A FEW FACTS ABOUT THE CHURCH OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST BY LAKE BOHINJ
This picturesque church falls under the parish of Srednja vas in Bohinj.
It stands on a hill along Lake Bohinj and together with the stone bridge represents one of the biggest sights of Bohinj. It was built before 1300 and represents an important cultural and historical monument, which is why it is under cultural heritage protection.
There are various styles in the church, from romance to baroque. Very interesting is the wooden head of Janez Krstnik from 1380, which is kept by the Institute for the Protection of Natural and Cultural Heritage. The frescos of the church are also famous, with the oldest ones dating from the 13th century. There are also some 72 different saints and other motifs painted. In three layers on the southern outer wall there are three paintings of St. Christopher who is the patron of pilgrims, travelers, drivers, carriers, rafters and boatmen.
A special feature of the church is the Baroque bellltower, which was added to the church in the 18th century along with the entrance to the church. It is known for its double onion, lanterns and roof coverings with shingles. There are also three wooden altars from different periods of the 17th century. Archaeological finds dating from the 1st to 5th centuries after Christ have been found in this area.
THE WHITE DEVIL
On the inside of the arch of the church of St. John the white devil storms the imagination, sitting on Cain’s neck and whispering to him about murderous inclinations. This special feature was also seen by the famous French writer Jean Paul Sartre, when he was visiting Bohinj in the sixties of the last century.
Some of them attributed this color to mythological parables, while others are guessing whether the black color had faded throughout centuries.
There is another scene from the 15th century above the scene of Cain and Abel, who present God with their own. That is St. George, piercing a big dragon with a spear, wearing a knightly armor and riding a white horse. The dragon lay down on his back and curled up horse’s legs. The battle takes place under the castle, where the king and the queen are watching St. George with fear, and at the foot of the hill, Margaret kneels and prays for a happy solution. On the northern side of the presbytery we find another little dragon, which St. Margaret of Antioch holds in her left hand, wrapped in a green garment. All these dragon images of the evil – devil – have also appeared in the fairy-tale tradition of the Bohinj man. It was merged with biblical contents and apocryphal legends, which were also brought along by artists. That is why these mythological motives are of key importance for reflecting on the folklore fairy-tale tradition that has been piercing through the millennia in today’s time and space.
If we return to the white devil and the white dragon’s tail (a fragment on the northern inner side of the ship), their whiteness unintentionally reminds us of the fearsome white Bohinj mythology creatures: white women, bêva (similar to Pehta), white snake and finally white Goldhorn. If these beings are benevolent, their whiteness increases their virtues, but if they incarnate evil, the white color makes them even more terrifying. In world literature this symbolism can be found in Melville’s Moby Dick, a terrific white whale which filled sailors with horror and announced their destruction.
(Dr Marija Cvetek: Bajeslovno izročilo v cerkvici sv. Janeza ob Bohinjskem jezeru)
VISITING THE CHURCH
Dear visitors, the museum church is currently closed due to anti-corona-regulations. We will let you know as soon as anything changes.
In the meantime, rest assured we do not rest, but are actively planning and preparing new offers and exciting surprises for our reunion.
Take care of yourself and each other, this won’t last forever.
John the Baptist & Crew
|10.00-13.00||10 a.m. to 5 p.m.||In cold and rainy weather we may close early as there are usually no visitors.|
|CLOSED||10 a.m. to 3 p.m.||In cold and rainy weather we may close early as there are usually no visitors.|
|10.00-13.00||10 a.m. to 3 p.m.||In cold and rainy weather we may close early as there are usually no visitors.|
Should you like to see the church outside opening hours,
please call +386 40 522 881 (Ori). Calling does not guarantee a visit, but if possible, I will gladly come and open the museum church for you.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING!
It is possible to visit the church outside the opening season and outside opening hours by prearrangement.
Call 00386 40 522 881 (Ori) or write to us at email@example.com.
Tickets sold in our store.
|Church + bell tower||6,00€|
Payment possible in cash only.
For a group guided tour, contact us via this link or call 00386 40 522 881 (Ori). ASK ABOUT OUR SPECIAL PACKAGE OFFERS FOR GROUPS!
When visiting the Church of St. John the Baptist, make sure you also take a look at the amazing view from the first musical belltower in Slovenia.
Historically speaking, churches with St. John the Baptist as patron saint were often placed near water, since they were connected with baptism in the sense of early spreading of Christianity, so no wonder “our” St. John the Baptist Church is so surrounded by water – a sight best seen from this 35 m high belltower, where you will also see a musical organ, the old-clock mechanism and the churchbell.
3.00 EUR for individuals
2.00 EUR per person for groups (10+)
In a small shop inside the church you can buy simple and beautiful gifts, souvenirs and religious items.
The Church of St John the Baptist is currently not liturgically in use,
welcome to join us in our other parish churches:
- Church of St. Margaret (Sv. Marjeta) in Jereka;
- Church of St. Paul (Sv. Pavel) in Stara Fužina;
- Church of The Holy Spirit (Sv. Duh) by the lake;
- the chapel on Uskovnica (only in the summer months);
- and the Parish Church of St Martin in Srednja vas.
Get married in the Church of St. John the Baptist and confirm your love before God, thus creating an unforgettable day of your life.
DONATIONS FOR HOLY MASSES AND FOR LIGHTING CANDLES
At the reception in the church, you can donate for holy masses.
You can also light a candle that symbolizes your presence with the great saint.
WHO IS SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST
Evangelists Matthew and Luke report what Jesus said about him: “Truly, I say to you, born from a woman, there is no one greater than John the Baptist.” John was therefore greater than all patriarchs and prophets of the old testament: the first ones were given the promise of the Savior, others predicted the Messiah. John the Baptist was Messiah’s predecessor, he saw Him with his physical eyes, introduced him to the people and baptized Him. It is understandable, then, why the Church celebrates this great man with two holidays, celebrating his double birth: on June 24 the Church celebrates the solemn feast of his birth for this world and for the mission of Jesus’ predecessor, and on August 29 the Church recalls his martyrdom and birth to heaven.
He was the “messenger of the birth and death” of the Son of God. The English spiritual writer St Bede Honorable, who died in 735, explains: “With his birth he announced the birth of Christ, proclaimed the proclamation of Christ and testified with baptism for Christ. Finally, with his suffering, he prophesied the suffering of Christ. There is no doubt that John the Baptist suffered prison and restraints because of the testimony of the Savior. Otherwise, the persecutor did not ask him to give up Christ, but to give up the truth; nevertheless he died for Christ, for it is Christ whi declares: I am the truth.”
The truth for which John the Baptist gave his life was the one of moral order. We know the story of his martyrdom from the Gospel accounts. Herod Antipas, the fourth ruler or tetrarch in Galilee and Perea, took Herodias, the wife of his half brother. She was at the same time Antipas’ niece. For those who had a little sense of decency, it was disgusting that Herod married his brother’s wife when he was still alive. John the Baptist, faithful to his prophetic service, walked fearlessly before Herod and said to his face: “You are not allowed to have her!” Evangelist Luke writes that John also criticized Herod for all other wickedness. Herod had neither the courage nor the power to convert, but rather to silence the messenger of God: he let John to be thrown into the dungeon in the inaccessible fortress Maherunt by the Dead Sea.
Herod respected John, but even more, he was afraid of him. Herodias was particularly afraid of John, since the prophet jeopardized her position. When John was in prison for nearly a year, Herod celebrated his birthday in Maherun. What happened at that time, can be read in the Gospel. Herodias’ daughter Salome danced before Herod and his guests. He was so fascinated by the beautiful girl and at the same time intoxicated by wine that he promised to do anything she wanted. What he did not now was that Salome was only a tool of Herodias’ malicious intent. According to her mother’s order Salome then claimed the head of John the Baptist. Herod was confused by this request, but he wanted to prove himself as a man of his word, and so fulfilled Salome’s wish.
With his personality, public appearance and martyrdom John the Baptist overwhelms us due to his manfulness and courage. His conscience was his only valid guideline. In order to force him to be silent, they had to cut off his head. His name day used to be called “the Beheading of St John the Baptist”, known in the folk language also as “the Headless John”.
PRAYER TO THE SAINT
svetega Janeza Krstnika si poklical,
da bi Kristusu Gospodu
pripravil popolno ljudstvo;
V njegovem predhodniku svetem Janezu
slavimo tvojo veličastnost. Med rojenimi od žená
si ga odlikoval s posebno častjo.
Že pred rojstvom se je vzradoval Prosim, podéli svojim narodom milost duhovnih radosti Naj nas spremlja mogočna molitev Amen
bližine Odrešenika človeštva in s svojim rojstvom
mnogim prinesel veselje. Edini izmed vseh
prerokov je pokazal Jagnje, ki odrešuje svet.
Krstil je njega, ki je sam izvir krsta,
in s tem posvetil tudi tekočo vodo.
Končno pa mu je izkazal najvišje pričevanje
s svojo prelito krvjo.
in vodi srca svojih vernih
po poti zveličanja in miru.
Podeli, prosimo, da bo tvoja družina
zvesto hodila po poti odrešenja,
kakor jo spodbuja sveti Janez Krstnik;
tako bo zanesljivo prišla do Odrešenika,
ki ga je napovedal.
svetega Janeza Krstnika;
njega, katerega je oznanil kot Jagnje,
ki bo odvzelo naše grehe, samega tvojega Sina,
naj prosi, naj nam bo milostljiv.
Prosim, podéli svojim narodom milost duhovnih radosti
Naj nas spremlja mogočna molitev