Nestled in central Europe, surrounded by the magnificent Adriatic Sea and The Alps, lies a small, but spectacularly beautiful Slovenia – one of the rising European tourism stars that year after year attracts more and more visitors to its diverse and beautiful cities, natural phenomenon and breathtaking nature. The best place to start with exploring this amazing country – is its fairy-tale looking capital Ljubljana… And a hostel that is one of the most intriguing ones in the world, without a doubt.
Hostel Celica (celica meaning “a cell” in English) is a former Austro-Hungarian prison international artists transformed to a completely positive, unique and chic experience. The results are 20 former prison cells of which each of two and three-bedded cells is a unique work of art with original prison bars on windows and doors.
But this unique “Pimp My Prison” story wasn’t an easy task at the beginning, and the process took more than 10 years until the hostel was finally opened in 2003. After the building was abandoned in 1991 when Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia, the initiative Network for Metelkova wanted to transform the object to a multicultural center. But after 2 years of harsh bureaucratic procedures, the city authorities weren’t feeling the beat as they actually tried to demolish the building what initiated supporters to occupy the place until they get the documents to move into the empty premises. Yup, the story went even a step further… The authorities in these new circumstances tried to scare the protesters by switching off electricity and water supplies which some of them forced to leave, but luckily, most persistent stayed.
After long ten years of restoration, transformation and believing in the project, The City of Ljubljana finally showed approval and this unique place with a unique history was on its way to welcome their first guests.
Sleep behind bars, if you’re comfortable with it, of course, or just book a regular room or dorm; spend time in a spiritual cell for meditation (Point of Peace), visit hostel’s Art Gallery or Museum of Confinement or just chat with a friendly stuff and international travelers who came to this amazing place to check the story behind definitely one of the most creative hostels in the world.
So, guys, just wondering… Still looking for a different and spectacular European travel experience?
(pics: hostelcelica.com/for indie voyager)