Details

Keywords Change this

Monument, Yugoslavian Modernism

Project timeline

1952 – 1953

Type

Monument & Memorial

Location Change this

Dolina Drage
4275 Begunje
Slovenia

Architect Change this

__

Article last edited by Bostjan on
May 20th, 2019

Hostage's Cemetery Change this

Begunje, Slovenia
by Edvard Ravnikar Change this
1 of 5

Description Change this

The monument complex commemorates the 161 prisoners from the Begunje prison that were shot at this site by Nazi soldiers from August 1941 to May 1942. In the early 1950s, local and regional governments and veterans groups in the Begunje municipality organized the construction of a memorial cemetery where hostages were executed. Edvard Ravnikar was commissioned to create this cemetery complex. The central element of the memorial cemetery consists of dozens of half meter tall prism-shaped granite markers spread across the execution site. Each marker is inscribed with names of the victims who were executed at this site. At the entrance to the complex, there are two engraved stone pillars along with a bronze sculpture work depicting one of the hostages made by artist Boris Kalin.

Symbolism

Ravnikar created a sort of partition between the cemetery and the surrounding natural landscape by constructing a rough stone wall around its perimeter. This wall, which is constructed in a very traditional way using local materials, is meant to act as a sort of mental buffer zone between a place of great tragedy and the landscape it is surrounded by. This not only accents the cemetery but also lets the viewer know that they are stepping into a sacred place. Meanwhile, the triangular pylon stone markers themselves are arranged in varying patterns, with some being solitary while others are grouped in significant geometric clusters.

As such, the triangle pylons themselves can be understood as highly reduced abstract versions of the hostages themselves. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that when Ravnikar later built his monumental TR3 Towers in Republic Square in Ljubljana, they also were of a triangular pylon shape and were even situated similarly to his stone markers at Hostage's Cemetery in Begunje.

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