Church of St. John the Baptist, Ribčev Laz


Church of St. John the Baptist (si. Sv. Janez Krstnik)

The church of St. John the Baptist (si. Sv. Janez Krstnik) is located on a small elevation in Ribčev Laz, in the direct vicinity of Bohinj lake, outflow river Jezernica and Janez’s bridge. It is over 700 years old, experts put it into the middle of 11. century, if not even to the late 10. century. The church represents a stylistic time trave from Romance to Baroque and is a world-famous protected cultural and historical monument of Bohinj. The church got its name by Janez Krstnik, who was a known religious leader form the 1st century and is considered as an important forerunner of Christianity. Frescoes inside and outside the church are one of the oldest frescoes on Slovenian territory, about 72 different saints and other motives were drawn. The peculiarity is that the painter on the fresco of St. John the Baptist drew 6 toes on one foot. Wooden head of John the Baptist is also interesting and is from the year 1380, it is stored by the Institute for the Protection of Natural and Cultural Heritage.

On the southern facade of the church are on several layers painted four St. Christophers (si. Sv. Krištof), which were created in the years 1300, 1400, 1530, and the last one in the year 1894. St. Christopher once was the patron of carters, today he protects the drivers. At that time, people believed that if they looked at him, they will have a lucky day.

Church of St. John the Baptist from Janez’s bridge

The church, together with Janez’s bridge and Bohinj lake forms a symbol of Bohinj and belongs to most beautiful specimens of Slovenian medieval architecture and wall painting. Because of that, it became the most photographed church in Slovenia. Next to it are archaeological finds, mostly coins from the period from the 1st to 5th century. In the Middle Ages, the church had the role of the baptismal chapel of the Bohinj area.

In the church is the first musical bell tower in the world, which plays the song Oj, Triglav, my home. It is a Baroque bell tower that together with eastern shed next to the church was built as an extension in the 18th century. It is known after double onion, lanterns, and roofing with shingles. Inside the church are located three wooden altars from different periods of the 17th century.


White devil on the inner side of the triumphal arch of the church St. John the Baptist stirs the imagination, the white devil sits on the back of Kajn’s neck and whispers to him murderous intents. This peculiarity of the church was seen by French writer Jean-Paul Sartre when he in the 1960s visited Bohinj. The church was shown to him by professor Marija Cvetek, who was at that time a high school student. When Jean and his companions saw the white devil, some have attributed the white color to the mythological metaphors. Others have speculated whether the black color may have faded away over the centuries.


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Ribčev Laz
Ribčev Laz is a small settlement on the eastern part of Bohinj and it represents the center of happening and most known image of Bohinj. Inhabitants were originally engaged in agriculture, today mostly in tourism. Ribčev Laz, in the WWI, served as a transitional zone between the battlefield and the hinterland. [_Read more_]

Bohinj lake
Lake Bohinj, pearl under Triglav, is located in the Julian Alps on the southwest of the country and is the biggest natural permanent lake of Triglav National Park and at the same time in Slovenia. The lake is of tectonic origin, hollow in which it lies was shaped by Bohinj glacier. [_Read more_]

Janez’s bridge
The bridge is located in settlement Ribčev Laz and stretches across river Jezernica, which is an outflow river of Bohinj lake, and also the second shortest river in Slovenia. On the other side of the bridge is the church of St. Janez Krstnik. Janez’s bridge is monument-protected [_Read more_]

River Jezernica
Jezernica is a river that outflows from Bohinj lake and is the second shortest river in Slovenia. After only a few 100 meters, together with river Mostnica, forms a river Sava Bohinjka. It is located in Ribčev Laz and flows under the stone bridge named Janez’s bridge. Average water outflow is 8.34 m3/s. [_Read more_]

The path around Bohinj lake
The path around Bohinj lake is one of the most visited footpaths, which offers a beautiful view of Bohinj lake and its surroundings, the view on its natural and cultural heritage. We can set off or from Ribčev Laz or Ukanc, and we can decide for ourselves in which direction we will go. [_Read more_]