Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Greek Catholic Church…

Bela krajina has always been a confluence of cultural influences; these were accompanied by a variety of faiths. Three faiths left their mark here and have become intermingled with old pagan beliefs, which remain very much alive.

Three parishes in Rosalnice near Metlika

The famous pilgrimage called “Tri fare” is located in the flat north-eastern part of the village Rosalnice near Metlika. The complex is particularly important because of three gothic churches, clustered together within the cemetery walls, which are partly the remains of the defence site against the Turks. This was also the seat of the Metlika parish, but in 1461 t was transferred to Metlika, where a commendam was built in the extreme southern part of the old town core. The churches stand parallel to each other. The northern church is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows and contains many interesting frescoes, as well as the oldest church organ, the work of Johaness Georgius Eisl, made in 1753 in the former region of Kranjska. The central church carries the inscription Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) and is dedicated to the whipping of Jesus. This church is the only one of the three with a bell tower. The southern church is dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes, and here you can find a tabernacle embedded into the northern wall. All exterior walls of churches have a few built-in tombstones from the past two centuries. The parish fair at “Tri fare” takes place on Jernejevo, on 24th August. The Parish Office in Metlika organises visits of the most important sacral object in Bela krajina.

The Church of Holy Trinity

The church overlooks the village Vinji vrh. It was built in 1647 and is a replica of an old pilgrimage church in Nova Štifta near Ribnica. The open shack in front of the church with a stone pulpit and an altar indicate a pilgrimage church. As the church was overcrowded during “žegnanje” (the blessing of food), people performed their rituals outside the church. The church has an octagonal shape and is covered by a shingled dome. The main gilt altar occupies the entire presbytery, which makes it a particularly interesting piece of the 18th century carved product of the Dolenjska region.

Under the image of the Holy Trinity you can see a gilt sculpture of the Holy Trinity crowning Mother Mary. The church also has two richly decorated wooden side altars and a wooden pulpit. Due to its shape, the church has served as a model for some neighbouring churches.

The Church of St. Jacob in Naklo

The church was built in the first half of the 15th century and was painted in the last quarter of the same century. The presbytery is decorated in gothic style, with a specially designed foundation and two walled-in gothic windows. The present main altar was brought from the Črnomelj parish church in 1956, because the previous altar, made by Goetzl in 1843, collapsed during the World War II as a result of Italian cannonading. The statues of Sts. Jacob, Peter, and Paul come from the former altar. Frescoes dating back to the second half of the 15th century were discovered under the roughcast on the presbytery walls, and are currently the only discovered frescoes from that period in Bela krajina. The Stations of the Cross are the work of Janez Potočnik and date to the beginning of the 19th century. The shed contained a built altar with a retable from 1655 as well as a stone pulpit. Both were used at larger gatherings, when crowds of pilgrims could not enter the church. The altar and the pulpit have been preserved until the present day.

The Church of Holy Spirit in Črnomelj

The Church of Holy Spirit is located on ancient cultural grounds, where we can find human traces from the Neolithic Period until the modern age. During the Ice Age its location represented the edge of the settlement, but in late antiquity a church was erected on the very same spot, where it stands today. The discovered apse and mosaic bear witness to that. In the Middle Ages the ground located a fortified building, which covered the south-eastern end of the city and was an important part of the city’s defence together with the walls. That same building would develop into the current church premises in the second half of the 19th century. The church was first mentioned in written in 1487. By the 20th century it witnessed many ups and downs, and it was also severely affected by the World War II. Renewed and reopened in 2007, it now represents the central cultural structure in the old town core of Črnomelj. Some points of interest in the church: Aquileian mosaic from the late antiquity (4th-5th century), apse churches from the late antiquity (4th-5th century), the tombstone of the writer Ivan Živkovič (17th century), etc.

Žeželj above Vinica          

The renowned pilgrimage Church of St. Mary is situated on the Žeželj hill above Vinica. A stone’s throw away from the village Golek you see a winding Calvary path with 14 chapels taking us to the spacious church built in the second half of the 17th century with a large shack in front of the main entrance. The three-storey gilt main altar, the biggest in Bela krajina, originates from the first half of the 18th century, while the pulpit with Mary's monogram and the depiction of annunciation date back to the second half of the 18th Century. The side altar originates from the same period, but was renovated in the 19th century.

The Greek Catholic Church of Sts. Cyril and Methodius

The Church of Sts. Cyril and Methodius is one of the two Greek Catholic churches in Slovenia. The second, the Church of St. Svetica, and the adjoining cemetery are located in Draga near Suhor. The church was built in 1903 and makes room for about 50 people. The local Greek Catholic priest is the only Slovenian iconographer. He has exhibited numerous works in Slovenia and abroad.

The Orthodox church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Miliči

The Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Miliči was built in the second half of the 19th century and is strongly linked to the Uskoki orthodox ethnic enclave in Miliči and Marindol. This gives the church a particular meaning not only in Bela krajina, but in general. Its uniformly constructed architecture is a reflection of ecclesiastical construction trends at the end of the 19th century, whereas its isolated and exposed position qualifies the church as one of the monuments of extreme quality in the sense of its environment.