Brežice, Parish Church of St. Lawrence

The first mention of the parish church of St. Lawrence in Brežice dates to 1328. The flood of the rising Sava River on January 25, 1781, was fatal for the church of St. Lawrence, as the water washed away the foundations of the church and carried away the cemetery next to the church.

In 1760, when the visitation of the Archbishop of Gorizia, Karl Michael Count Attems, the old church had six altars, which were dedicated to Saint Lawrence, as the main altar, and side altars dedicated to Saints Fabian and Sebastian, the Holy Body of Salvation, Saint John the Evangelist, the Rosary To the Mother of God and Saint Francis Xavier.

The current church of St. Lawrence, which stands almost opposite the old church, began to be built on July 8, 1781. Maribor master bricklayer Janez Nepomuk Fushs (1727-1804) is mentioned in the Brežice chronicle as the leader of the new building. By 1782, the church was partially built and covered, and the bell tower was given a temporary steeple. The roof on the belfry was only completed in 1814. The city parish was founded in 1803, when Jožef Pelc was appointed parish administrator.

Already in 1782, five altars were probably installed in the church, namely the main altar of Saint Lawrence and the side altars dedicated to the Mother of God, Saint Florjan, Saint Nicholas and Saint John. The single-nave church with the presbytery shows late Baroque features. In 1840, the main altars of St. Lawrence, St. Florjan and St. Nicholas were renovated. In 1876, the facade was built in the Corinthian style, and the bell tower was raised and remodelled in the neo-Romanesque style. From the Franciscan Church of St. Anthony of Padua, two statues of saints St. John of Nepomuk and St. Charles Borromeo were placed in niches on the facade of the chapel. In the centuries after its construction, the church itself was not significantly transformed, but in the 19th and 20th centuries, new equipment completely transformed the interior. The old altars were removed, and some replaced with new ones, and the interior of the church was richly painted with frescoes. The painting of the nave and the presbytery ceiling was done around 1861 as the work of Tomaž Fantoni (1822-1892) and Jakob Broll (1834-1918).

Before the renovation in the 60s of the 20th century, there were three altars in the church, in addition to the main altar of St. Lawrence, there was also an altar dedicated to the Heart of Jesus and an altar dedicated to Mary. In the years 1962 to 1966, the church was thoroughly renovated according to the plans of the architect Ciril Zazula. The main old altar of St. Lawrence was replaced by a marble altar with a tabernacle in the background and an ambo on the side and a wall fresco by Stane Kregar (1905-1973). The new altar was consecrated on September 18, 1966. Mary's altar was also replaced with a marble altar and a painting of Mary, made by Kregar. The altar of the Heart of Jesus was transformed into a marble baptistery with a painting of the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River, which was also painted by Stane Kregar. During the renovation, eight new painted windows designed by Stane Kregar were inserted between 1967 and 1972.

In memory of the mission from 1961, there is a large crucifix with the Crucified Christ on the wall in the presbytery. On the walls around the church are paintings of the Stations of the Cross from 1883, made by Johann Heindl's company from Vienna. In the place of the former side altars of St. Florian and Nicholas, above the confessional, there are still images of St. Florian, who is depicted as a Roman soldier with a helmet, and St. Nicholas, who, in his episcopal role, as the patron saint of sailors, blesses the people on the ship in rough seas and those on land. Both paintings are marked as late baroque works and most likely date from 1850 and are the work of one of the painters of the Carniola Goetzl family (Gašper Goetzl 1782-1857).

The Church of St. Lawrence in Brežice is a monument to our faith and the faith of our ancestors who built the church. For this purpose, every year on August 10, we celebrate the solemn memory of the parish patron Saint Lawrence.



Brežice Parish
Cesta prvih borcev 34
SI-8250 Brežice

T: +386 7 496 1275
M: +386 31 582 301
E: milan.ksela@gmail.com

W: https://zupnija-brezice.si/