Slovenia Revealed
Overall rating: Your rating:
Rating 4.0 with 3 votes Rate this news article!
Perched on the southern slopes of Ljubljana’s Castle Hill, Villa Samassa is easy to miss. Even drivers who enter the nearby road tunnel rarely notice the building. Foto: MMC RTV SLO/D. S.
Still owned by the state, it is waiting for a new glory age. Foto: MMC RTV SLO/D. S.

Share

Ljubljana’s Forgotten Villa

Slovenia Revealed
12. January 2018 ob 06:14
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

Perched on the southern slopes of Ljubljana’s Castle Hill, Villa Samassa is easy to miss. Even drivers who enter the nearby road tunnel rarely notice the building. Those who do look up may be surprised to see an opulent neo-Renaissance villa that once belonged to one of the foremost industrialists in the Slovenian Lands.

The story of the Samassa family in Slovenia began in 1767 when the first member of the dynasty moved to Ljubljana from modern-day Italy. He quickly established a foundry making bells, cannons, and other cast-metal objects. For five generations, the Samassas’ foundry business was famous throughout the Hapsburg Empire.

Albert Samassa, a member of the fourth generation, built a brand-new factory in the 1870s. By then, the family business was renowned for its church bells, with which it supplied churches throughout Austria. The success of the factory allowed Samassa to build himself a residence worthy of a 19th century industrialist.

He had a magnificent villa constructed on Ljubljana’s Castle Hill. An unknown architect conceived the home with three floors and a neo-Renaissance façade complete with decorative statues. The building was big enough to contain several bedrooms, offices, and reception halls. The house was even equipped with Ljubljana’s first telephone line, which enabled Albert Samassa to keep in direct contact with his factory. The villa’s sizeable garden included a pavilion.

Maks Samassa, Albert’s son, found great success in manufacturing arms for the Austro-Hungarian military when he took over the business. But political circumstances changed after World War I, and Samassa left Ljubljana for Vienna. The story of the Samassa dynasty in Slovenia was over.

The villa changed owners several times. After World War II, it ended up in the hands of the Statistical Office. The construction of a tunnel beneath Ljubljana’s Castle Hill in 1959 led to the destruction of the property’s driveway and much of the original garden. Meanwhile, the villa itself remained largely unchanged. It was registered as a cultural monument, but because of a lack of funds, it has deteriorated over the years. Still owned by the state, it is waiting for a new glory age. For now, only old photographs reflect the onetime magnificence of one of Ljubljana’s most spectacular residences.

Jaka Bartolj
TV & Radio
Nightly News in English 21.04. 00:02:03, 21.04.2018
DEUTSCHE NEWS 21.4.2018 00:03:37, 21.04.2018
nightly news in english 20.04 00:01:56, 20.04.2018
nightly news english 19.4 00:02:33, 19.04.2018
News Deutsch 19.4.2018 00:02:49, 19.04.2018
News English, 18.04.2018 00:02:52, 18.04.2018
Nachrichten Deutsch 18.04.2018 00:02:50, 18.04.2018
News in English 17.04.2018 00:02:49, 17.04.2018
News Deutsch 17.4.2018 00:03:06, 17.04.2018
Two guys from Miami in Koper 00:05:31, 17.04.2018
News in English 16.04.2018 00:03:01, 16.04.2018
NEWS IN ENGLISH 15th APRIL 2018 00:02:51, 15.04.2018
NEWS DEUTSCH 15. 4. 2018 00:03:17, 15.04.2018
John Antone 00:27:54, 15.04.2018
News in English 14.04.2018 00:03:33, 14.04.2018
News Deutsch 14.4.2018 00:03:23, 14.04.2018
Highlights of the week 00:07:10, 14.04.2018
News in English - 13.04.2018 00:03:22, 13.04.2018
Slovenia Revealed