Church of Mary's Annunciation

Skofja Loka, Slovenia

The Church of Mary’s Annunciation is not only an architectural masterpiece; it has a variety of multilayered paintings as well. At the entrance façade there are several fragments from the Passion of Christ. The workshop from Friuli followed the painter Giotto's style in the late 14th century. A magnificent image of the Holy Sunday from the workshop of Janez of Ljubljana dating from 1460 is severely damaged. Around the suffering Christ, different acts prohibited on the Sabbath are arranged, including selling. Facing the village is a depiction of the giant St. Christopher, repainted several times, who is wading across the river with Christ on his shoulder. One of the layers was the work of the master Bolfgangus.

Older fragments of paintings from the beginning of the 14th century on the north inner wall are interesting for experts, as an image of the angel from the proclamation can be seen there. One of the most excellent Gothic frescoes in Slovenia is the work of Master Bolfgangus, dating from 1453. In the north aisle there are scenes from Christ's birth in the genre of St. Joseph, as well as several lovely saints and Volfgang with an inscription in Latin. The image of the crucifixion in cogged style, which originated from before Bolfgangus' masterpiece, is severely damaged. The loft has a decorative painting between the vaulted ribs. The main golden altar is one of the richest 17th century altars in our territory. It was made by the carver Julij Skarnos along with collaborators (1652). The side altars are in luxurious Baroque style, most of all the altar of St. Martin (1680). The wooden choir benches are from the second half of the 17th century. A special feature is a rustic chest that serves as the new altar. Gold-plated, Gothic statues redone in Baroque style stand at the individual side altars, the most famous of which are the statues of St. Agnes and St. Ursula (1510, 1515).

The key of the church can be obtained at the nearest house.

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Founded: 14th century
Category: Religious sites in Slovenia

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The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.

The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.

The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.

The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.

Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.

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