In the beginning of the 13th century a Teutonian knight order, the Order of the Cross, settled down on the left bank of the Ljubljanica river. The first written records of their activity date back to 1268, and mention the presence of a monastery complex with church.
There are only few remains of this period: the Krakova Madonna, a relief of a Virgin with Child, which once stood at the top of one of the portals is now kept at the National Gallery. For a long time it had been standing in a chapel at the corner of the complex, where it has been replaced by a replica. Also, some stone elements originally belonging to a wall built in 1307 to protect the settlements complex are preserved in the lapidarium.
In 1714 and 1715, after being torn down, the church was rebuilt in Baroque style according to the plans of the Venetian architect Domenico Rossi, plans which were adapted to suite local traditions. With its rich front, articulated by pilasters and a cupola, it was the first Baroque building in this region.
The Order of the Cross remained there until the end of the 2nd World War, giving its name to the church and the complex: Krizniki is Slovenian for 'Knights of the Cross'.
From 1951 till 1957, the complex was altered by the great architect
Plecnik, after which it became a center
for cultural activities. According to his design, the porch of the lapidarium
is supported by columns from the arcades of the Ducal Palace
demolished by the earthquake in 1895. It was his last major work,
and his devotion can be sensed in the phrases written playfully on the