Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Country / Slovenia

Kostanjevica na Krki

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Kostanjevica na Krki

About the site

Corridor: Diagonal Road
Country: Slovenia, Dolenska region
Type: Christian religious centre
Epoch: Modern Times, Middle Ages
Theme: Christian Monasteries
World Heritage:
Modern TimesMiddle AgesChristian MonasteriesChristian religious centre

The Cistercian monastery was built on a marshy plain near the Krka River in 1234. First they built a three-nave church with a transversal nave and a flat-ended choir area (Bernardine ground plan). The preserved artistic characteristics connect the old church with Czech and Hungarian spaces. During rebuilding in the 15th century, the naves were shortened on the west side, supposedly due to the difficulties connected with the bearing capacity of the terrain. The bell tower grew out of the chapel in that place. The entryway was completely remade in the 17th century and in the middle of the 18th century. At that time, the naves were re-vaulted, the vegetation decorations of the capitals were hidden under the layers of rough coating, the choir loft was extended and a new Baroque scenery entry facade was constructed (architect Matija Perski). The monastery buildings were expanded in the 16th century when a new cross-hall was built. More major rebuilding followed in the middle of the 18th century. Extensive exterior residential wings were built with extended arcade halls and decorated with small, thicker Tuscan columns in two storeys. The largest Slovenian Baroque monastery lost its sacral function with Joseph's abolishment in 1786. The altars and other church fittings were taken away or sold and the monastery slowly began to decay. It was burnt down in 1942. Since 1958 they have persistently been renovating wing after wing. The church was reconstructed by 1971. On the ground floor there are wider arches whose bases were cleaned to the ground level during the last renovations. The water has started trickling again in the renewed well in the yard. In front of the entrance into the monastery, right by the parking lot, there is a reconstructed castle mill as well, and by the entrance, between the two cylindrical towers, there is a replica of a destroyed fresco painted on the Renaissance ending. Oak sculptures are arranged around the monastery buildings, on nearby meadows and even in the town of Kostanjevica. This is the "Forma viva". Selected sculptors from all parts of the world (from Japan, the USA and Canada to Russia, Yugoslavia, and Slovenia) have been making sculptures at international meetings since 1961, which are later arranged with the help of experts around the monastery, nearby meadows and in the town of Kostanjevica. There are already more than one hundred sculptures in the collection.

Slovenian Tourist Board