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Mengeš

The parish church of St. Michael

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The parish of Mengeš is one of the proto-parishes and was founded according to written sources at the end of the tenth century, and its history supposedly dates back to the period of Ancient Rome, and probably to the period of Christianization of today's ancestors of Slovenes. The original pre-Romanesque Christian wooden church in Mengeš was built in the late 9th or early 10th century as a central part of the Christian mission that ruled the area between the Karavanke and the Sava River.
The original Romanesque basis of the present church of St. Mihaela was built at the end of the 13th century, which was later rebuilt in the 15th century in the style of Gothic architecture. Originally, the church had three naves, the middle of which is still wider than the side ones and also higher. Each of these naves ended in the Romanesque period with a semicircular altar space - the apse. In the Gothic period, shortly after 1400, the three apses were removed and the present presbytery, adorned with famous frescoes by John of Ljubljana, was added.
In addition to worship in the 15th and 16th centuries, the church, like many churches in Slovenia, served as a defensive camp for the surrounding population against Ottoman invasions. In addition to the church, an independent, 30 m high church bell tower was built in the early 16th century, which also served as a defensive tower of the camp around the church.
Attractions inside the church are frescoes by John of Ljubljana from 1462, which were discovered in 1932 during the renovation of the church. The high altar dates from 1740, dedicated to the parish patron saint. Michael, the Stations of the Cross from 1875 and the organ from 1889. Memorial plaques with coats of arms from the 17th and 18th centuries are built into the cemetery wall.
On the site of today's mežnarija once stood the old mežnarija, in which the Slovene baroque painter Franc Jelovšek was born in 1700.
In the square in front of the church is the sign of the Immaculate Conception of Mary from 1857, which originally stood on the Main Square in Mengeš. Behind it is the rectory, which was built in 1899 on the site of the old one. Several Old Slavic graves were discovered during the construction of the parish church.
East of the church is the entrance to the cemetery, where many famous Mengšans are buried, and there are also some tombstones with German inscriptions. These are the graves of Tyroleans who were engaged in straw-making in Mengeš.
In the period from 1956 to 1957, during the pastorate of Franc Čampa, a new baptistery and confessional were built according to the plans and work of the architect Jože Plečnik.

literature:
Stražar, Stane (1993): Mengeš and Trzin through time. Mengeš and Trzin;
Vidali, Ivan (1984). Mengeš. Cultural and natural monuments of Slovenia, Maribor: Obzorja.

Burger Landmarks / MojaSlovenija.si

Digitalizacija dediščine: (c) Boštjan Burger, (1993) 1996-2023