UNESCO City of Literature

Ljubljana in the company of 19 cities with the title City of Literature

On 11 December 2015, Ljubljana received the permanent title City of Literature awarded by UNESCO to cities with rich cultural heritage and a thriving contemporary literary scene, which understand the significance of culture and books for the sustainable development of the city.
At the announcement, the Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova stated that UNESCO Creative Cities Network serves as excellent proof that culture enables sustainable development and underlined that newly nominated cities and the countries they represent have significantly enriched the network.
In its application for the title Ljubljana committed itself to continue promoting the rich literary scene in the city (Slovenian Book Days, Library Under the Treetops, Vodnik Homestead, Ljubljana City Library, Slovene Book Fair…), offering refuge to literary artists from around the world by co-operating within the ICORN network, advocating reading and access to books for all age groups and supporting the well-established library infrastructure.
Among its main projects, Ljubljana supports the literary festival with distinguished foreign and domestic authors and the publishing of their works, within its continuing project Ljubljana Reads it is promoting Slovenian children’s books, reading within the family and book ownership, and has launched a new children’s book festival and a literary centre in the Sugar Factory Palace where new book related themes are presented in an innovative way.
The core part of our candidature was the Manifesto for Ljubljana – City of Literature, in which we presented twelve reasons for awarding the UNESCO title to Ljubljana and four commitments Ljubljana intends to fulfil with its title.
The title City of Literature is held by 20 cities: Edinburgh (Great Britain), Melbourne (Australia), Iowa City (USA), Dublin (Ireland), Reykjavik (Iceland), Norwich (Great Britain), Krakow (Poland), Dunedin (New Zealand), Prague (the Czech Republic), Heidelberg (Germany), Granada (Spain), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Ulyanovsk (Russia), Bagdad (Iraq), Tartu (Estonia), Lvov (Ukraine), Barcelona (Spain), Nottingham (Great Britain), Obidos (Portugal), Montevideo (Uruguay).

Four commitments Ljubljana intends to fulfil with its title:

  1. The City of Ljubljana will continuously aim to ensure the development of literature and create spiritual and material conditions for Ljubljana to be¬come a safe haven for writers from all around the world.
  2. The City of Ljubljana will continue to support literary and cultural events which will remain accessible to everyone.
  3. The City of Ljubljana will continue to devote attention to promoting reading and ac¬cessibility of books for all age groups as well as to support the infrastructure and promote reading among the youth.
  4. The City of Ljubljana will en¬courage creating new employ¬ment opportunities for young citizens in the field of book in¬dustry and infrastructure, and engage immigrants, foreigners and everyone else who chose Ljubljana as their new home in its activities.