The Church of Mary Help of Christians in Ljubno

The Church of Mary Help of Christians

A miraculous event in the 17th century led to Ljubno becoming a pilgrimage site that was once known far and wide.

The Church of Mary Help of Christians, also known as the Church of 'Stricken' Mary, stands among the picturesque narrow streets of the Gorenjska village of Ljubno. The pilgrimage route began to gradually diminish in popularity in the second half of the 19th century when pilgrims began to visit nearby Brezje.



During renovation in the 17th century an event occured that changed the church in Ljubno into an important pilgrimage site. As a result of the incident, the church became known as the Church of 'Stricken' Mary.


The incident happened when the church was being renovated in 1692, and a statue of Mary Help of Christians was placed in the shed behind the church. The stonemason Gregor Eržen, whose girlfriend incidentally was named Mary, also worked on the renovations. When he walked past the statue in the shed, he exclaimed that Mother Mary had beautiful eyes, but that his girlfriend's eyes were even more beautiful. It seemed to him that the statue of Mary shook her head in disagreement. This angered him so much that he struck the statue on the temple with his hammer. Blood began to pour out of the statue from the crack caused by the strike, and the bleeding did not stop. The priest at the time, Adam Gregor Engelman, arranged for an artist to repair the crack and paint the statue. However, but this was all in vain as the crack is still in evidence today. The stonemason Eržen went on a pilgrimage to Rome to redeem himself. Legend has it that when he returned after two years he knelt before the statue of Mary and she smiled at him as a sign of forgiveness.

Following the event, the statue of Mary was placed on the throne of the main altar and the story was depicted in paintings on the vault of the presbytery.


The interior

The ceiling of the rectangular nave  has a painted barrel ceiling. The presbytery, on which there is a depiction of the legend about 'Stricken' Mary, is Gothic.


The main altar was first dedicated to St. Lawrence, whose painting was replaced by the statue of 'Stricken' Mary after 1692. Numerous votive paintings are hung around the altar, among them the vow offered by the former Count from Petrinja in Croatia. One of the most interesting shows well- and poorly-performed confessions.


The side altars are stone and were made in the 1860's in Janez Vurnik's stonemasonry workshop.


The history of the church

The first records of the church, which was originally dedicated to St. Lawrence, date back to 1377. Following the miraculous event in the 17th century word about the church spread rapidly and an ever-increasing number of pilgrims began to visit. It was for this reason that in the 18th century it was decided that a new church should be built, and later, next to the church, the Chapels of the Three Kings was built. In 1820 the church was badly damaged in a fire, however the main altar remained untouched.


The bell tower is a standalone building that was constructed in the 18th century.




Related news

Embellishments according to the plans of Ivan Vurnik
Slovenia's pilgrimage centre with works by Slovenian architects

Pay a visit to Brezje's basilica to see the merciful painting of Mary Help of Christians and the work of the architect Ivan Vurnik as well as other Slovenian artists.

Village Ljubno
A village full of frescoes

Houses, brimming with frescoes, are packed closely together on the slopes of the former pilgrimage Church of the 'Stricken' Mary.


Coming Soon


Šivec House Art Gallery, untill 13th April

An exhibition of paintings by the renowned Slovenian artist Klavdij Tutta.

01.06.2019 12:00
A festival of craft beer, food, music and socialising.

An entirely new festival is coming to Radovljica. The Craft Beer Festival will feature Slovenian craft beer brewers and will take place in the town park in close proximity to the old town centre.

04.07.2019 20:00
Every Thursday in July, Linhartov trg, Radovljicca

Summer evenings are perfect for concerts and local street food.


News & Blog


10.03.2019 10:28
5 reasons that will make you choose Radovljica

Written by Adele in Slovenia, March 2019


When I first came to Slovenia on holiday in 2006, I cycled alongside the Sava river from Bled to Radovljica and as soon as I rode into the beautiful old town centre, it was love at first sight!

21.03.2019 13:36
Radovljica image brochure

A new brochure has been published by the Radovljica Public Institute for Tourism and Culture to promote Radovljica and its surroundings.

With reference chart!

Written by Rebecca Svetina, March 2019


Where do these kids get their energy?! When your kids need to burn off some steam, but you need a bench or coffee, check out one of these public playgrounds in and around Radovljica and Bled. Each has its own perks.

16.04.2019 08:55
After the festival

The 8th Radovljica Chocolate Festival took place last weekend. Despite the less-than promising weather forecast, the biggest chocolate event in Slovenia, with its diverse array of chocolate and entertainment, attracted huge numbers of visitors.

Naziv vsebine

16.04.2019 08:55
21.03.2019 13:36
10.01.2019 08:27
The dates for this year's biggest events are now available
08.01.2019 13:02
A new attraction in Radovljica's old town centre
Cookie - Analitics
They are used to record the website's obscurity analysis and provide us with data to provide a better user experience.
Cookie - social
Cookies required for plug-ins for sharing content from social media sites.
What are cookies?
By visiting and using the site, you consent to the use and recording of cookies.OK Learn more about cookies