The Cistercian monastery Stična is the oldest monastery in today's Slovenian territory (1132) and the only Cistercian monastery still in operation. Within the monastery is the Basilica of the Sorrowful Mother of God, which also serves as a parish church.
The beginnings of the Slovenian Religious Museum date back to the 1980s. The initiator of its creation was the Cistercian Abbey in Stična. From individual rich collections obtained throughout Slovenia through donations, wills, redemptions, storage, the museum has developed into an institution that systematically collects, preserves, exhibits and restores movable sacred heritage, so it is cared for by experts in various fields.
The Slovenian Religious Museum covers 2,500 m2. It has its premises in the old prelature, a Renaissance building from the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century, which closes a large eastern monastery courtyard in the north. The ground floor of the museum is intended for occasional exhibitions, video projections and a visit to the memorial room of the herbalist Fr. Simon Ašič. On the first floor there is a monastery collection and tools from monastic workshops, a collection of liturgical vessels and church textiles, an art-historical and cultural-historical collection, a collection of folk devotion, a library and archive of Slovenian missionary and bishop Friderik Irene Baraga and a collection of paintings. Gabriel Humek. On the second floor of the museum there is a large permanent exhibition History of Christianity in Slovenia.
The permanent exhibition History of Christianity in Slovenia is the first exhibition of its kind in Slovenia. It is presented chronologically, in twelve exhibition spaces and with more than two hundred objects. It acquaints the visitor with the beginnings of Christianity on our soil - the 3rd century - and takes him through history, about 1700 years long, until the jubilee year 2000. With objects, reconstructions and copies, Christianity is presented in late antiquity, in the early Middle Ages. our area was inhabited by Slavs in the High and Late Middle Ages, when, in addition to prafar, contemplative, chivalrous and impoverished orders also played an important role in the spread of Christianity. The history of Christianity in Slovenia can be traced back to the Reformation and Protestantism, to the Catholic Renewal (17th century), to the Theresian-Josephine Reforms (18th century), to the 19th century, which was marked by the revival of nations and the work of Bishop Anton. Martin Slomšek. The exhibition concludes with an overview of events in the 20th century, focusing on the first visit of Pope John Paul II. in the independent Republic of Slovenia.
The monastery collection includes paintings, sculptures and books, as well as documents and objects from the monastery archives. The photographs present the famous Stična manuscripts from the 12th century and the facsimile the Stična manuscripts from 1428. Two models (made by H. Patzelt) are interesting for visitors, representing the architectural image of the monastery in the Romanesque and Baroque periods. In the monastic workshops we keep tools from various monastic workshops (shoemaking, carpentry, coopering, photography, bookbinding) and objects that were used for baking communion and in the kitchen. A collection of agricultural, fruit and beekeeping tools is also on display.
The collection of liturgical vessels includes mainly chalices, ciboriums, monstrances, processional crosses, reliquaries and incense burners. A special group of exhibits are wax dolls and t.i. The Jesuits of Prague, who were worshiped and placed on altars as early as the 18th century. The collection of church textiles includes hand-embroidered mass cloaks, dalmatians and other church clothes from the 17th to the 20th century. Among them, the hand-embroidered pluvial from the 17th century stands out the most. The insignia of some Stična abbots are also on display.
The collection of folk devotion includes those objects of religious content that have been accessible to the average religious person over the centuries. On display are statues and paintings of saints, paintings on glass, wooden crucifixes, votive offerings, sprinklers, cribs, images, house fires, rosaries, shrines and other souvenirs of pilgrimages, especially from the 19th and 20th centuries. Marian devotion is also presented.
Painting opus of the Cistercians p. Gabriela Humeka (1907-1993) shows different directions. He painted under the influence of realistic and metaphysical painting and magical realism. His latest works are extremely expressive and visionary. Only a short selection of Humek's paintings is presented in the museum.
Cistercian p. Simon Ašič (1906-1992) is known to Slovenes mainly as a herbalist. With his work and books on natural healing with medicinal plants, he has established himself as one of the most prominent Slovenian herbalists. In his memorial room, where he received patients, some of his personal belongings, photographs and a handy pharmacy are on display.
The collection of original books, objects and correspondence of the missionary and bishop Friderik Irene Barag (1797-1868) and the book fund of Slovenian emigrant literature from the USA, Canada, Argentina and Australia were collected and edited by the Salesian priest Karel Ceglar, who lived after World War II. Canada.
The art-historical collection mainly includes paintings (eg F. Bergant, V. Metzinger, M. Sternen and I. Grohar) and sculptural works (Gothic architectural fragments, baroque statues, sculptures by F. Goršet, F. Kralj and I. Meštrovič). The cultural-historical collection includes Biedermeier furniture, clocks from the beginning of the 19th century, porcelain and glass products. Most of these items were collected by private collector Leopold Kozlevčar.
*In October 2006, the museum became a public institution Museum of Christianity in Slovenia. The museum operates in the premises of the old prelature in the Cistercian monastery in Stična. The idea of establishing a museum in Stična is quite old, but it began to materialize only after 1980, when the primary school and gymnasium moved out of part of the monastery buildings. For the first decade, the museum operated on an amateur basis of collection and exhibition. With the support of the monastery and under the supervision of monument protection, and with the help of various donors from Slovenia and abroad, exhibition spaces were arranged. In 1991, the Association of Friends of the Slovenian Religious Museum was established in Stična, which employed the first curator with the help of the Ministry of Culture. Over the years, the museum has gained other employees who do their job professionally. Years ago, the museum decided to turn the so-called Hlapčevska house next to the monastery, which was originally renovated and intended for exhibiting larger objects, into a modern restoration workshop. The museum protects, researches, preserves, restores and documents the sacral heritage in the whole of Slovenia, and at the same time educates and acquaints people with the history and tradition of religion in Slovenia.