The Pilgrimage Church of the Annunciation is one of the most beautiful medieval churches in Slovenia. It was built over a long period of time, from the end of the 13th century to the middle of the 19th century. From its beginnings, due to the large size of the church in comparison with the size of the village, it was intended for pilgrims. Due to its popularity its size has been increased several times. If you look carefully, you can see a number of pilgrims' signatures.
When you reach the church you will first notice the fresco of Saint Christopher with Jesus on his shoulder, which is on the front facade of the church. In the shelter of the neo-gothic porch on the facade, the fresco of Holy Sunday can be seen. This originates from the middle of the 15th century and shows tasks which were at the time prohibited on Sundays. The fresco is an important reminder of the late medieval art of painting, whilst at the same time being a rich source of the history of culture and customs of the middle ages. It exhibits scenes from everyday life from which it is possible to learn much about the life of tradesmen, architecture, traditions and clothing culture in the middle ages.
Whilst admiring the neo-gothic porch, look for the imprint of a horseshoe on the stone base of the pillar. Legend has it that a Turkish General wanted to come on horseback to rob the church. However, he immediately went blind. He didn't want to give up and as he continued to ride towards the altar, the floor began to give way beneath the horse.
The interior fittings of the church are mainly baroque. Between the gold baroque altars is the oldest altar, St. Ahac (1648), which is now situated in the southern nave. The main altar, dedicated to Maria, is the largest gold altar in the Gorenjska region.
Ribs of the Heathen Maiden (Ajdovska deklica)
In the church there is also a small museum exhibit, which is thought to have been located in the church since the mid-15th century and, according to legend, belonged to the Heathen Maiden (Ajdova deklica).
Legend has it that Ajdovska deklica, who had sometimes lived in the copse in Crngrob, helped with the building of the church. In her apron she brought the builders a large rock and out of a huge pail she handed them water from the Sava river. She was so hard working that she caught a cold from overwork and died. To show their gratitude and in her memory one of her ribs is hung in the church. People say that every year blood drips from this rib which will fall for the last time when judgement day comes.
The church is not open to the public. Guided tours can be arranged upon prior agreement with Tourism Škofja Loka.