Parish Church of St. Margaret in Šmarjeta
Šmarjeta actually has two churches; one of them was built up in the first quarter of the 20th century whereas its ancestor building had to give way to the new building. The wall painting Crucifixion from the 17th century made by an unknown Italian author is a valuable among Slovene religious paintings and the greatest baroque painting in our country.
Church of St. Stephen in Šmarješke Toplice
The Church of St. Stephen is dedicated to the patron of horses and cattle, celebrated on the 26th December and it was first mentioned in written records in 1581 in Pavel Bizanc inventory. It was also listed as Šmarjeta succursal in the renowned Valvasor’s Glory of the Duchy of Carniola in 1689.
The church was originally built in the Roman architectural style. But towards the middle of the 18th century the originally medieval architecture was influenced by Baroque. Hence the church was built up with a church bell and its diverse baroque roof, the nave got bigger window apertures and the old altar was renovated. In the time of priest Janez Volčič there was a painting of St. Stephen in the main altar. It was supposed to be the work of a painter Valentin Metzinger. There is not much left of the altar equipment from the last renovation of the church’s interior in the 80s of the 20th century. The side altars were dedicated to Mary and St. Florian.
Church of St. Ulrich in Žaloviče
The village Žaloviče was first mentioned in written records in 1351, whereas the Church of St. Ulrich in 1581 in Bizanc inventory. The church was also mentioned in 1667 and 1677 in Stična records and as Šmarjeta succursal in Valvasor’s Glory of the Duchy of Carniola.
The main altar of the church from the 19th century is the central place, dedicated to the patron St. Ulrich, who celebrates on the 4th July. The saint is depicted as a bishop and holds a bishop’s crook in one hand and a book with a fish in the other. In the left side niche of the main altar there is a statue of St. Anton Padovanski depicted in a Franciscan habit with a lily in one and a book with Jesus in the other hand. In the right side niche there’s a statue of St. John the Baptist, wearing animal fur and having a lamb lying at his feet.
The side altars in the church were probably not built before the second half of the 19th century. The right side altar was dedicated to St. Donato, whereas the left one to St. Catherine, whose statue is a Baroque piece of art from the middle of the 18th century.
Church of St. Leonard at Koglo
The church is located on top of the observatory hill above Gorenja vas village. The Koglo community was first mentioned in Klevevž land registry in 1318, but the church at Koglo was first mentioned in written records as late as the 17th century and in 1689 also in the Glory of the Duchy of Carniola.
In the 1753 records it is stated that the church was dedicated to St. Barbara, the patron of craftsmen and miners, and that at St. Barbara’s altar there’s also the St. Barbara’s brethren. The church is also drawn in the Joseph’s military map from 1763-1787.
The church was built in the Middle Ages in gothic architectural style. In the middle of the 17th century the church building was given Baroque ornamentation, which can be noticed from the main and side altar.
The statue of St. Leonard depicted as a bishop with mytra on his head and a stick and a book in his hand is located in the central niche of the main altar. The right side niche has a statue of St. Mathew with an axe in his hand, in the left side niche there’s the statue of Anton Padovanski. The left side altar is dedicated to St. Barbara and was supposed to be built in 1660, while the right side altar is dedicated to the Mother of God.
Church of St. Jacob in Cerovec nad Radovljo
The church was built along the road at the hamlet Cerovec above the village Radovlja. The village (villa dicta Radolia) was mentioned in 1295 for the first time and in 1325 also the Radulja stream (wazzer haizzt Raedel). The church was not listed in the archive records until 1581 in Pavel Bizanc inventory. The church was mentioned in Glory of the Duchy of Carniola as Šmarjeta succursal.
The late gothic church architecture is set in the time around 1500 by the experts. The church architecture was thoroughly rebuilt in Baroque style in 1689. After all the construction work was finished, the altar was also gradually ornamented in Baroque style. The honorary place in the central niche of the altar belongs to St. Jacob, accompanied by the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul.
The side altar is dedicated to St. Francis Xavier and belongs to the group of altars from the beginning of the 18th century. Next to it there are the statues of the archangel Rafael with Tobia and St. John Nepomuk in clerical clothes. The right side altar is dedicated to St. Matthias, the patron of craftsmen.
Church of St. Martin in Vinica pri Šmarjeti
Vinica was supposed to be mentioned for the first time already in 1074 as a part of Vinji Vrh. But the church was mentioned in the archive records as late as in 1581 in Bizanc inventory.
Primarily a medieval church building was thoroughly renovated in 1742 in baroque style. The main altar is a Baroque type altar from late 17th or the first years of the 18th century. In the central niche of the main altar there’s a statue of St. Martin on a horse offering a part of his coat to the kneeling beggar. In the left niche of the main altar there is a statue of St. Roch and in the right a statue of St. Sebastian. The left side altar, dedicated to the Sad Mother of God, is originally from the 18th century. The central place is intended for the statue of Mary of seven sorrows who holds the dead son in her arms. The right side altar is dedicated to St. Marcus, the patron of farmers and workers.
Church of Karmel Mother of God in Slapi
Castle church in Slapi is the richest succursal church in Šmarjeta parish. Next to it there are the graves of the last two families - Jombarts and Ulms, the owners of the Klevevž castle. George nbl. Moscon, the builder of today's church, is buried in a tomb in the middle of the church.
Church of St. Joseph at Veliki Vinji Vrh
The church was built on a 392m high observation hill of Veliki Vinji Vrh over Šmarjeta, where there are a lot of vineyards. It is located in the area of one of the biggest Dolenjska region Iron Age forts. The church has undergone a lot of renovations that followed different innovative styles (gothic, Baroque). Its rich and qualitative equipment shows its exceptional importance that overcomes the average of provincial succursals.
BELA CERKEV PARISH
Parish church of St. Andrew in Bela Cerkev
As the folk tradition goes, Bela Cerkev got its name after its white, stone-built church that was obviously different from the rest of the wooden architecture. Bela Cerkev was first mentioned in documents in 1283 by the vicar, which is also the first indirect mention of the parish, but as a village it was first mentioned in 1291. Its location can also be connected to the church mentioned in the renowned documents published in 1074 in Aquileia.
It is a little succursal church which you can see driving on the highway from Novo mesto towards Brežice. People visit the church only on rare occasions (you may visit it on foot from Draga community), though it’s very interesting. It is dedicated to St. Helen, the mother of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great who stopped persecuting Christians and acknowledged Christianity as an equal religion. With her son’s help St. Helen built numerous churches, among which was also the renowned church of Holy grave in Jerusalem and the church of Jesus’ birth in Betlehem. It is also said that she was supposed to have found the remains of the first Christ cross in Jerusalem in 326.
Church of St. John the Baptist in Mali Vinji Vrh
Vinji Vrh (Uuinperch) was first mentioned in documents published the 15th June in 1074 in Aquileia. The name Vinji Vrh at that time wasn’t only connected to the vineyard hill but also to its wider surroundings. The church of St. John the Baptist was first mentioned in written records not earlier than in the 17th century, but it wasn’t mentioned in Valvasor’s Glory of the Duchy of Carniola.
The overview of church architecture shows the building was built already before the 17th century. The main altar was built around the year 1700. The central niche of the main altar shows Christ in Jordan, on the left there’s a statue of St. John the Evangelist, and on the right a statue of St. Jacob. In the upper part of the altar there’s an image of the beheading of John the Baptist, work of a Baroque painter Anton Postl from Dolenjska region.
The church façade has a memory plate for Jože Peterlin built in. He was an important cultural worker of the Gulf of Trieste, born at the Vinji Vrh slope.
Church of St. Stephen in St. Thomas village
The church lies on the north-east edge of the nucleated village. The village and the church used to belong to a nobleman from Stari grad above Otočec, later to Pleterje convent. It was mentioned for the first time in written records in 1526. The church was also mentioned in Bizanc’s inventory in 1581.
The church building was originally gothic, but was later thoroughly built in Baroque style. The church’s furnishing is from the 19th century. The main altar dedicated to St. Stephen is a work of fine artist Kušlan from Novo mesto. Beside St. Stephen there are also the patrons of health St. Cosmas and St. Damian in the main altar. Above the central niche there’s an image of an archangel Michael. In the left side altar there’s an oil painting of Rosary Mother of God and St. Dominic, in the right one there’s an image of St. George with a dragon. Both altar paintings have been created by Anton Cej, the painter from Novo mesto. The church’s belfry has a typical new gothic form, following the model of a chapter belfry. At the last renovation they discovered a baroque painting that enriches the depiction of a colourful landscape under Vinji Vrh.
Church of St. Nicholas in Dolenje Kronovo
The church is located in the south part of the village near the river Krka. Its position and St. Nicholas, the patron of water, show the symbolic protection of the village from flooding river. Kronovo was first mentioned in archive records in 1211 when it wasn’t divided to two parts - Dolenje and Gorenje Kronovo. Records from the 14th century even list the square called Kronovo. Dolenje Kronovo was mentioned for the first time in written records in 1433 and the church of St. Nicholas in 1526 in the list of valuables that had been collected for the defence against the Turkish invasion.
The main and the only altar of new Baroque forms was made in 1862 by Josef Johant from Tržišče. The central part of it belongs to the statue of St. Nicholas. The altar also includes the statues of St. Roch, St. Marcus, St. Anton the Hermit and St. Francis of Assisi. In the glass niche of the church bell above the entrance door there’s a statue of St. Nicholas depicted as a bishop with his right hand up and his left hand holding a book with three golden balls. At the last renovation they discovered the remains of a medieval wall painting, set in time around 1520, made by a master from Podpeč.