.All Trips / Europe / Slovenia

Ljubljana’s lovely Baroque Cathedral

00 Church of St. Nicholas

The lovely Ljubljana Cathedral (also known as the Church of St. Nicholas) lies in the heart of Ljubljana, Slovenia.  The church is near the popular Central Market and the city’s Town Hall.

There has been a church at this site since at least 1262.  After the fire of 1361 it was re-built in the Gothic style.  That church was burned down in 1469 (by the Moors).  A new cross-shaped Baroque church was constructed between 1701 and 1706, although its octagonal dome was not finished until the 1840s.  The church is dedicated to the patron and guardian of fishermen and boatmen, St. Nicholas.

Sundial outside the Church of St. Nicholas

Sundial outside the Church of St. Nicholas

The exterior of the church is attractive, although relatively simple, but with 2 bell towers and a distinctive dome.  One of the most interesting exterior features is a sundial which dates to 1826, with Roman numerals and a Latin motto (Nescitis diem neque horam – “You don’t know the day or the hour”).

Bronze Door, Church of St. Nicholas

Bronze Door, Church of St. Nicholas

The exterior also has some nice mosaics, and several statues of saints dating to the 1800s.  There two bell-towers, one with a bell cast in the 14th century.  Especially memorable are two bronze doors which were added for a visit by Pope John Paul II in 1996.  One door celebrates the 1250th anniversary of Christianity in the Slovenia.  The side door, now named the Ljubljana Door, is decorated them with portraits of the six bishops of Ljubljana in the 20th century. 

Interior, Church of St. Nicholas

Interior, Church of St. Nicholas

The real magnificence of the church is especially evident when one enters it.  Its Baroque interior was mostly completely in the 1700s, with beautiful frescoes and gorgeous interior decoration, as you can see.  There are statues of the four bishops of Emona situated beneath the beams of the dome (1712-1713).  The dome fresco was not completed until 1844, but was a little hard to appreciate in the bright daylight.

More details of the church are available in the slides.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

 

 

 

 

 

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