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Ponikve

The Church of St. Mary’s Call

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The Church of St. Mary Call

The Church of St. Mary Call in the village Ponikve on the Šentviška planota, the origin of which could be traced to the Middle Ages, was burnt down during the Second World War and nearly completely destroyed. When local people wanted to rebuild it after the end of the war, they encountered numerous obstacles. However, due to the persistent endeavour of the then parish priest Janez Lapanja, who requested the acknowledged architect Plečnik to make the architectural plans, they started to renovate the building in 1954. The main works, which the inhabitants of the village performed themselves mostly as volunteers, were accomplished in 1958, the former baroque church was completely changed during those years. Namely, Plečnik moved the entrance from bellow the church tower to the place of the former presbytery, he also changed the position of the ridge and the interior got a special exciting appearance, which was diverse and idiosyncratic. Despite the fact that professionals do not consider the Church of St. Mary’s Call in Ponikve among the Plečnik's most important works, it is nevertheless worthwhile visiting it. Visitors never remain indifferent, namely there is a beautiful view on numerous hills above the valleys of Soča, Idrijca and Bača from the place where it stands.
For the 50th anniversary of the death of the architect Plečnik, the Tolmin Museum opened a small exhibition in the premises above the former church sacristy, which focuses on the history and the last bigger renovation of the church. The former baroque church is well seen on the photographs and there are also various documents presented, which testify about a strenuous path that the parish priest Lapanja had to endure, before he was able to start with the renovations. The copies of accomplished and unaccomplished architectural plans made by Plečnik and his assistants for the renovation of the church and its interior design were exhibited as well. Besides, there are also some pieces of church vessels and ornaments, and also one of the specialties of this church, a rare god's grave which was brought from Bohemia at the end of the 19th century.

Text: Karla Kofol, Tolmin Museum

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