Župa B.D.M. Snježna - BELEC
Maria reparavit quam Adam et Eva perdidit gratiam
OUR LADY PF THE SNOW
ST. GEORGE CHURCH
Our Lady of the Snow parish in Belec is located on the southern slopes of the mountain Ivanščica and it's 20 km away from the shrine of Marija Bistrica. This is one of the oldest parishes in Zagorje. It was created at the foot of a medieval fortress Belecgrad and was previously named St. George after the original parish church which was mentioned early in1242nd in the document of ban Dimitrij. Until 1780 main parish church was the church of St. George which is one-nave structure with traces of Romanesque style visible in the bell tower. Special feature of St. George church is that has a Gothic mensa from the 14th century which is a rarity in Croatia. According to conservation research after finding the stone sarcophagus in the bell tower, it is assumed that the oldest part of the church was a Romanesque chapel-tomb or ossuary of Belec's nobleman and therefore it is the only this type of tomb in Croatia. St. George is the only church having a Romanesque façade built with regular stone blocks in the continental part of Croatia, while interior part has a series of blind arches - there is no equal example in any other church's spaces. It has preserved fragments of wall paintings from three different time periods: the first half of the 14th century, 15th century and 17th century and it's the only church that has vaulted the entire interior by the end of the Middle Ages. The chapel has a Baroque altar dedicated to St. George and the same called painting by I. K. Ranger. With these special characteristics, it is also important to mention the wealth of architectural sculpture with figurative, floral and geometric motifs which make Chapel of St. George in Belec the most significant example of medieval country church in Croatia.
After a miraculous apparition of the Virgin Mary in a place called Kostanjevec, in 1675th it strarts building of chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Snow, thanks to donations of Countess Elizabeth Keglević-Erdődy, which later became a parish church in Belec. Between the 1739th to 1742nd during the service of pastor Paul Kunek, thanks to major donors Count Adam Najšić and his wife Cecilia Kristina born. Matačić, the Our Ladt of the Snow Chapel has undergone a major reconstruction in the Baroque style and it becomes a votive chapel of Croatian nobility as well as very famous pilgrimage destination. In this period the side chapels and sacristy were added to the structure and also bell tower was built along the western façade. The church is surrounded by walls with towers, portico and Chapel of St. Cross. Intrior of the church is one of the most beautiful baroque ambients in Croatia. There are five altars: the main, dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows and Holly Trinity plus four minor altars (St. Barbara, St. Joseph St. Stephen and St. Rosary). Altars are constructed mostly between the 1739th and 1743rd. The only known master who worked on it was Styrian sculptor Joseph Schokotnig from Graz who made two side altars of St. Joseph and St. Barbara and famous Belec pulpit. The interior of the church was painted by John the Baptist Ranger (who belonged to the Order of Saint Paul the First Hermit).
With the help of two assistants from 1740th to 1742nd year. Figural content of illusionist frescoes, which were made using templates by Italian painter A. Pozzo, are placed mainly on the church nave vaults, chapels and apse, while on the lower zones are architectural and decorative elements.
The church can be seen before and after the Sunday Mass, at 8:00 am. and 11:00 am.
A4 motorway Zagreb-Goričan until exit Novi Marof, then continue driving on regular road to Budinščina and then to Belec.
A2 motorway Zagreb-Macelj until exit Zabok and then drive to Zlatar, from which a road leads to Belec (7 km).
You can use public transport to Zlatar-Bistrica (train) or to Zlatar (bus), and then occasionally there is the bus which rides to Belec.
Near the chapel of St. George and the parish church is a medieval fortress Belecgrad, one of the many fortress on the mountain Ivančica. At the foot of the Belecgrad you can find the lodge which offers accommodation in a natural setting.
Copyright 2014 by B.D.M. Snježna - BELEC
Župa BDM Snježna, vlč. Milan Pušec
+385 (0)49 460 040