|St Nicholas Cathedral|
Slovene: Ljubljanska stolnica
The Cathedral seen from the Ljubljana Central Market
|Governing body||Roman Catholic Church|
Ljubljana Cathedral (Slovene: Ljubljanska stolnica), also named Saint Nicholas' Church (cerkev svetega Nikolaja, šenklavška cerkev), Saint Nicholas' Cathedral (Slovene: Stolnica svetega Nikolaja), the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas, or simply the Cathedral (Stolnica), is a cathedral in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Originally, Ljubljana Cathedral was a Gothic church. In the early 18th century, it was replaced by a Baroque building. It is an easily recognizable landmark of the city with its green dome and twin towers and is located on Cyril and Methodius Square by the nearby Ljubljana Central Market and the Town Hall.
The site was originally occupied by an aisled three-nave Romanesque church, the oldest mention of which dates from 1262. An extensive fire in 1361 saw it refurbished in the Gothic style but underwent alterations when the Diocese of Ljubljana was established in 1461 and the church became a cathedral. However, in 1469 it was burnt down again. This time, it was suspected to be arson, presumably by the Turks.
In 1700, on the initiative of Dean Janez Anton Dolničar and Academia Operosorum Labacensium, the Capuchin friar Florentianus Ponnensis from Milan or Bologna designed a new Baroque hall church. The following year, after the construction already started, the plan was revised and complemented by the Jesuit architect Andrea Pozzo who designed it as a basilica and added to it a dome. He did not supervise the realisation of his plan, so the buildings was also adapted by the builders. The two belfries, resembling of the Salzburg Cathedral, were added upon the plan by Lombard Giulio Quaglio.
The construction took place between 1701 and 1706. It was led by Francesco Bombasi, who already after a few months replaced the unreliable Francesco Feratta, and Mihael Zamerl. The master builder was Pavel Jugovic, and after his death in March 1704, Gregor Maček. The construction was completed in 1706, the first worship took place in the new building in August 1706, and the consecration took place on 8 May 1707. Originally, a fake dome was painted on the arch above the centre until the church's real dome was constructed by Matej Medved in 1841.
The church is recognisable by its dome and two belfries. On the southern wall is a brightly decorated pietà, a copy of one that possibly used to be in the earlier Gothic cathedral. Several Roman and later tombstones have been built into the exterior of the church. In 1996, before the visit of Pope John Paul II, two of the doors were replaced with monumental bronze versions. The front door, now named the Slovene Door, was painted by Tone Demšar with a depiction of Slovene history to commemorate the 1250th anniversary of Christianity in Slovenia. The side door, now named the Ljubljana Door, was redesigned by Mirsad Begić, who decorated them with portraits of the 20th-century bishops of Ljubljana. Subsequently, an automatic electric door has been added beyond the main door.
Inside much of the original Baroque decor remains with frescoes painted by Giulio Quaglio between 1703–1706 and later 1721–1723. Other notable decorations in the cathedral include the altar angels by the brothers Paolo and Giuseppe Groppelli on the right part of the nave (1711) and by Francesco Robba on the left (1745–1750). Angelo Putti was assigned to much of the artwork, with his painting of Dolničar (1715) and the statues of the four bishops of Emona seated under the dome beam (1712–1713). The dome frescos were painted by Matevž Langus in 1843–44. In the 1950s, the architect Jože Plečnik made plans for new church furnishings.
The cathedral viewed from Ljubljana Castle
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ljubljana Cathedral.|
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