Max Fabiani

Architect, urban planner, professor, writer of technical and literary texts, inventor and mayor of Štanjel.

MAX FABIANI (Kodbilj 1865 - 1962 Gorizia/Gorica).
Architect, urban planner, professor, writer of technical and literary texts, inventor and mayor of Štanjel. 


Max Fabiani was born in Kobdilj.
Besides Jože Plečnik and J. Vurnik, Max Fabiani was one of the founders of Slovene architecture and urbanism. As an architect and urbanist he worked in the areas of the former Habsburg Monarchy, from Poland to the Czech Republic and to the Gulf of Trieste. He was professor at Vienna Polytechnic Institute and he was one of the most important co-creators of the Vienna Secession. In Vienna, he is best known for his buildings Uranija, Artaria, Portois & Fix and many more. He was also the main designer of Hribar’s Ljubljana after the earthquake. As an urbanist and architect, he contributed to the building of Hribar’s house (Hribarjeva hiša), Krisper’s house (Krisperijeva hiša) and various other buildings. His Report of the plan of the common regulation of the state capital city of Ljubljana (Poročilo k načrtu občne regulacije deželnega stolnega mesta Ljubljane) published in 1895, was the first technical publication on architecture written in Slovene. In 1902 the University of Vienna honoured him with a doctoral degree for his achievement in urbanism. This was the first time that a doctorate had been awarded in this field.

After World War I he returned to Gorizia, where he was responsible for the post-war reconstruction of the villages between Bovec and the sea which were damaged during the Isonzo Front. Later, he returned to Kobdilj.

Mayor of Štanjel

From the year 1935 onwards, he was Mayor of Štanjel. He restituted a former central role to the village by his carefully studied and still visible interventions. Fabiani achieved that the Štanjel castle passed under Italian State property and during the 1930s he converted it into multipurpose center—one of the first project of this kind, that included the municipality seat, school, kindergarten, cinema, clinic and other public spaces.
The most famous Fabiani's legacy in Štanjel is the Ferrari Garden, created as an addition to the Ferrari  Villa – a group of buildings along the former eastern wall that were renovated for Fabiani's nephew Enrico Ferrari. This intervention gave a completely new content to the medieval Štanjel, without compromising its original identity. In Štanjel, Fabiani reconstructed the Entrance Tower, the staircase and the square with a platform between the castle and the church. He designed the renovation of the church and the bell tower.
He renovated the Romanic House with the village well, where the ethnological collection of Štanjel is housed. He designed the entrance to the World War I Military Cemetery and transformed a nearby building from a former military facility into Hotel Miramonti. His last intervention in Štanjel, planned after the World War I, was the Casa del Fascio from 1938, later the House of Cooperatives. In this period, Fabiani renewed one of the houses in Kobdilj (Villa Max) that shared with his brother.


After World War II he lived in Gorizia where he died and was also buried. His remains were brought to the tomb of the Fabiani family vault at Kobdilj cemetery in 1984. He was still very active as an architect, urbanist, and writer until the end of his life.

As an expert, he was given several awards: the Knight’s Order of Franz Joseph, the Knight’s Order of the Prussian Eagle, the Knight’s Order of the Red Eagle, Knight of the Honour Legion, Commender of the Order of St. Stanislav, war medals, the Knight’s Order of the Italian Crown, the Knight’s Order of the Merits of Vatican, Gran Prix and gold medal for the best appartment and commercial house in Vienna in the years 1911/12 and a Golden Doctorate in Vienna in 1952.

Max Fabiani is a personality of European importance: he is part of Austrian, Italian and Slovene culture. He entered Slovene history books as the designer of many famous buildings, such as Slovenski Narodni Dom (Slovene National Centre) in Trieste, which unfortunately was burnt down in 1920, Trgovski dom (Commercial House) in Gorizia, Jakopičev pavilijon (the Jakopič Pavillion) in Ljubljana (demolished in the 1960s), and Dekliški Licej Mladika (Girl’s Secondary School Mladika) in Ljubljana.

In addition, streets in Vienna, Ljubljana, Trieste and Gorizia are named after him. In Gorizia, the Secondary School of Art is dedicated to him. The Secondary School for Geometers in Trieste is also named after him. A bronze bust of him was erected in the atrium of the Technical University of Vienna and in Štanjel a footpath also carries his name. 

GPS: 45.8226270, 13.8435980


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