The Slovenia Times

Medieval Monastery at Heart of Town's Statehood Celebrations


Slovenian's oldest charterhouse, Žička kartuzija will accept a crowd from local villages who will undertake what has become a traditional hike to celebrate Slovenia's statehood day.

The picturesque 12th century monastery, the first built by Carthusian monks on the territory of what is modern-day Slovenia - but also the first outside of the Carthusian strongholds of Italy and France - will be the meeting point for the hikers.

There a special mass for the homeland will be given in the afternoon today by Maribor Archbishop Alojzij Cvikl and Celje Bishop Stanislav Lipovšek.

The observation of National Day coincides with the ongoing celebrations of 850 years of the Žiče Charterhouse, which was declared a national monument by the government on Wednesday.

The Medieval monastery is an important European monument of early Carthusian architecture, with many of the monasteries from the same time in France having been built anew or destroyed, the government said in a statement.

Nestled in the valley of St John the Baptist, the monastery served from 1391 to 1410 as the seat of the Prior General of the Carthusian order.

It was at the time one of the biggest libraries in Europe, holding some 2,000 manuscripts, a number thought to be second only to the Vatican Library.

The monastery was abolished in 1782 by Emperor Joseph II of the Holy Roman Empire as part of Church reforms.

In 2010 efforts were launched by local and national authorities to restore the monastery, which have been hampered by the recession but continue today.

Žička kartuzija has in recent years developed into a popular tourist site in north-eastern Slovenia. Along with splendid views, it also offers medicinal herbs and a historical tour of the site.


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