Discover the story behind Slovenia’s most famous poet, France Preseren, and his love for Julija Primic that began right here at Julija’s Palace.
Julija’s Palace, The Poet and His Muse
The Poet – France Preseren
France Preseren is widely regarded as the most influential Slovene poet and classical author of all time. Born into a peasant family in 1800, France studied hard and became a lawyer, practicing in Ljubljana. It was here that he wrote many of his most famous poems, and it was here that he first laid eyes on the beautiful Julija Primic. Julija didn’t know at first, but she became the poet’s muse and, as time went on, his love for her grew.
The Poet’s Muse – Julija Primic
France’s love for Julija would never have blossomed had it not been for 4 Wolfova Street. This palatial building, which was constructed in 1775, was a popular meeting spot for France and his friends in the 1830s. They would often socialize in the inner courtyard, sipping drinks and having discussions about literature and the state of their divided homeland. It was here that France first saw Julija in her bedroom window. Julija Primic house was behind 4 Wolfova Street, overlooking the courtyard, and we can guess that France would be waiting for a glimpse of her every time he visited.
Unfortunately Julija Primic came from a wealthy Ljubljana family, so even if she did have feelings for France she was likely not allowed to show them. Though he had studied hard to become a lawyer, his family were still peasants and even just socializing with lower classes in the 19th century was usually forbidden.
But, France didn’t give up. He continued to write many poems about his love for Julija. Those poems became more intimate but his works were also gaining more recognition. Part of one of his poems forms the Slovenian national anthem and he wrote one of his most famous pieces, Wreath of Sonnets while in Ljubljana and dedicated it to Julija.
Julija went on to marry a wealthy Ljubljana man, though France would never forget her. Today France and his muse, Julija will be forever immortalized in their statues. A small statue of Julija sits above the door to 4 Wolfova Street where she appears as if looking out of her bedroom window, while in Preseren Square is a large statue of France, looking toward Julija Primic house.
Now restored, 4 Wolfova Street is once again grand enough to be called a palace and, because this is where France first saw Julija, we named it Julija’s Palace.
Many of the buildings that once surrounded Julija’s Palace were destroyed by a powerful earthquake that shook the city on Easter Sunday, April 14, 1895, but not this one. The palace survived the earthquake and, thanks to a recent major renovation has now been restored to its former glory with majestic architecture and period furnishings. Its grand reception rooms provide a unique space for events, while its upper floors offer fine vacation rental apartments for discerning travelers. You can read France Preseren’s works while staying in one of these Ljubljana apartments as an English translated booklet is provided for our guests.