Jože Plečnik Paviljon Belvedere

Text : Milos Kosec, Danica SretenovicLocation : Bled, SloveniaType: Private House Year: 1930
Date: March 2, 2023 Category: Classic

Tea house of Yugoslav President, Josip Broz Tito who hosted crème de la crème personalities of the time (Selassie, Hruschov, Nehru, Naser, etc.)

The Belvedere Pavilion, as the buildings are known as, has an unusual history. The dimension of the stone pillars and the steep terrain suggests an altogether different scale and programme to that of a small teahouse. Once a part of the princely Windischgrätz estate, the area was bought for Alexander, the new King of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later the first king of Yugoslavia. In the Alpine panorama of the old medieval castle across the lake and the catholic church on the small island in the middle of the lake, the king wanted to make his own architectural mark. He asked the foremost Slovene architect Jože Plečnik, the author of the renovation of the Prague presidential residence, to come up with suitably impressive plans for the new castle. Plečnik conceived an impressive compact mansion high on the rocky hill overlooking the island. It was designed as half a feudal manor and half a Hollywood villa, complete with a curved driveway for cars that would lead directly to the lower floor of the building. The three pillars were to support the main block of the house, which could then protrude all the way to the lakeshore. Construction on the ambitious undertaking started in the 1930s; by October 1934, when King Alexander was assassinated in Marseilles, only the three great pillars were completed. The royal residence on top of them was never built; the royal widow stopped the construction and started to build a new villa on the site of the Windischgrätz mansion not far away from the original construction site.

When the villa was finished after the war, it was converted for the use of Tito, the new President of the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia. It was his architect and Plečnik’s disciple Vinko Glanz who used the three pillars of his teacher as a base for the new teahouse.”

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