THE HOLY MOTHER OF GOD PILGRIMAGE CHIRCH AT ZAPLAZ

The magnificent Holy Mother of God pilgrimage church stands on the low ummit of the Zaplaz hill, which is located northwest of Čatež. A path leads to it from the village, where a stone arch, adorned with statues of Mary Joseph with the child Jezus, stands at the hill and marks the beginning of the pilgrimage area itself. The origins od th Zaplaz pilgrimage route are not commpletely known and clear. It began with the discovery of a small statue of Mary in the bushes by a local man. The man took the statue hoe, but found it again on his next visit to Zaplaz. This event was srepeated three times. The man then erected a small chapel of boughts. After the dedication to the Zaplaz Holy Mother of God, the man's wife was miraculously cured of an incurable disease and news of the Zaplaz miracles spread rapidly.

The churchwarden of the Čatež church erected a wooden cross on Zaplaz, after the bough chapel collapsed. A stone- built chapel with a belfry was erected on the site prior to 1808. The altar was adorned with an image of the Holy Mother of God and the child Jesus. The increasing number of pilgrims led Matija košak, the vicar of Čatež, to erect a church at Zaplaz. The church was finished in 1848. Between 1850 and 1851 the painter Franz Kurz zum Thum und Goldenstein decorated the interior of the new church. However, the church was soon found to be to small, which led to numerous additions after 1866. Two belfries were built beside the presbytery. The church was demolished in 1906, during the incumbency of Henrik Povšet in the parish of Čatež. Only the presbytery, was retained. It was somewhat raised in height and vaulted. The remainder of the church was re-built according to the plans of Rudolf Tre. The new church was dedicated by the Bishop of Ljubljana, on the 14th october 1917, although it was only finally finished in 1926. 
The ground plan of the church is composed of a rectangular nave with two side chapels, a straight- terminaled presbytery and two belfries. The exterior of the neo- renaissance style church is divided by pilasters with lonic capitals, profiled border walls and emphasised rustic work, interspersed with high semicircular windows. The main frontage and facades of the chapel are decorated with triangular fontals and pilasters in the style of Classical temples and triumphal arches.
The church interior boasts a spacious, lofty nave, with a wooden coffered ceiling that replaced the original, destroyed during the Second World War. Pilasters with geometric capitals, supporting semicircular drapery, enrich the walls. The only true stone vault is a cruciform ridged variant in the presbytery. The stained-glas windows, made in 1978 according to a design by B. Putrih, create a specific accent of illumination.

Galerija