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St. Mark’s Church in Vrba

St. Mark’s Church stands on the outskirts of the village of Vrba. It was first mentioned in 1468. Though it is a small and simple church, it has achieved near mythical status in Slovenia, after it was mentioned in the sonnet O Vrba by Slovene national poet France Prešeren, who’s birth house is located in the vicinity. It has Romanesque foundations, but the actual structure is Gothic with an interesting apse, extensive Gothic frescoes from the 15th and early 16th century on the interior walls which are preserved in fragments, a renovated wooden ceiling, and two gilded Baroque altars. On the outside wall there are also relatively well-preserved frescoes of St. Christopher, the Crucifixion, and St. George fighting the dragon from the 15th century. In the porch is a bust of the archbishop Anton Vovk (1900–1963), great grandnephew of Prešeren, born in the same house in Vrba.

In January 2011, the church was proclaimed cultural monument of national importance by the Government of Slovenia.

St. Martin’s Church in Moste

St. Martin’s Church in Moste village is one of the oldest and most beautiful sacral jewels in Slovenia and the oldest sacral structure in the Breznica Parish. The church dates back to the pre-Romanesque era. It is a single-aisle church with late Gothic features and frescoes on the interior dating to 1430. The most important is depicting the martyr’s death of the apostles. After this work, the author of the fresco got his name, the “Žirovnica master”. The altar dates to 1638 and the remaining church furnishings are from the 19th century. In the area around the church evidence of a burial ground from late Antiquity and the period of early Slavic settlement has also been discovered and the area has been officially protected as an archaeological monument.

St. Clement’s Church in Rodine

Rodine village with the Church of St. Clement used to be an important religious centre as in medieval times this was where the parish was located, later also the parish of Breznica. The church with a cemetery and enclosing walls is one of the oldest monuments of sacral architecture in this part of Upper Carniola. There is evidence that a religious building was built on the site in the second half of the 10th century. Its Romanesque foundations date back to the 11th century. A later gothic structure burned down and the Baroque church seen today was built in 1692. The church was renovated in 1876 to repair extensive damage to the roof and spire.

There is a tomb under the church that allegedly contains the remains of St. Clement, who was tortured and killed in Crimea, Ukraine, and whose bones were found in Rodine. According to the legend, Saints Cyril and Methodius are said to had brought the relics when travelling through Rodine to Rome with the mortal remains of St. Clement.

St. Cantius Church, Selo

The church of St. Cantius was first mentioned in 1468 and is a Baroque structure with a belfry from 1764, but there is evidence that it replaced an earlier Romanesque structure. Fragments of 15th-century frescoes survive on the southern wall. A unique feature of this church is its fresco of St. George killing a dragon. The main altar is consecrated to St. Cantius, and one of the side altars to St. Anthony the Great with the folk name Anton Kračman, patron of stock farmers and butchers. On St. Anthony the Great day, farmers used to bring pork legs and sausages into the church and ask the saint to bless their livestock with health. Those delicacies were then sold at an auction, and unsold meat was given away to the poor.

St. Radegund’s Church in Breg

The church was first mentioned in 1468 as a church belonging to the Diocese of Radovljica, but is an older building with Romanesque foundations, partly reflected in the shape of nave and its flat ceiling. Most of the remaining structure is from the mid-17th century. The bellower with its typical onion-shaped roof is baroque. The distinct baroque altar dates back to the so called gilt altars era. The fresco of pregnant Virgin Mary is a unique example of iconography. There are frescoes of St. Radegund (the patron of potters and weavers) and St. Lawrence on the southern wall. St. Michael fighting a dragon is represented on the northern wall and there is a baroque painting of St. Christopher on the southern exterior. There is evidence of a wall encircling the church, probably built in the 15th century to protect local inhabitants against Turkish raids in the area. This was demolished in the 17th century, when the church was being rebuilt. A 1994 archaeological excavation around the church also revealed graves from the later period of Slavic settlement in the area.

The Church of Our Lady of Sorrows in Breznica

The Church of Our Lady of Sorrows is one of the youngest churches in Breznica Parish. It was built in 1821, based on an architectural plan by the architect Blasio Zamolo from Gemona. Before that, the parish was situated in Rodine village. Franc Salezij Christian, a priest at the time, decided to build the church in the centre of the parish and had it measured for those purposes. This is how a new church was built in Breznica. The church in Breznica is painted with classical frescoes. The large marble altar is the work of three masters: Janez Vurnik, Janez Vurnik Jr. and Franc Ksaver Zajec. A unique feature of the church is the baptistery, created by famous Slovene architect Jože Plečnik.

St. Lawrence church above Zabreznica

St. Lawrence’s church above Zabreznica village is unique for its position and today’s appearance. It stands on a cliff above Zabreznica where the views of the landscape are magnificent. It was positioned there as a view point during the Turkish invasions. The church was abandoned in 1821 when the new parish church was built in the nearby village Breznica.

In the 1990s, locals build a new church on the Romanesque foundations using volunteers. The church today is a reconstruction of the old gothic church. The interior is decorated with the Stations of the Cross, painted by academic painter Janez Bernik, while the exterior is decorated with the image of St. Christophe- the patron of travelers, a mosaic work of art by academic artist Andrej Jemc. A unique feature of the St. Lawrence church is a presbytery, painted with wild flowers that can be found around the church; work by a local artist Marija Smolej.