Kranjska gora - Church objects

Parish Church in Kranjska gora, Finžgar'sChapel, Chapel at Srednji vrh, The sacred stone sign at Srednji vrh, The chapel of Saint Bernard at Kranjska gora, The Russian chapel, Chapel of Our Lady of Christians in the Tamar Valley, The Church of The Holy Spirit in Ratece

The Parish Church in Kranjska gora

The so called ,,Manuscript from Rateče" (from the years 1362 to 1390) containing The Lord's prayer, The Prayer to St. Mary and the Credo, all of them written in Slovene, indubtedly proves that in the larger area of Kranjska gora christianity took rootes at the very beginning of christianization of our country. At that time all the Upper Valley belonged to the oldest parish in Gorenjska (Carniola) which had its seat at St. Clement's in Rodine and from the 13 th century in Radovljica. Towards the end of the 12 th century a great majority of Slovenes from Koroška (Carynthia) started to settle dovvn in the Upper Sava Valley. But they nevertheless kept in touch with their native parishes therefore the pastoral work in our Upper Sava Valley area was taken over by the priests of the near-by Carynthian parish St. Mary's on the Zilja. But after the violent earthquake that strongly affected Carynthia in 1348 these ties started to weaken continually. In 1362 the Patriarch of Aquilea, Lewis - all the area belonged to the Aquilea patriarchate - gave orders to the priest from Radovljica for settling down the permanent priest in Kranjska Gora, where the church dedicated to St. Mary had already been founded before 1362. The new priest took over the pastoral care for the entire Upper Valley. Thus Kranjska Gora became vicarage in 1362 and in the year 1390 Rateče was attached to it; the vicarage now extended from Belca to Bela peč. In 1630, when the religious revival was in full blossom after the Protestant Refomation, Kranjska Gora became an independent parish. The only surviving part of the original church is nowadays the Roman tower built in sandy square stones. The present church is a fine example of the late Gothic architecture, dating from 151 0 and built by master Jernej Firtaler from Beljak (Villach). The traces of Carynthian influence are clearly visible in the wonderfully vaulted ceiling of the church' s nave. Originally the church and the tower were separated. It was only in 1758 that St. Joseph's Chapel was added to the building at the northern end. The next great rebuilding followed in the last century in the years 1837-38 when the tower and the church were joined by the choir so enlarging the church building; at the southern end the Chapel of Christ's Heart was added and the Gothic windows were rebuilt into the semicircular ones. From that year on the church building has got its present outlook. Towards the end of the last century, in the years 1884-87 new neo-Gothic altars were setup and the ceilings in both chapels repainted. Of particular interest and of great value in the church are the statues of St. Nicolas and St. Mary dating from the 15th century and The Way of the Cross from the 18th century. The organ being of an imposing age as well (the end of 18th century) is among the oldest in Gorenjska. Extensive renovations in the last years helped to restore the original outlook of the church, particularly regarding its exterior. Old Gothic windows, doors and stones pointing out the original largeness of the church have been discovered.

Finžgar chapel (Jasenje-Gozd Martuljek)

Finzgar's chapel_Jasenje (SI)

To reach the Finžgar chapel at Jasenje we shall take the path from Gozd Martuljek leading to the second waterfall - see description of trip no.4. The chapel is closed but it is open in summer time from 1. till 15. of August. The half part of the object is suited for living and just here the slovenian writer and priest Fran Saleški Finžgar spent some of his free time.

Chapel at Srednji vrh (Gozd Martuljek)

The chapel at Srednji vrh has been built in year 1843. His bell is still alive and three times a day is calling the people to do some prayer: 7 a.m., noon and 7 p.m.

The sacred stone sign at Srednji vrh (Gozd Martuljek)

The sacred stone sign is situated close to the Smolej's house. It has been renewed and repainted in year 1992. There is also the bench where the wanderer can take a little rest enjoying in beautiful sight of Martuljek mountains.

Detail in the foot of sign.

The chapel of Saint Bernard at Kranjska gora

The small chapel is dedicated to Saint Bernard from Menthon, an archdeacon born in 923 in the valley of Aosta, ltaly. He died on or about 15 June 1006 in Novara near Milan. Tradition has it that Saint Bernard of Aosta was canonised in the year 1120. In 1923 Pope Pious XI proclaimed him as the patron saint of the inhabitants of the Alps and mountaineers.
A centuries old pilgrim's path passes by on its way up Lussari, crossed by a railway built in 1870. On the feast of Corpus Christi a procession would be made to the chapel.
It was last restored in the years 1930 to 1932 to the initiative of and and money from the Municipality and the resort association of Kranjska Gora. The fresco was completety repainted by the painter Bradaška.
Today's restoration of the chapel was started in 1996 by retiling the entire roof and completed in 1997 by once more restoring the fresco, erecting a new fence and landscaping the surroundings.

The detail of chapel (main face)

The Russian chapel

During the First World War (1914 -1918) Kranjska Gora was an important cross - roads of military passages when Italy declared war to Austria in May 1915. The connection with the front line on the river Soča (Isonzo) was of strategic importance. In the years 1915 to 1916 Austrian military command engaged more than 10.000 Russian war prisoners to build the road from Kranjska gora over the Mojstrovka (Vršič) mountain pass to Trenta. In March 1916 more than a hundred Russian prisoners and some Austrian guards were buried by an avalamche. Two burial grounds in the vicinity of the Erjavčeva koča, the tomb and the Russian chapel , built in 1917 by the surviving Russian prisoners in memory of their fellow soldiers, are the reminders of the tragic event.

Chapel of Our Lady of Christians in the Tamar Valley

Chapel of St. Mary in the Tamar Valley was built in 1936. The initiator and builder was the then priest in Ratece Josip Lavtižar, originated from nearby Kranjska Gora. In his Chronicle he wrote: »The number of visitors in Planica Valley, surrounded by magnificicnt Julian Alps, increases from year to year. To preserve our Catholic and Slovene identity we need the outer, formal sign of it - a beautiful and spacious chapel at the foot of magnificent Mount Jalovec.« The Chapel was constructed by architect Skubic from Ljubljana and it was blessed by bishop dr. Gregorij Rožman on 23rd August, 1936. In 2002 the chapel was renovated on the initiative of priest M. Benedik and in accordance with the conception of our renown artist p. dr. Marko Ivan Rupnik. The renovation includes the ceiling with the impressive symbolism of circles of different colours. The significance of colours follows the old Christian tradition. The red colour of the first circle is the colour of God, two circles in the middle are green and blue- green signifies Universe and blue Man. The three circles over the altar are orange and gold (two of God's attributes) signifying His faithfulness and His santity. And a circle as such, according to Christian tradition, symbolizes Heaven. The altar is cubeshaped as cube is the most perfect geometrical figure. It indicates the universal extension of St. Eucharist in which the Universe is incorporated. A sharp cut in the front side of the altar, decorated with red and gold, reminds us of Christ's wound from which God's life, His neverending Mercy and Love spread over the world. The renovation has reached its climax in marvellous, magnificient mosaics made by p. Marko Rupnik and the group of his assistants from Centro Aletti in Rome. The mosaic in the chapel has the form of a large piece of tissue, universal overcoat made of variety of pebbles on which the painting of St. Mary is placed.This mosaic reminds us of a scree in the mountains and it symbolizes a scree of mercy. Up the sacred painting our prayers rise to God Almighty and His mercy spreads over mankind. In the vestibule on the front side of the chapel there are mosaics representing two angels. Angel is the witness of God's presence. Where there is an angel there is God as well.The angel on the right is in action, he hurries and along his shoulder he carries the climbing rope. He holds St. Trinity's three-foliate sceptre in his hand. St. Trinity is God who has revealed Himself as Love. Love is true, devoted, indestructible relation which sustains everything and never abandons the beloved one. God in His love sends us His angel who accompanies us everywhere in his humble, loving, unobtrusive way. The angel on the left stands still. In one hand he holds a flower known from the old Slovene tradition as »roža mogota« which symbolizes God's immortality and eternity. In the other hand he holds the Globe which symbolizes God's love which embraces and gives life to everything. It reaches the most hidden place on the Earth and even if the man has fallen in a very remote and dark precipice He helps him with His salvation. In the vestibule there is also a memorial with the names of all those who were killed in the mountains, erected by the Alpine Association of Rateče-Planica.

Details - two angels

Text and photos on the base of leaflet issued by Parochial Office Rateče-Planica; photos M.Smerke.

The Church of The Holy Spirit in Ratece

The church of The Holy Spirit in Ratece/Planica

In the middle of the picturesque village Ratece is standing the church of The Holy Spirit. It has been constructed in the year 1520 and consecrated in 1749. Later, in 1791 the bell tower has been added. The church has gothic presbitery, the main altar is dated in 1878 and constructed by master Janez Vurnik from Radovljica. We can also see pictures of slovene painter Leopold Layer (1752-1828).
This church became the center of parish in 1785, but as the independence parish Ratece from year 1875.

Still under construction!