from, but Slov­e­nia doesn’t have a horse in this race.

This is the end of town- you can see the next build­ing is not in the district.


Anarchy still depends on someone empty­ing the bins and clean­ing the toilets.


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