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Max Fabiani.
Max Fabiani, (29 April 1865 – 18 August 1962) was a Slovene - Italianmarker art nouveau architect.


He was born as Maximilian Fabiani in a family of Friulian origin in the village of Kobdiljmarker near Štanjelmarker on the Kras plateau, in what was then the Austro-Hungarian province of Gorizia and Gradisca (now in Sloveniamarker). He came from a gentrified family which could afford to provide a good education for the children. He grew up in a cosmopolitan trilingual environment: besides Italian, the language of his family, and Slovene, the language of his social environment, he learned German since the very young age.

He attended elementary school in Kobdilj in his father's house, and the German language Realschule in Ljubljanamarker, then moving to Viennamarker, where he attended architecture courses at the Vienna University of Technology. After his diploma in 1889, a scholarship enabled him to travel for three years (1892-1894) to Asia Minormarker and through most of Europe. When he returned to Vienna, he joined the studio of the architect Otto Wagner on Wagner's personal invitation, and stayed there until the end of the century. During this period he did not only focus his interests on design, but also cultivated his vocation as town planner and passionately devoted himself to teaching.

Fabiani's first large scale architectural project was the urban plan for the Carniolan capital Ljubljanamarker, which was heavily damaged by an earthquake in 1895. Fabiani won a competition against the historicist architect Camillo Sitte, and was chosen by the Ljubljana Town Council as the main urban planner. One of the reasons for this choice was Fabiani was considered by the Slovene Liberal Nationalists as a Slovene. Under the personal sponsorship of the Liberal nationalist mayor of Ljubljana Ivan Hribar, Fabiani designed several important buildings in the Carniolan capital, including the Mladika palace, which is now the seat of the Slovenian Foreign Ministry. His work in Ljubljana helped him to become a prominent figure in the Slovene Lands, convincing the Slovene nationalist leadership in the Austrian Littoral to entrust him the design for the National Halls in Goriziamarker (1903) and in Triestemarker (1904).

In 1917, he was named professor at the University of Viennamarker, and in 1919, one of his closest pupil Ivan Vurnik, offered him a teaching position at the newly established University of Ljubljanamarker, Fabiani however turned down the offer, quit the teaching position in Vienna, and decided to settle in Gorizia, which had been annexed to the Kingdom of Italy, thus becoming an Italian citizen. In the 1920s, he coordinated a large scale reconstruction of historical monuments in the areas in the Julian March that had been devastated by the Battles of the Isonzo in World War One.

n the late 1935, he accepted the nomination for mayor (podestà) of his native Štanjel by the Fascist regime, adhering to the National Fascist Party. He remained mayor during World War Two, using his knowledge of German language ans his cultural connections to convince the German troops to spare the village from destruction. He also maintained contacts with the local Yugoslav partisans. Nevertheless, the monumental fortifications part of the village, which he himself had renovated in the 1930s, were eventually destroyed in the fight between the Wehrmacht and the Slovene partisans.

In 1944, Fabiani moved back to Gorizia where he lived until his death.


His most important works include: Mladika Palace (Ljubljana, 1896), Palace Portois & Fix (Viennamarker, 1898), Palace Artaria (Viennamarker, 1900), Palace Urania marker, the Revenue Office building (Goriziamarker, 1903), the Narodni dom in Trieste (1904), the urban development plan for Ljubljanamarker (1895), the plan for the reconstruction of Goriziamarker (1921) and the general urban development plan for Venicemarker (1952).

Image:Urania-Wien-1910.jpg|Urania palacemarker in Vienna, built according to Fabiani's plansImage:HribarjevaHisa-Ljubljana.JPG|Hribar's house in LjubljanaImage:Mladika-Ljubljana.JPG|Mladika building (now the Foreign Ministry Palace) in LjubljanaImage:BambergovaHisa-Ljubljana.JPG|Bamberg House in Ljubljana

External links


  1. Marco Pozzetto, Max Fabiani, MGS PRESS S.a.s., Trieste (1998) p. 15.
  2. Breda Mihelič, Urbanistični razvoj Ljubljane (Ljubljana: Partizanska knjiga, 1983), 10.
  3. Marko Kravos et al., Narodni dom v Trstu, 1904-1920 (Trieste-Duino, 1995).
  5. Janez Koželj et al., Ivan Vurnik, slovenski arhitekt - Slovenian Architect (Ljubljana: Organizacijski odbor projekta Vurnik, 1994).
  6. Marco Pozzetto, Max Fabiani, MGS PRESS S.a.s., Trieste (1998) p. 15.
  7. Marco Pozzetto, Max Fabiani, MGS PRESS S.a.s., Trieste (1998) p. 72.
  8. Neera Gatti, Lettere ad un amica, Ergon S.r.l, Gorizia (1951) p. 26,27.

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