Pozdravljeni v Sentjostu

The Saint Jost Church in Šentjošt

Sv. Jost

In past centuries the church St. Jošt was a branch of Polhov Gradec parish. Although it is only mentioned in writing in 1526. Precious church records extend its origination back to the middle ages. Dravski banovinski lexicon says, that the church is from 12th century. Although we do not have written information about its history; its old age is visible by the building itself. The church is from the Roman period, which is shown by roman window on the southen wall from 1962 (dr. Stele's opinion is that it is from the 14th century). The first small Roman building had a straight wooden roof festifies that the church was Roman and had two old bells, which hang in its small bell-tower. The first inscription in late Roman handwriting says: A.D. MCCCLXXX.H VIVENTIS ME FACIT (A.D. 1354 Vivenctius made me). This is the oldest bell in Slovenia.

The second bell from around the 1400's says: MATER MARIA, MATER GRATIE (Mother Mary, Mother of Grace) and from waist up is divine Mother with child in arms.

Frescoes upon the nave also give evidence of the churches age. On the 12th and 13th of April 1962, we covered more coats underveath the old frescoes, just by chance which in the opinion of experts originated in the begining of the 15th century. They are works of Furlanian painters. They show the passion Jesus on olive olauntain on the right side andf placement in the grave on the left side. Somehow at the same time they had to create frescoes on the outside souttern wall. There is a frescoe of Image Mary and St. Christoph which stands above the new sacristy. zvon


In the beginning of the 16th century the forefathers altered the church St. Jošt. They elongated it in the front and back and gave it a new wooden roof. They probably constructed a big bell-tower also before the entrance of the church; heads and Gones the deceased are kept in the foyer. These bones were uncovered by workers while digging in 1959. The bell-tower was destroyed by lightening in 1756. They removed the apsido, made a new head altar with gothic roof and gothic windows. The head altar was re-painted with frescoes in the beginning of the 16th century, which are a reminder of the renaissance. Undercovered were some imags of the murder of Bethlehems child and some martyrs behind the altar. Probes showed that the whole main altar is painted. A special attraction is the St. Christoper frescoe, preserved waist down above the new sacristy.


When the baroque age come about, art style changed. The 17th and 18th century no longer love gothic formations which is larg, high and acute; becouse baroque art love peace circular strokes and precions decoration with gold colours. In the second half of the 18th century Šentjošters for the third time, rebuilt the church in a new way. Because the wooden roof was rotted they removed the nave of church and simutaneusly raised at a good meter and built a new sacristy. The old entrance, which is seen from the left side of the head altar was walled in. Becouse of the new entrance on the right side they had to sacrifice the image of St. Christoph; they also built the three present baroque altars. For the leader of the parish respectively the vicar Mattheu Jejc Tacij and helpers from Polhov Gradec made a beautifull golden baroque altar in 1746. A little earlier those from Planina in 1717 ordered a new gold altar of a sad Godlete Mother. At that time we remaired the nicest baroque church on the mountain Šmarna Gora, Dobrova and Ljubljana. In 1936 a baroque altar was created in Polhov Gradec. They whitered over the frescoes and did us a favour because they preserved old art clean and undamaged.


The head altar is dedicated to St. Jošt, supported by two angels. On the plate are fish - a sign of him being a hermit, oltar brither of the English King, who resigred from the throne and left for the France desert; which in the middle ages they greatly honoured. On his left is a statue of St.John the Baptist. His name day is tonoured between Slovenians and the right before bit a bonfire.
On the right is a Statue of St. Urban a Pope. This is the first Pope with this name who onled the church from 222-230. In the upper alcove is a statue of the divine Mother surrounded with angels. On the left is St. Rozalia, on the right St. Notburg. These are two Saints, very honoured by people, especially St. Notburg shelterer of farm businers. It's pilgranuge Church is in Groblja in Gorenjska (geographical part of Slovenia). The Statues are decorated with bouquets, girlanda and other decorations, of course characteristic of the baroque era, which loved lively decoration and circular lines. The alter was painted gold in 1865 by Alex Janezic from Gorenjska. The coat still holds today. Unfortinately, wars have destroyed the altar.

The side altars ared dedicated to St. Lucija and St. Martin. Lucija holds on a plate two eyes. Her clothes are similar to the rich clothes of countresses 250 years ago. Beside her is St. Apolonia, fairy of toothaches and some nartyrs. The right altar has an image of St. Martin on a horse, who is splitting his coat on a half to give half to his beggar below; St. Martin was once wery worshiped. On his name day, we test new wine and recommend a good year of wine. This symbol is the goose, because on Martin s festival they enjoyed tasty, roasted goose. All three altars were consecrated on May 21, 1744, by the Ljubljana Bishop Ernest Anodes.


A rare attraction in Šentjošt old church is a crypt, under the arched name. The first spiritual shephards and noteworthy parishioners from 300 years ago are buried here. Today the dust of our forefather's and six priests rests here. They were buried here between 1705 and 1781. In the period of 78 years six priests have died here between the ages of 34 and 64. Two of them had strokes. They died young and suddenly. 160 years later after those priests, until the late Josip Nagodet, no priests were buried here. They all left to the valley as they got tired of the hills.


in 1756 lightening struck the bell-tower which stood by itself infront of the church. Right away the villagers built a new bell-tower and built it right on the roof of the old church which caused movement of the ceiling under neath the church roof. They had to connect the church with strong iron poles because of the heavy weight. This building served it's purpose for 100 years. In 1857 they knocked it down and made the new present one. Despite of this, lightening again destroyed it in 1887, but only the wooden part of course. They then made the present gothic roof, covered with rocks from Tirol (place in Austria).


An earthquake in 1895 also damaged the church badly. It would probably collapted it, if it would not been protected by such strong iron connections. Thus it damaged edges and the main altar. The priest Gustaff Schifrer organized a restoration.


The church had two known divines graves on columns from long ago. This was a beautifull and solid piece of work of the known Fayenze. On July 25th 1942 it burnt down till sacristy. Another copy was made by Ivan Buh from Vrhnika.

Antique equipment/expositions worth noticing:

Content, layout and HTML are
copyright © 1996 - 2003 by Jure Leskovec.
All Rights Reserved. Comments are welcome.