Church of St. Mary's Assumption

Podmelec

The Parish Church of St. Mary's Assumption stands on an exposed plain on the western edge of the village. In was built in the Gothic style and while it most likely dates back to a time between the 14th and 15th centuries, it was later repeatedly remodelled and reconstructed. The original presbytery was the first to undergo renovation when it was heightened. In the second half of the 18th century, the church's Gothic windows were replaced, pilasters were added to the nave, a foyer was added, and a choir was set up, giving the church a completely baroque character. The main stone altar likewise has a Baroque design; its central part is a late-Gothic style statue of Mary with Jesus. The church used to feature two side-altars, which were later removed. The church underwent the last major change in the late 19th century, when a new vestry was built.

The most interesting feature of the church is without doubt its interior wall paintings. In addition to a painting by J. Seljak, which dates back to 1899 and is found on the nave's vault, and the frescoes in the presbytery, four new fresco areas were discovered under the plaster after 1996. The two wall paintings that attract special attention are found to the left and to the right of the entrance into the central sacrificial area, the presbytery. The wall painting on one side depicts the underworld full of horrors and everything that goes on in hell, and the painting on the other side shows the Last Judgment. The scenes – characterised by shocking grotesqueness, extremely suggestive and somewhat caricatured expressions, and an extraordinary sense of depicting the human body and its emotions – act as a reminder and warning to the God-fearing man before coming face to face with God. Another small fresco can be seen next to the larger fresco on the left – it is painted using a classical method and depicts the arrival of the Holy Spirit. It is created in the spirit of the Renaissance and does not boast quite as much primal character as the two other paintings next to it, which date back to the same period.

Although the year 1718 can be seen on the bottom edge of one of the frescoes, experts have yet to reach an agreement regarding the year it was painted. Also, without further research, it is not possible to accurately date the frescoes adorning the vaulted wall between the presbytery and the nave. However, based on previous discoveries, it is certain that the paintings in the presbytery – although dated at the same period as those found in the nave – have not been painted by the same artist.

Opening time
The church is freely accessible.
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