PLACES OF PILGRIMAGE
In this land where ancient Slavs worshiped their goddess of fertility on an island in the middle of a lake, every town, village and accessible hilltop, has a church, each of which is distinguished by special features. Many appeal as a consequence of their architecture and artworks, while a number remain places of pilgrimage.
The Basilica of the Virgin Mary near Radovljica is the best known pilgrimage site in Slovenia. The Chapel at the heart of this sanctuary features early-19th century frescoes, including a painting of the Virgin Mary, by Leopold Layer. The main pilgrimages take place on 24th May, 15th August and the first Sunday in September. In 1988 Pope John Paul II honoured the church with the epithet of basilica minor.
Bled’s first tourists were pilgrims visiting the Church of the Assumption; built on an island in the middle of the lake it is accessible by ferry and thence the pilgrimage staircase. It stands on an ancient pagan site of worship, and, like many of this nation’s churches, its monumental architecture was constructed over several centuries.
Standing on Roman remains, today’s predominantly Baroque church has a Gothic base, further to which fragments of 15th century frescos also survive.
Poljanska and Selška valleys
The St. Ema Pilgrimage Route connects the Church of Three Kings in Žiri, the of on Ledinica, the of (Tilen) at Javorje near Škofja Loka, the Church of the Annunciation at Crngrob (also near Škofja Loka), the Church of the Blessed Virgin in Železniki and the in Sorica. The route also leads further into linking places related to life and work of the 10th Century Ema.
The impressive Baroque Church of the Annunciation and the adjacent former Velesovo Monastery in Adergas near Cerklje were once an important place of pilgrimage and devotional centre of the Gorenjska region.