Religious sites in Slovenia

Franciscan Church of the Annunciation

The Franciscan Church of the Annunciation is located on Prešeren Square in Ljubljana. Built between 1646 and 1660 (the bell towers following later), it replaced an older church on the same site. The early-Baroque layout takes the form of a basilica with one nave and two rows of side-chapels. The Baroque main altar was executed by the sculptor Francesco Robba. Many of the original frescoes were ruined by the cracks ...
Founded: 1646-1660 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana Cathedral

Ljubljana Cathedral, also named St. Nicholas" Cathedral, was originally a Gothic church. In the early 18th century, it was replaced by a Baroque building. It is an easily recognizable landmark of the city with its green dome and twin towers and stands at Cyril and Methodius Square by the nearby Ljubljana Central Market and Town Hall. The site was originally occupied by an aisled three-nave Romanesque church, the old ...
Founded: 1701-1707 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Church of Snowy Mary

The Church of Snowy Mary was first mentioned in the year 1404. A rich lady from Piran donated the money for its construction. A Baroque altar from the 17th century decorates the presbytery. There are many paintings on the walls, in wooden and fretted frames, made in the year 1666 by B. Marangoni from Mantova. On the east side, above the entrance, there is the main painting from the second half of the 17th century portray ...
Founded: c. 1404 | Location: Piran, Slovenia

Church of Our Lady of Consolation

The Church of Our Lady was initially dedicated to St. Michael. Its original form dates from the year 1439, and in the 17th century it was restored. Hence its exterior and interior are significantly baroque. Next to the central altar from the 18th century, there is a painting of Mary with the Child. The church is richly decorated with four paintings representing the stages in the life of St. Augustine. They were initially ...
Founded: 1439 | Location: Piran, Slovenia

Minorite Monastery Church

St. Francis Church is situated next to the Franciscan monastery. In front of it there is a small square, formerly used as a cemetery. The construction of the church and the monastery reaches back to the year 1301. Despite many restorations, traces of the period in which the church was built can still be seen in the presbytery. The present interior dates from the 17th century and the exterior from the 19th century. The le ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Piran, Slovenia

St. George's Cathedral

Above the compact Piran town centre reigns St. George"s Cathedral, which gives the city its special character. It was probably built in the 12th century, but no exact data in this regard exists. In the 14th century, it was built to its present size. In the year 1344, on the Day of St. George, the cathedral was consecrated by nine bishops from near and far. It acquired its present appearance after Baroque renovation ...
Founded: 1344 | Location: Piran, Slovenia

St. Stephen's Church

St. Stephen"s church is one of the oldest in Piran, and in the 13th and 14th centuries it was also one of the most important sacral buildings in the town. The seat of the order of the Brotherhood of a Happy Last Hour used to be in the church, where they prayed and kept relics in the main hall and in the attic. Inside the church there are statues of the St. Stephen and St. Lawrence, as well as paintings by Jakob and ...
Founded: 1270 | Location: Piran, Slovenia

Church of the Assumption

According to a legend, the temple of the ancient Slavic goddess Živa, once stood in the place of the present Baroque church on the island of Lake Bled. The temple disappeared during battles between the followers of the pagan religion and Christians, who destroyed the altar and built a church. On the Bled island, archaeologists have discovered traces of prehistoric (11th to 8th centuries B.C.) and Slavic (9th to 10th cen ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Bled, Slovenia

St. James' Church

St. James's Parish Church was built in the Baroque style between 1613 and 1615 on the site of an older Gothic style church, erected in the early 15th century by the Augustinian Order. In 1598, the old church was acquired by the Jesuits and thus became the first Jesuit church in the Slovene Lands and one of the first in the Inner Austria. The interior was designed by the Italian architect Francesco Robba, who designed the ...
Founded: 1613-1615 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

St. Clement's Church

St. Clement church was first mentioned in the 13th century. It acquired its present-day appearance after numerous renovations in the year 1773 and extensive restoration in the year 1890. It was dedicated to one of the first Roman popes – St. Clement. Because of the dreaded plague that propagated throughout Istria in the 17th century, the church was renamed Our Lady of Health Church, as St. Mary was, together with S ...
Founded: 1773 | Location: Piran, Slovenia

Ursuline Church of the Holy Trinity

Ursuline Church of the Holy Trinity was built between 1718 and 1726 in the Baroque style. The church was designed by Carlo Martinuzzi, a Friulian architect, and is noted for its extensive altar made of African marble designed by Francesco Robba, who also built the Fountain of the Three Rivers of Carniola which stands on Town Square in Ljubljana. The original bell tower was destroyed in the Ljubljana earthquake of 1895. Th ...
Founded: 1718-1726 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

St. Florian's Church

The Church of St. Florian was commissioned by the citizens of Ljubljana in memory of the great fire which devastated the Stari trg and Gornji trg squares in 1660. Built after 1672, the church burnt down in 1774. Since then it has undergone several reconstructions. It was given its present appearance by the architect Jože Plečnik, who reconstructed it between 1933 and 1934. Plečnik had the former door recess fi ...
Founded: 1672-1696 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Koper Cathedral

The three-nave Romanesque Koper Cathedral with three apses was built in the second half of the 12th century. The Romanesque construction is preserved on the south side, where typical funnel-shape windows are intact and the stonework is imitated in the facade. Towards the west the church was extended to the bell tower and in 1392 it was Gothicized. The lower floor facade by the square has remained Gothic. The upper floor w ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Koper, Slovenia

St. Martin's Church

The present neo-Gothic church, consecrated to St. Martin, was built in 1905 on the site of the previous Gothic church dating from the 15th century, although the very first chapel was erected here before the year 1000. The new church was built following the plans of Prof. Friedrich von Schmidt (the architect of the Vienna City Hall), but these were consequently changed by architect Josip Vancaš – namely in th ...
Founded: 1905 | Location: Bled, Slovenia

Maribor Cathedral

First built in 1248 as a Romanesque basilica with a nave and two aisles, the cathedral gained its current appearance in the 15th century as a Gothic structure, though the Baroque chapels date from the 16th and 18th centuries. Inside, one is treated to the sight of a lavishly adorned altar, which lights up the place all on its own. The 57 metre high classicist designed bell tower dates back to the end of the 18th century ...
Founded: 1248 | Location: Maribor, Slovenia

Basilica of Our Mother of Mercy

Originally a monastery dating from the 12th century, the red-bricked cathedral dedicated to St Mary Mother of Mercy was built in its place with a two-towered, three nave basilica between 1892 and 1900, according to a design by Viennese architect Richard Jordan. However, the old monastery was constructed in rather more heroic circumstances with local woman carrying the bricks for its construction all the way from nearby Me ...
Founded: 1892-1900 | Location: Maribor, Slovenia

Hrastovlje Church

Holy Trinity Church is a historical building in Hrastovlje. There are two hypotheses about its origin. According to the first, it is a Romanesque church from the 12th century. According to the second, it is an example of the Istrian variant of Early Venetian Renaissance architecture from the 15th century. The church stands behind a wall that the local population built to protect itself from Turkish attacks in the 16th cen ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Črni Kal, Slovenia

Celje Cathedral

Celje Cathedral is dedicated to the Prophet Daniel. As early as the 12th century there was a small basilica on the site. This was replaced in 1306 by the present building, which served as the church of the abbey which during the Middle Ages stood on the edge of the town. In 1379 the rib vaulted roof was created. The church was altered several times up to the 16th century. In 1413 the Gothic chapel of the Mater Dolorosa wa ...
Founded: 1306 | Location: Celje, Slovenia

St. Catherine's Church

St. Catherine"s church is an old pilgrimage church. Its core dates from around 1400, whilst its masonry portico and frescoes date from the beginning of the 16th century. Presbytery from the 17th century, was renovated in the Baroque style in the 18th century. It has a Baroque altar, and the remains of fortified walls can be seen.
Founded: 1400 | Location: Zasip, Slovenia

Novo Mesto Cathedral

Novo Mesto Cathedral is located on a hill above the Krka River. It is distinguished by a combination of Gothic and Baroque architecture and a broken longitudinal axis, because the presbytery is higher than the nave. The original church was first mentioned in 1428, although it was standing already before. The three-pole presbytery with its quintuple axis ending has been preserved from the time. In 1493, when the chapter w ...
Founded: 1493 | Location: Novo mesto, Slovenia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Cochem Castle

The original Cochem Castle, perched prominently on a hill above the Moselle River, served to collect tolls from passing ships. Modern research dates its origins to around 1100. Before its destruction by the French in 1689, the castle had a long and fascinating history. It changed hands numerous times and, like most castles, also changed its form over the centuries.

In 1151 King Konrad III ended a dispute over who should inherit Cochem Castle by laying siege to it and taking possession of it himself. That same year it became an official Imperial Castle (Reichsburg) subject to imperial authority. In 1282 it was Habsburg King Rudolf’s turn, when he conquered the Reichsburg Cochem and took it over. But just 12 years later, in 1294, the newest owner, King Adolf of Nassau pawned the castle, the town of Cochem and the surrounding region in order to finance his coronation. Adolf’s successor, Albrecht I, was unable to redeem the pledge and was forced to grant the castle to the archbishop in nearby Trier and the Electorate of Trier, which then administered the Reichsburg continuously, except for a brief interruption when Trier’s Archbishop Balduin of Luxembourg had to pawn the castle to a countess. But he got it back a year later.

The Electorate of Trier and its nobility became wealthy and powerful in large part due to the income from Cochem Castle and the rights to shipping tolls on the Moselle. Not until 1419 did the castle and its tolls come under the administration of civil bailiffs (Amtsmänner). While under the control of the bishops and electors in Trier from the 14th to the 16th century, the castle was expanded several times.

In 1688 the French invaded the Rhine and Moselle regions of the Palatinate, which included Cochem and its castle. French troops conquered the Reichsburg and then laid waste not only to the castle but also to Cochem and most of the other surrounding towns in a scorched-earth campaign. Between that time and the Congress of Vienna, the Palatinate and Cochem went back and forth between France and Prussia. In 1815 the western Palatinate and Cochem finally became part of Prussia once and for all.

Louis Jacques Ravené (1823-1879) did not live to see the completion of his renovated castle, but it was completed by his son Louis Auguste Ravené (1866-1944). Louis Auguste was only two years old when construction work at the old ruins above Cochem began in 1868, but most of the new castle took shape from 1874 to 1877, based on designs by Berlin architects. After the death of his father in 1879, Louis Auguste supervised the final stages of construction, mostly involving work on the castle’s interior. The castle was finally completed in 1890. Louis Auguste, like his father, a lover of art, filled the castle with an extensive art collection, most of which was lost during the Second World War.

In 1942, during the Nazi years, Ravené was forced to sell the family castle to the Prussian Ministry of Justice, which turned it into a law school run by the Nazi government. Following the end of the war, the castle became the property of the new state of Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate). In 1978 the city of Cochem bought the castle for 664,000 marks.