Metelkova Art Center

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Metelkova Art Center


Metelkova (full name in Slovene: Avtonomni kulturni center Metelkova mesto, "Metelkova City Autonomous Cultural Centre", referred to by the acronym AKC) is an autonomous social and cultural centre in the city centre of Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital city. Formerly, the site was the military headquarters of the Army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, then it became the Slovenian headquarter of the Yugoslav National Army. It consists of seven buildings (military barracks) extended over a total area of 12,500 m², which have been squatted since September 1993. The squat is named after nearby Metelko Street (Slovene: Metelkova ulica), which is named after the 19th-century Slovenian Roman Catholic priest, philologist, and unsuccessful language reformer Fran Metelko.

The contested history of Metelkova as a squat begins on June 25, 1991 with the Slovenian and Croatian declaration of independence. This date is considered one of many that mark the end of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. After the dissolution of Yugoslavia in that year, the Yugoslavian Army left Metelkova, which shortly became a military brownfield with its leftover barracks.

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