Church of the Virgin Mary in Oberšljan, Tomačevica

Church is most likely to have been built in 1585 when place was a popular pilgrimage centre.

The Succursal Church of the Virgin Mary in Oberšljan - an old pilgrimage Church of the Ascension of the Virgin Mary which is beautifully situated on the hill above the road which leads from Tomačevica to Komen (the turning is signposted 400 metres past Tomačevica in the direction of Komen). The church grew from the former chapel and over the years was modified and extended many times. When today`s church building was actualy built is not known, but the inscription on the stone plaque above the entrance door tells us that the church is most likely to have been built in 1585 and the place was a popular pilgrimage centre. It was renovated in 1644 and the nave was enlarged and the belltower was added, which nowadays is located inside.

There is also a legend which tells us about how the church was built. According to this legend, a shepherd had an apparition of the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus (in the place where the church stands today). She was sitting on a beautiful throne clad with ivy. The church became well known for the celebration of the day of The Ascension of the Virgin Mary, on 15 August, to which religious people from all parts came (the majority of them were from the Karst and the Vipava Valley). The peculiarity of the church is represented by a ‘’bula’’ – a holy document which Pope Urban VIII presented to the church bestowing it with generosity and tolerance for eternity. Long periods of drought and shortages of drinking water have occurred many times in the past. Pilgrims used to pray to the Virgin Mary for rain and it was a common belief that 36 hours after the procession for rain their prayers would be answered.

The interior got its present-day design with many frescoes during the Baroque 18th century. The main altar has a painting of the Ascension of the Virgin Mary painted by F. Pittoni, which is hung on the presbytery walls. A wax statue from the 19th century of the Virgin Mary with Jesus is placed at the altar and is one of the largest statues of its kind in Slovenia. The side altars are dedicated to St. Ann and St. Anthony, and depict the family of St. Ann (painted by A. Lichtenreit) and a painting of St. Anthony of Padova and St. Anthony the Hermit (painted by A. Paroli). Frescoes in the presbytery of the Ascension and the Crowning are the most impressive and were made by the Friuli painter Giulio Qualia and his studio in 1724, who also produced paintings for the Abbey of Ljubljana and the theological seminary library. The fresco on the arch wall from the 20th century depicting the last supper was painted by the local artist J. Strnad.

GPS: 45.8161893, 13.7594761

 

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