It is wonderful to wander the city like Ljubljana and find a place like Metelkova city. It’s a different place that instantly gives us an artistic filling. But Metelkova city is much more than a group of colorful and graffiti wearing buildings. This place was born in 1993 when a network of more than 200 associations against violence, decided to transform this former military barracks into a cultural center.
Since then the artist residing in these buildings were managing themselves, creating a small city where art and urban culture are the main focal points. Once we submerge its streets we begin to feel this bohemian and transgressive atmosphere that is radiating from the wacky sculptures, paintings, and other stagings. Currently, part of the area is considered as National Cultural Heritage.
Metelkova is composed of different buildings that house clubs or associations. These spaces are used to host different activities such as workshops, concerts, lectures… The most spacious one is Gala Hala where over 100 concerts a year are held, mostly alternative music. Another characteristic building is the Channel Zero, perhaps one of the oldest platforms in Metelkova which hosts all kinds of events: from musicals to theatre and poetry performances.
Metelkova is significant for giving young people a space to develop their art, whatever the form. Many come here to rehearse with their bands, to paint or organize all kinds of activities. There is even an art gallery – Alkatraz Gallery – where young artists are given a chance to exhibit their works. It is here where the most radical and critical works on the European scene are exposed. Other important clubs are Monokel and Tiffany, both organising lectures and exhibitions of lesbian and gay culture.
Other infrastructure also includes bars with local brewed and super affordable beer. If you’re brave enough, we challenge you to try the famous Bear Blood, which honestly no one knows what it is made from.
If you are fascinated by what you’ve just read, you will probably want to stay at Hostel Celica, also called the Cell, situated right in the Metelkova city itself. Are you wondering about the name? Yes, it was once an old military prison. Today it is completely renovated but many details of the old prison are still there. Each room is unique and even though they are not very big the atmosphere is assured.
Metelkova definitely is a must visit if you travel to the Slovenian capital. You will discover the most transgressive area, always linked to the more independent and critical culture, all in a surreal and wonderful place.