The Mary of the Snow chapel


The Mary of the Snow chapel

Chapel is located above shepherd’s settlement on Velika planina, originally it stood here before WWII, namely in year 1938, but was at the end of the war burned down by Germany soldiers and militiamen. Long year they strive to rebuilt the chapel, after long years, they finally got the permission. In May 1988 action took place to rebuilt it, at the beginning of the month they dug out the foundations, only three months later it was already set for her blessing. Erection of the chapel was on the initiative of that time shepherds and by proposal of architect Kopač, who was a great fan of Velika planina. Everybody wanted to help with the renovation of the chapel.

On the day of her blessing, in procession they brought the picture of Mary of the Snow from St. Primož, where it was stored after the war. On August 7th, archbishop dr. Alojzij Šuštar blessed the chapel in front of 6.000 people.

August 5th is a special holiday for the chapel and whole shepherd’s settlement, as it is dedicated to Mary of the Snow. In summer times, time of shepherd’s season, masses are held in the chapel every Sunday. Many thousands of visitors every year comes to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. A beautiful view open from the chapel toward middle part of Velika planina.

Before the erection the chapel, there was a lot of talk about the chapel. Although, they already collected some of the money for its erection, they encountered opposition. They were afraid, that it would took to much of the grass. Once they decided to build it, they could not unite, where to build it – on Velika, Mala, Gojška or other mountain pasture. There was also a fear, that with the chapel above mountain pasture, many accidents and incidents would happen. The words of last co-owner are preserved: ”The devil will come from sky before the chapel on the mountain pasture.”

Inscription: The Mary of the Snow chapel. It was built in year 1938, burnt during the war, renewed in year 1988 with voluntary contributions and the work of parish people, Alpine dairy farmers, cottagers and firefighters

From these words we can assume that many were against the chapel, but then came year 1936. Missionary Trontelj from Ljubljana, at occasion mentioned that the mass could also be held outdoors. So, the first mass on Velika planina was held on August 15th 1936. The mass was held by missionary Godina Jožef from Grobelj. After this mass, the desire for chapel grew, therefore they set up a committee.

People wanted the chapel as soon as the money was collected. The said: ”The chapel or money back.” At first they had a dilemma, which material to use – would that be wood or brick. The decision fell, they would build it from the wood, in the style of the huts there.

Then follows the question Who should be the patron of the chapel? Mary of the Snow or Bernarda of the Lourdes. The chapel was blessed in July 31st 1938.


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Velika planina
Velika planina is high mountain mountain pasture and one of the biggest tourist attractions, due to its natural and cultural heritage. It covers more than 500 typical shepherd’s huts, many pastures, forest, dwarf pine and Karst sinkholes. The highest peak of the mountain pasture is Gradišče [_Read more_]