The mid-20th-century Slovene architect Jože Plečnik was responsible for much of Ljubljana’s rebirth as a cultured, elegant city; he built bridges over the Ljubljanica River as well as pathways along it and in the 1950s was also given the remit to design the Križanke Summer Theatre. It is located in the former Monastery of the Holy Cross, which dated right back to medieval times but was sacked by Yugoslav Communist leaders in the aftermath of World War II.
Plečnik set about creating a Renaissance-style entertainment venue with a vast entrance courtyard, paved with patterned cobbles and surrounded by arcaded walls etched with sgrafitto; his bust is also found here as a memorial to his designs, while some artifacts from the monastery are on display in a small museum next to the church. Today the complex offers four spaces, ranging from the Courtyard of Hell, where chamber-music concerts are held, to a sizeable stage where orchestral concerts and full-blown theater productions are held as well as rock concerts – it has a retractable roof in case of rain. The theater has a total capacity of 1,270 and is administrated by the Ljubljana Festival as the city’s most popular outdoor venue.