Two hundred years ago, it was a sugar factory – that’s why the people of Ljubljana named it Cukrarna (»the sugar factory«).
For some time it was the largest in the entire Austro-Hungarian monarchy. It was then destroyed by fire. After that, it was restored only to the extent that it was suitable for renting out rooms. They housed soldiers and factory workers, as well as poorer Ljubljana residents. The writer Ivan Cankar also lived in Cukrarna for some time.
Living conditions in Cukrarna were poor and never improved.
For the last twenty years, the Cukrarna has been abandoned. Homeless people were evicted from it and entrances were walled up so that the roof would not fall on anyone’s head. What a shame, passers-by said as they looked at the crumbling building.
Now »Ljubljana’s shame« on the banks of the Ljubljanica has become a new city landmark. It seems to have changed from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan.
From afar you can see the snow-white façade of the mighty building. In the right weather in the evening, its windows – 365 in all – glow in the colours of the setting sun. It has thus already become a popular photographic motif.
Passers-by, on the other hand, like to peek inside.
And the curious will come of their own accord today. Cukrarna will open its doors as a museum of contemporary art, and we will once again be able to enter the most spacious building in Ljubljana.
The spacious platform in front of Cukrarna is already becoming a popular place for socializing, and cyclists have discovered a beautiful cycling route there.
Points To Consider
- Do you know that two more primary schools in Slovenia are named after Dragotin Kette?
- Does a swan really grow out of an ugly duckling in the wild?
- Have you ever visited a museum of contemporary art?
The original version of this article was published on September 10th.