Immerse yourself in the thousand-year history of Gornji Grad through a virtual narrative. Turn back time! Gornji Grad Cathedral is the largest in Slovenia, a mysterious monastery, a former mansion filled with interesting stories told by great people. People like the Benedictine monks, the famous bishops of Ljubljana and Anton Jamnik the “Leonardo da Vinci” of Gornje Grad. Take a peek at the screen under the cathedral velb and indulge in a 3D story.
Gornji Grad. 333 years of Benedictine monks (1140-1473)
Since the founding of the Benedictine monastery in 1140, Gornji Grad has played a very important role in historical events in Slovenia, especially religious life. The Benedictine Order is the oldest monastic order in Europe. The Benedictine monastery in Gornji Grad operated for exactly 333 years. It was founded in 1140 as one of four in the area of today’s Slovenia.
With the founding charter, the monastery also received 500 inhabitants with families, extensive forests, hunting and fishing rights, later a tenth of the vineyards and the rights to administer legal affairs.
It is interesting that the word buckwheat was mentioned for the first time in Slovenia in the land register of Gornji Grad. The monastery was dissolved in 1473.
According to the locals, a monk, whom the locals call a sleeping monk, fell asleep forever in the magnificent silhouette of Veliki Rogatec and Lepenatka above Gornji Grad. He is still sleeping to this day. You can see it from other parts of the Upper Savinja Valley. Menina planina, a protected natural value and a popular hiking spot above Gornji Grad, was also named after the monks who historically lived in Gornji Grad.
In the lapidary of the cathedral from the Benedictine period there is an eight-pointed star imprinted in stone, which according to ancient beliefs carries a symbolic message of rebirth. Check it out, but maybe the giant will wake up and introduce you to an interesting period of the Benedictines.
The period of the Bishops of Ljubljana (1461-1783)
For the Benedictines, the residence in Gornji Grad was arranged by the famous bishops of Ljubljana, who administered the area for more than 300 years. The old building was rebuilt several times, and a new church was built, the Cathedral of St. Mohor and Fortunato, which is the largest in Slovenia.
Are you interested in why the largest Slovenian church was built in such a small place? What do the military leader Kacijanar, who protected Vienna itself and the great builder Bishop Ernest Attems from the Turkish invasions, have to say about the pious life in the embrace of the forests below Menina planina? Take a look at the cathedral.
During the period of the warrior knight Ivan Janez Kacijanar, the residence was protected from Turkish invasions with walls, ditches and defense towers.
Bishop Ernest Amadej, Count of Attems, had the church renovated from 1752 to 1758/60, according to the plans of the Graz architect Joseph Hueber. The works were led by Ljubljana master builder Matija Persky. The construction was financially supported by the Carniolan provincial estates. By 1751, a new diocesan residence had been built, a mansion with a large and fully painted ceremonial hall.
Gornji Grad’s “Leonardo da Vinci” and The Enlightenment (up to 30th year of the 20 century)
The new church (the old one was demolished) was built in the years 1752-59 following the model of the Ljubljana Cathedral, in the Baroque style, in the form of a Latin cross with a dome at the crossroads. The bell tower from l. In 1671 it was rebuilt and covered with an onion roof. The new, bright facade is concavely shaped and wavy, articulated by pilasters. The last renovation of the entire church was completed in 1989.
The genius inventor Anton Jamnik, known as the “Leonardo” of Gornji Grad, also called Gornji Grad his home, which gained city rights in the 1930s. Among his imaginative inventions are e.g. apple peeling device presented at the Štekl Museum. You will be virtually accompanied by Mr. Jamnik, so you really should not miss this opportunity.