The Basilica of St. Mary in Brezje, also called the Basilica of St. Mary Help of Christians, is the biggest and most well-known pilgrim temple in Slovenia.
This beautiful church is an important Christian religious site, dedicated to St. Mary. The basilica is one of the youngest churches in this part of Slovenia, but it welcomes large numbers of worshipers every year.
The first church was built in Brezje in the 15th century and it was dedicated to St. Vitus. In the 19th century, when St. Mary showed her healing powers here, an altar with St. Mary was added to the church.
Stories of magical healings attracted more and more worshipers and the church slowly grew to today’s size of 39 x 19 meters. The church was declared as a Basilica in 1988 by Pope John Paul II.
The Basilica of St. Mary in Brezje is, apart from being an important Christian temple, a great architectural art piece. The Beautiful exterior with small colourful decorations fits its prestige interior, which is hidden behind wooden doors.
Huge doors are handcrafted and ornamented with 6 figures that represent important religious icons connected to St. Mary. Angels and St. Mary are painted above the door. On the right site of the door is a picture of a sick woman asking Mary for help – a tribute to the first magical healing that happened here in 1863.
The interior of the Basilica of St. Mary is decorated in the traditional renaissance style. Most of the interior is decorated with different artworks from Slovenian craft workers. An original altar dedicated to St. Mary can still be seen inside the church.
Please note that you can visit the Basilica every day, but try not to interrupt the mass. The Museum of nativity scenes is a great place to wait for the mass to finish.
The museum is located next to the church, in an old barn which was once used for horses. The original structure of the barn can still be seen today, but it was transformed into a beautiful small museum with numerous handmade nativity scenes.
In front of the Basilica of St. Mary in Brezje stands a magnificent statue of the Holy Family with a cross. The statue represents the entrance to the Park of Peace, which is open for visitors who want to relax in nature and tranquillity of Brezje. Paintings and photographs are often exhibited beside the park’s promenade.
Best way to reach Brezje is to use the motorway from Ljubljana to Bled. Take the exit Brezje and follow the signs which will lead you to the big parking lot next to the church.