Ivana Kobilca and Blek’s Estate in Podbrezje
A small orchard once stood on this site. The pr’Blek homestead was situated to the right of the entrance next to the road. In Ivana Kobilca’s time, the address of the house was Britof 12. Ivana’s mother, Marija Škofic (1838-1906) was born here. Blek’s estate was grand; next to the house on the opposite side of the courtyard there was a further large farm building, while Blek’s garden was located behind the house. This is where the Kobilca family spent their holidays. Blek’s estate in 1996, when this photograph was taken, no longer potrays the grand estate as it was in the past (in the picture are also the neighbouring Šparavec and Kapvani buildings).
Ivana Kobilca, Poletje (Summer), 1889/1890, o. pl., 180 x 142 cm, sign. d. sp.: I. Kobilca, Narodna galerija, inv. št. NG S 165
Ivana Kobilca, Poletje (Summer), 1889/1890, oil on canvas, 180x142cm, signed bottom right: I. Kobilca, National Gallery of Slovenia, Inventory No: NG S 165
Ivana’s Poletje (Summer)
Ivana Kobilca painted the picture Poletje (Summer) in the years 1889 and 1890. She was advised to send Poletje to an exhibition in a Paris Salon, which she did, and at the same time she also sent the painting Likarice (Ironing Women). Both paintings were successful and in 1891 Ivana became an associate member of the Salon du Champ de Mars. Poletje depicts a summer idyll with her sister, Fani Kobilca (1870-1899), and some children. Fani is sitting calmly in the shade of the village orchard making a large floral wreath. She was given the flowers by her cousins Katrca Blek (1884-1931) and Janezek Blek (1886-1896), the latter of which was killed by lightning at the age of 10. It was as if his death heralded a period of misfortune. The Škofic family were left without an heir and following the death of Marjana Škofic, the last of the Bleks, in 1867 the estate passed into new hands. From behind the fence Joža Vrtar (Joža Pretnar, 1881-1957) is coming towards them with an armful of flowers; he later bought Pfäffinger’s villa. Locals from Podbrezje simply call it the ‘Villa’. Ivana’s best friend, Rosa Pfäffinger (1866-1949), spent her youth in the villa. In her memoirs Ivana told of how children watched and assessed her: ‘Now she hasn’t done it right. You’ll see, she’ll make it right!’ Officially it holds true that she painted Poletje in Matjažev vrt (Matjaž’s garden) in Podtabor. In Podbrezje it is still said today that perhaps the famous painter of Poletje painted it in Blekov vrt (Blek’s garden), Vrtarjev vrt (Vrtar’s garden), Mrkovčev vrt (Mrkovc’s garden) or Kočarjev vrt (Kočar’s garden), while it also mentions Pfäffinger’s villa.
Ivana Kobilca, Blek’s father (Jakob Škofic), ?, oil on canvas, 45.5x57cm, unsigned: privately owned
Ivana’s Grandfather – Blekov ata
Ivana’s grandparents in Podbrezje were Jakob Škofic (1816‒1893) and Marija Luzner (1810‒1874). The picture shows how Ivana Kobilca depicted her grandfather – Blekov ata.
The Kobilca Family
In 1857, eighteen year-old Marija Škofic (Blek from Podbrezije) married 37 year-old Jakob Kobilca (1820-1899) from Homec near Kamnik and the couple lived together in Ljubljana where they made their living from trade and a shop. They had four children. The oldest was Marija Kobilca (1860‒1946), who married the linguist and literary historian Luka Pintar (1857-1915). Ivana Kobilca (1861-1926) was born on 20th December 1861 (in the birth register her name is recorded as Johanna Maria; her godparents were Anton Obreza and Marija Škofic). The third child was Josip Kobilca (1865‒1904), the only son among the couple’s four children, who died from tuberculosis. The youngest child was Fani Kobilca (1870‒1899), who was Ivana’s favourite artist’s model. Fani got married on 6th November 1898 in Ljubljana cathedral to Ivan Frelih (1872-1949), a provincial accounts officer. Soon after, in 1899 at the age of just 29, Fani succumbed to a terrible disease.
Marija Škofic, mar. Kobilca, photograph, privately owned
Jakob Kobilca, photograph, privately owned
Photographic portrait of all the Kobilca family children (Ivana, Josip, Marija, Fani), privately owned
Authors: Dr. Lidija Tavčar and Nataša Kne, extracted from ‘Videla sem svet in življenje’ (I saw the world and life)
Design: Eva Remškar
Realisation: Križaj design d.o.o.
Photographs: National Gallery of Slovenia, private property
Ivana Kobilca’s Poletje (Summer) in Matjaž’s Garden
Ivana Kobilca, Poletje (Summer), 1889/1890, oil on canvas, 180x142cm, signed bottom right: I. Kobilca, National Gallery of Slovenia, inventory no. NG S 165
Ivana’s Poletje (Summer)
Ivana Kobilca painted Poletje (Summer), which she first titled ‘Na vrtu’ (In the Garden), in Podbrezje in 1889 and 1890. She was advised to send Poletje to an exhibition in a Paris Salon, which she did, and at the same time she also sent the painting Likarice (Ironing Women). Both paintings were successful and in 1891 Ivana became an associate member of the Salon du Champ de Mars. Poletje depicts a summer idyll with her sister, Fani Kobilca (1870-1899), and some children. Fani is sitting calmly in the shade of the village orchard making a large floral wreath. She was given the flowers by her cousins Katrca Blek (1884-1931) and Janezek Blek (1886-1896), the latter of whom was killed by lightning at the age of 10. It was as if his death heralded a period of misfortune. The Škofic family were left without an heir and following the death of Marjana Škofic, the last of the Bleks, in 1867 the estate passed into new hands. From behind the fence Joža Vrtar (Joža Pretnar, 1881-1957) is coming towards them with an armful of flowers; he later bought Pfäffinger’s villa. Locals from Podbrezje simply call it the ‘Villa’. Ivana’s best friend, Rosa Pfäffinger (1866-1949), spent her youth in the villa. In her memoirs Ivana told of how children watched and assessed her: ‘Now she hasn’t done it right. You’ll see, she’ll make it right!’
Ivana Kobilca, Poletje (Summer), photograph, 1889 (?), National Gallery of Slovenia, inventory no. NG F 71
Ivana Kobilca, Poletje (Summer), photograph, 1889 (?), National Gallery of Slovenia, inventory no. NG F 74
Ivana Kobilca, Poletje (Summer), photograph, 1889 (?), National Gallery of Slovenia, inventory no. NG F 75
Poletje (Summer) in photographs
Ivana undertook dedicated preparations in order to paint Poletje (Summer). Prior to beginning, while searching for suitable artistic compositions, she used photographs to help her. She worked on two versions of a garden with a fence. The photograph shows Ivana’s father, Jakob, and a child next to him – his grandchild Ivan – who is dressed like a girl in a white dress, which wasn’t unusual at that time. On the left is the child’s mother, Marija Pintar, with flowers in her hand while Ivana’s sister Fani is standing opposite. Matjažev vrt (Matjaž’s garden) certainly became a perfect setting for Ivana’s oil paintings. Her thought process – how to compose motifs – can be seen using the following three documentary photographs, which Kobilca took in the garden as an aid before she began painting. In all photographs her sister Fani is sitting on the far left part of a bench with various decorative headwear. Other than the first photo, in which she is dressed in a one-piece outfit, in the other two she is wearing the same blouse and a wide skirt with a belt – the latter is missing in the third photo. The girl behind the bench is the same in all the photographs – Katrca Blek – Ivana’s cousin, however, the photographs differ in terms of the position of her head and arms, in which she is holding various flowers. In two of the photographs Janezek Blek is sittting by Fani’s legs; the only difference is that in the first photograph he is dressed in a long-sleeved shirt while in the second photo he is wearing girl’s clothes.
Poletje (Summer) in Podbrezje’s Gardens
In Podbrezje there are known to be several variations of the place where Kobilca painted Poletje. Of course, it is most commonly thought that it was painted in Blekov vrt (Blek’s garden) in Britof in Podbrezje, however, this is only one of the possible locations. In various sources it can be seen that Ivana found the scenery for the summer idyll in Matjažev vrt (Matjaž’s garden) in Podtabor in Podbrezje, which, according to art historians, is the officially confirmed location. However, other versions and stories in Podbrezje continue to circulate. Judging by the photographs that Kobilca took and from which she painted Poletje, it is not possible to identify the garden where Fani is making a floral wreath. In the photograph Fani is seen in front of a high fence; such fences were erected around courtyards and gardens to prevent cows from straying onto neighbouring land. For decades the famous picture has been stirring the imagination of Podbrezje’s inhabitants. The place where Poletje is thought to have been painted in Podbrezje is subject to lively debate and questions of prestige. Another of the possible locations is Vrtarjev vrt (Vrtar’s garden), which is located close to Matjažev vrt (Matjaž’s garden). Since Joža Vrtar appears in the painting, many people have therefore concluded that Poletje was painted in this garden. Perhaps Fani was sitting in Mrkovčev vrt (Mrkovec’s garden), which borders on Matjažev vrt. According to some, Poletje is said to have been painted in Kočarjev vrt (Kočar’s garden) – perhaps the reason for this choice is the fact that the Blek and Kočar estates were joined as a result of marriage. Another version, however, states that Ivana chose Pfäffingerjev vrt (Pfäffinger’s garden) for the idyllic rural scene. Therefore, the stories about the Podbrezje artist Ivana and her painting Poletje are still alive and timeless, as is the case for the artist herself and her artwork.
Podbrezje Villa and Its Famous Residents
Rosa Pfäffinger: a potrait painting by Ivana Kobilca
Art students in Munich in the year 1880: On the left Rosa Pfäffinger, on the right Ivana Kobilca.
Pfäffinger’s Villa (1880-1889)
Rosa Pfäffinger (1866-1949) was born in Trieste to Adele, nee Stöger, and the Austrian Consul in Damascus, George Pfäffinger. In the mid 1870s Julius Kugy recommended that they, together with his family, go on holiday to Podbrezje. Since they had become fond of the village, in 1879 they bought some land on a hill and by 1880 had already built an attractive villa in a Mediterranean style with a tripartite floor plan, on the top of the hill. The Pfäffinger’s friendly and sweet daughters Hermina, Rosa and Luiza found their home with their mother Adele in the ‘rural Slovenian nest’, as Rosa called it. Ivan Tavčar (1851-1923) also often came to visit the oldest daughter Hermina, when he worked for the Mencinger lawyers in Kranj from 1877 to 1880, and his visits also continued when he moved back to Ljubljana. In 1888 the family was devastated by the death of their youngest daughter Luiza. The following year mother Adele immediately sold the family’s villa in Podbrezje to Ferdinand Schmitt from Ljubljana. In the novel Bohemian Paris it is written that Rosa was attached to the Podbrezje villa and she was greatly affected by its sale. In her memoirs Ivana Kobilca wrote that Rosa Pfäffinger was her best friend. She met her in Podbrezje where both girls were spending their holidays. Ivana and Rosa were together in Munich and Paris, and the pair also later met in Berlin. In her novel Bohemian Paris, Rosa introduces Ivana, who until then hadn’t been known. The picture on the top left side show a photographic portrait of Rosa. In the group photo Rosa Pfäffinger can be seen on the left and Ivana Kobilca on the right, taken at the time when the girls were art students in Munich in 1880.
Artist: Josip Gorup (1898-1926)
Gorup’s Villa (1918-1929)
In 1918 Schmitt sold the villa to Amalija (Lija) Gorup, from the Slavinjski aristocracy (1871-1948), who, on the wish of her father Josip Gorup (1834-1912) married her cousin Milan Gorup (1870-1914) in 1894. They had three children: Eleonara (Nora, 1895-1936), Josip Marija (Jozi, 1898-1926) and Ksenija (1905-1944) – the latter of whom married Rado Hribar and lived in Strmol Castle. Her brother, the artist Josip Gorup, lived in the villa from 1923 until 1926, when, in unexplained circumstances, he lost his life beneath Mount Triglav. It is an interesting fact that in 1929 the Gorups succeeded in selling Pfäffinger Villa, to none other than Joža Pretnar (1881-1957), also known as Joža Vrtar, the lad from Ivana’s Poletje painting, who became a naval colonel in Pula.
Joža Tomše, from the Savskidol aristocracy (1850-1937)
The Pretnar family in 1930: in the back row, son Joža (1912-2007), daughters Saša (1920-1999), Maša (1916-2008) and Nuša (1914-2015); in the front row, mother Ana Pretnar, daughter Tatjana (1926-1999) and father Joža Pretnar (also known as Joža Vrtar).
Pretnar’s Villa (1929-1976)
Joža Pretnar bought the villa together with his wife Ana Pretnar (1891-1976), who was recorded in the land registry as the owner. Ana was very highly educated; locals from Podbrezje rated her as an excellent midwife who helped many children in the village come into the world. Her father, Joža Tomse, was a Austro-Hungarian field marshall of the Savskidol aristocracy (1850-1937), who was married to Jožefa Paulin (1862-1941), a member of the Francek family from Podbrezje. The aged Joža Tomse liked to spend summers in the Podbrezje villa. In 1976, following the death of Ana Pretnar, Aleš Pavlin bought the villa from her heirs (the Franceks), and in 1998, Mihael I. Fock, a descendant of a well-known Carniolan family, moved into the villa with his wife Vilma. For a long time the villa retained its original appearance until the mid 1980s when Pavlin changed its appearance by altering the roof. In its time Pfäffinger’s villa was a frequent meeting place for the Slovenian intellectual and social elite.
Franc Pirc – priest, fruit grower, missionary
Franc Pirc (1785-1880)
Since Pirc’s time, Podbrezje has been known as a fruit growing village.
The Franciscan land register for Carniola 1826, Srednja vas, Podbrezje.
In his old age Pirc dictated his life story to his friar.
Pirc renovated and extended the rectory in Podbrezje.
Pirc in Podbrezje
Franc Pirc was born on 20th November 1785 in Godic, Kamnik. He studied theology and in 1813 became a priest. He came to Podbrezje in 1830 and within five years had turned it into a fruit growing village. He planted a nursery of trees and an orchard in the allotment beneath the rectory. For decades after his departure scions of nursery trees were supplied to the Carniola, Carinthia and Goriska regions. It was thanks to Pirc that at the end of the 19th century Gorensjka became the leading fruit growing region in Slovenia, with Podbrezje at the forefront. He came to be very fond of Podbrezje’s locals and they too of him. In the last part of his book Nekateri pesmi (Some Poems) he wrote to his former parishioners:
My kind-hearted friends from Podbrezje!
By the grace of God, I used to be your pastor below Brezje, where I tried to show you the right path to heaven. My jubilant soul resided contented and happy among yours. I was served well by the diligent hands, revered by all, and I was truly joyful. And I thought to myself: I am sitting much too pretty here; I need to choose another path and dutifully earn my way to heaven. At that exact time, I received a letter from the late Mr Baraga from native American lands, inviting me to come and help him with the native Indians and thus gain a more just admission to heaven. Oh, my beloved former parishioners, do pray for me. Franc Pirc
From the book: KRANJSKI VERTNAR
PIRC THE FRUIT GROWER
Great hunger in the years 1817 and 1818 led Pirc to realise what fruit means in people’s diets. Being prudent he decided to focus on a hitherto unknown field of national economy – fruit growing. He wrote the first Slovenian book about fruit growing ‘Kranjski Vertnar’, which was published in 1830, and then a second book about ‘dwarf’ varieties of fruit in Podbrezje. Pirc’s books offered Slovenia’s fruit growers a basic handbook from which they used for a long time to lap up knowledge about fruit growing.
Podbrezje’s farms already had their own fruit gardens, as can be read from the Franciscan land registry, and through treatment Pirc contributed to them becoming more plentiful. He emphasised the use of fruit in people’s diets, gave advice on storage and drying, and spoke out strongly against distillation.
Statue of Franc Pirc on the facade of the St. Cloud hospital in Minnesota
A girl’s moccasion from roe deer skin (Slovene Ethnographic Museum)
MINODE – A GOOD SOUL
In 1835, on the invitation of Friderik Baraga, Pirc set off from Podbrezje to work as a missionary in America, where he carried out important pioneering work in settling and cultivating his new homeland. He first worked in mission stations at Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, and then, until his return to his homeland in 1873, he worked in Minnesota. Pirc established several new towns and settlements, where he also built churches. He was sent the fittings for the churches from his former homeland. He invited his compatriots to his new homeland and also invited some of Podrezje’s families. In the Minnesota state historical archives it states that Father Pirc never wasted time. He worked among immigrants and native Indians, the last of whom were the Ochipwa tribe. It was due to his goodness that they named him ‘MINODE – A GOOD SOUL’. He didn’t just spread the Christian faith among the native Indians but also taught them culture and farming. The city of Pierz in Minnesota was named after him, as were many schools and other establishments.
The Parish Church in Podbrezje – St. Jacob*, apostle
St. Jacob* in the main altar
The main altar
The parish church
Ceiling frescoes – work of the academic artist Vinko Tušek
An angel on the main altar
Mary the Immaculate, northern side altar
St. Jacob*, the parish patron saint
A Roman martyr, southern side altar
St. Anne, northern side altar
The Slovenian St. Jacob* pilgrimage route
PARISH CHURCH – ST. JACOB*
There are three altars in the Podbrezje parish church, which are in harmony with each other and the architecture of the church, while the excellent statues give it a particularly special value. In addition to St. Jacob*, the large side altars are dedicated to the Mother of God and St. John Nepomuk. The parish patron saint, St. Jacob*, is in the throne of the large altar, surrounded by angels scattered among the clouds surrounding him. On the left arch he is accompanied by St. Sebastian, whose body is covered by a modestly draped cloth; he is tied to a tree and pierced with arrows. Opposite, St. Roch is holding a travel stick and flask in his right hand, while his left hand is lifting up his smock showing an infectious wound on his thigh; next to his legs there is a puppy with a loaf of bread in its mouth.
The same side altars have been adapted to the space in the side chapel. In the north altar stands the Virgin Mary, portrayed at the same time as a queen with a crown and sceptre and as Immaculate, surrounded by sunrays and a wreath with 12 stars around her head, and standing on a globe surrounded by a serpent of the Original Sin. She is surrounded by her parents, St. Anne and St. Joachim. In the south altar there is a statue of St. John Nepomuk, whose right index finger is on his lips making a sign of silence. Next to him stand St. John and St. Paul depicted as holy warriors. In front of the triumphal arch on the south side there is a Baroque pulpit with an angel, while on the north side there is a mission cross. The fittings in the church are embellished by the Stations of the Cross and a ceiling fresco of St. Jacob*, the work of the academic artist Vinko Tušek.
THE PARISH OF PODBREZJE
The origins of the parish of Podbrezje are connected to the beginnings of the first parish in Kranj in the second half of the 10th century. Podbrezje was its vicariate. The first written mention of the church of St. Jacob* in Podbrezje dates from 1471. Some years later there is the first mention of a priest: St. Jacob* of the parish of Pobresane. At that time Podbrezje fell under the jurisdiction of the medieval parish of Carniola. The establishment of an independent parish was first mentioned in 1749, and there are testaments to a priest having been permanently present in the parish since 1502.
St. Jacob*, apostle
The patron saint of the parish is the apostle St. Jacob*, whose feast day is on 25 July. He was the brother of John the Evangelist, the son of Zebedee and Salome. Due to his stormy temperament, Jesus named him the ‘son of thunder’. He saw Jesus when he changed on the mountain, as well as when he walked the bloody path on the way to the Mount of Olives. Following the Ascension of Jesus and the Pentecost he first preached in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Out of all the apostles, St. Jacob* was the first who drank out of Jesus’s martyr chalice some nine years after the Lord’s death. In the apostolic writings it says: ‘Herod ordered to execute John’s brother, Jacob*, with the sword.’ He was buried in Jerusalem, and later, when the Arabs conquered the town in the 7th century, the apostle’s bones were moved to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
St. Jacob* Pilgrimage Route
The St. Jacob* pilgrimage route, otherwise known as El Camino de Santiago, is the group name for numerous pilgrimage routes that lead to the sanctuary of St. Jacob* in Santiago de Compostela in Spain. It is included on the UNESCO list of world heritage. The so-called ‘Gorenjska Svetovisarska veja’ (Gorenjska Eclectic branch) of Slovenia’s St. Jacob* Pilgrimage Route runs through Podbrezje. Many pilgrims seek overnight accommodation and refreshment at Pirčev dom (Pirc’s home) at Tabor.
Late Baroque Sculptor Peter Žiwobski
Peter Žiwobski, a baroque sculptor of Polish descent, settled in Podbrezje towards the end of the 18th century. In addition to equipping the Podbrezje parish church with altar fittings, his workshop also made pieces for other religious buildings in the near and wider surroundings. Although he only spent a few years in Podbrezje, perhaps a decade, nowadays this barely known but the best of all the late baroque masters in Gorenjska, elevated Podbrezje into an important centre of sculptural art and left a significant and valuable heritage.
His statues show a supreme mastery of anatomy and physiognomy, and are set in thoughtful, and often also innovative, poses. The figures of strong bodies demonstrate and emphasise skilled design and thoughtful apportioning of drapery. With his three altars in the Podbrezje church, Peter Ziwobski reached the pinnacle of late baroque sculpture in Slovenia.
 *In English St. Jacob is more commonly known as St. James the Elder
Ivana’s Path – The Podbrezje path of cultural heritage
The Podbrezje Path of Cultural Heritage, named after the greatest Slovene painter Ivana Kobilca – IVANA’S PATH is a path of pride of the people from Podbrezje of their history, their cultural heritage, the famous people who lived here and of their village. The path will lead you from the Cultural Centre, the villa, passing by the parish Church of St. Jacob* and the Podbrezje Memorial Park. Walking along the path you will discover the history of Podbrezje and its people. In the end, you will enjoy a panoramic view from Tabor, which leaves no one untouched.
1 Memory room of the writer Mimi Malenšek
In the Podbrezje Cultural Centre there is a ‘writer’s corner’ dedicated to Mimi Malenšek, which has been arranged as if she had just left her post as a writer. She left various personal objects, a table, typewriter, acknowledgements, and, above all, her entire creative opus, to Podbrezje. There is also an account of her life and memories of her friends.
2 Andrej Praprotnik, a champion of Slovenian school children (1827-1895)
The first Podbrezje teacher was born in the house where today the Cultural Centre is located. He was an organiser of Slovenian schooling, a pedagogic writer, poet and national awakener. He was a central figure among Slovenian schoolchildren at that time. In his memory there are information boards in the hall of the Cultural Centre and at the entrance to the primary school.
3 Podbrezje Villa
The villa was built by the Trieste industrialist and diplomat George Pfäffinger. At one time the village was the centre of the village’s social life. Among those that visited were the writer Ivan Tavčar, the Ljubljana mayor Ivan Hribar, the artist Josip Gorup and others. Later ownership of the villa changed several times and it was also renovated on a number of occasions.
4 Franc Pirc, priest, fruit grower, missionary in America (1785-1880)
Born in Kamnik, Franc Pirc came to Podbrezje as a priest in 1830 and stayed for five years before leaving to work in north America as a missionary among native Indians. In his short time in Podbrezje he built the rectory, repaired the church, extended the vestry at Tabor and established a nursery of trees in which he planted various types of fruit trees. He changed Podbrezje into a ‘fruit growers village’. His statue stands in the park next to the rectory.
5 Mimi Malenšek, writer (1919-2012)
The most prolific Slovenian writer spent her youth at her father’s homestead in Dolenja vas in Podbrezje. She described her home village in her novels. She also visited Podbrezje in her late old age and was always a pleasant guest at various events. Her statue stands in the Podbrezje Memorial Park beside the parish church, next to the cemetry which is also her final resting place.
6 Karel Mauser, writer (1918-1977)
The writer spent his youth in Podbrezje and, such was his love for the place, it became the place where he always liked to return, including in his written works. Following World War II, Mauser’s fate led him to exile; he lived in the USA where he also died and was buried. His statue stands in the Podbrezje Memorial Park.
7 Ivana Kobilca, artist (1861-1926)
The artist liked to visit Pozbrezje – the birth place of her mother, where she spent holidays and painted and created many of her works. It was here that she painted her most well known picture Poletje (Summer). She gifted the religious painting ‘The Immaculate’ to Podbrezje, which now adorns the interior of the Tabor church. Her statue, the work of Mirsad Begić, stands in the Podbrezje Memorial Park.
8 Church of St. Jacob*
The church of St. Jacob* was first mentioned in the village in 1400. At first it fell under the jurisdiction of the parish of Kranj. The first mention of the establishment of the parish Podbrezje dates from the year 1650. Four years later the church was enlarged and remodelled in a baroque style, while the exterior retained its gothic appearance. The church is surrounded by a stone wall and up until the start of the 20th century it was surrounded by a cemetery. The church has three altars which are the work of the late baroque sculptor and carver Peter Žiwobski. The altars are a highlight and are representative of late baroque sculpture in Gorenjska.
9 Peter Žiwobski, sculptor and carver (1748-…)
The Polish-born sculptor established a sculpting workshop in Podbrezje where altars and statues for the Podbrezje parish church were made, which are the highest quality of late baroque sculpture in Gorenjska. The workshop later expanded and accepted orders from neighbouring parishes for equipping churches. Žiwobski raised his family at the ‘Pǝr Žagarjǝ’ homestead (the Žagar family) in Srednja vas.
10 Joža Tomše of the Savskidol aristocracy, field marshall in the Austro-Hungary army (1850-1937)
Joža Tomše studied mathematics and physics in Vienna. He joined the artillery unit and climbed the military ladder. The emperor Franz Joseph promoted him to artillery colonel and granted him a noble title. At the beginning of World War I he was promoted to field marshall. Throughout his life he was a conscientous Slovenian and his home in Vienna was a refuge for poor Slovenian students of higher education. Following his retirement Tomše spent a lot of time in the Podbrezje villa and was buried in the family grave in Podbrezje’s cemetery.
11 Branko Jeglič, poet and writer (1903-1920)
Branko Jeglič, also known as Babčov Branko, from Srednja vas lived, worked, wrote songs and poems and translated intensively, as if he was able to foretell his untimely death. In his obituary, Srecko Kosovel compared him to a prematurely wilted flower and ‘Roža v viharju’ (A Flower in a Storm) is also the title of a collection of works by Branko Jeglič, which were published 95 yers after his death. He is buried in the family grave in Podbrezje’s cemetery.
12 Franc Černilec, teacher, postman, organist, sexton, homeopath (1828-1911)
Franc Černilec came to Podbrezje in 1870. He gifted the village with 42 years of his strength, knowledge and presence. He was first and foremost a teacher but also a postman and organist as well as being a sexton and a healer – a homeopath. He knew how to combine his role as a teacher in a one-grade school with his duties as a sexton and postman. He died and is buried in Podbrezje.
13 Podbrezje Memorial Park
Podbrezje remembers the important people who lived and worked in the village in the memorial park next to the parish church. In the park there are statues of Franc Pirc, the sculptors Stane Kolman, Karel Mauser, France Gorše, Mirsad Begić, Alojzija Tomič and Eva Lenassi, the writer Mimi Malenšek, and the artist Ivana Kobilca.
14 Blek’s Homestead
Marija Škofic, the mother of the artist Ivana Kobilca, was born on the former grand Blek estate, which is where the Kobilca family spent their holidays and where Ivana painted and created many of her works.
15 Matjaž’s Garden, the placed where Poletje (Summer) was painted
The most famous Slovenian work of art Poletje (Summer) was painted by Ivana Kobilca in Matjaž’s garden in Podbrezje. She painted for two summers, surrounded by village children. The painting was accepted and exhibited in a Paris art salon on the occasion of a global exhibition in 1891, which opened the door to the world for Ivana.
16 The Stations of the Cross, Calvary, plague shrine, Eucharistic cross, shrine
The Stations of the Cross is a reminder of Jesus’s final journey and his death on the cross. For both believers and non-believers the path along the shrines that lead their way from the Tabor hillock to the church is an opportunity for personal reflection and meditation. A particular speciality is that every station of the path was painted by a different artist. The 12th Station of the Cross – the Calvary – is located beneath the century-old Tabor linden tree.
17 Anti-Turkish Camp
Museum exhibition in Pirčev dom (Pirc’s home)
The anti-Turkish camp in Podbrezje was built around the year 1470. On the north and west side it was surrounded by a dry moat while the entrance to the camp led over a drawbridge. On the site of today’s shrine there was a defence tower that further protected the entrance. The surrounding walls were double-height with a defence corridor and roof. In the interior of the surrounding walls there were granaries for storing food staples. Today the original layout of the camp is only partly preserved.
In Pirčev dom there is a permanent exhibition about the anti-Turkish camps in Slovenia, which were set up in cooperation with the Gorenjska Museum and professor Peter Fister.
18 Church of Mary of Seven Sorrows, Vrbnik, Mole, Kobilca, Layer
The oldest preserved record of the name of Tabor and St. Benedicts church dates from the year 1502. When the church was renovated and in 1682 extended to its present size, it was still dedicated to the original patron saint, St. Benedict. The worship of Mary began at the end of the 17th century and then in the 18th and 19th century, Tabor became the central pilgrimage church in Gorenjska.
The altars are the work of the Vrbnik’s workshop from Kranj and the frescoes in the presbytery are the work of the academic artist Izidor Mole.
In the church there is an altar painting by Leopold Layer of ‘Death of St. Francis Xavier’ as well as an altar painting by Ivana Kobilca of ‘The Immaculate’, which the latter donated to the parish of Podbrezje.
19 Peter Rojc – Piskač (piper), organist (1811-1848)
Peter Rojc was a self-taught organist from Podtabor, the son of a carpenter who lived at the ‘Pǝr Piskač’ homestead (at the Piper’s), which is still today the name of the house. He made around 45 instruments of sizes ranging from six to 20 registers. Rojc’s organs were labelled as instruments with exceptionally clear and unique intonation. His organs, which have been renovated, resound in the Tabor church, among others.
20 Legend about Tabor Urška
A legend from the time of the Turks that has been spread by word of mouth. The moral of the legend is: don’t forget to fulfil your promise, especially if you make it to someone from heaven.
The Path of Cultural Heritage, IVANA’S PATH, was conceived and executed by the Tabor Cultural Association in 2016.