A wonderful viewpoint between Loško polje and Cerkniško polje with the Church of St. Cross.
- Lož (590 m), 60 minutes
- village Sv. Ana (722 m), 20 minutes
- from the entrance to Križna Jama cave (629 m), 30 minutes
Križna gora is an 857 meter-high hill amidst Lož and Cerknica karst fields. It attracts one's view mainly by its fortress-like pilgrim Church of St. Cross. The shape of the church, when looked upon from bird's perspective, is also that of a cross. According to folk tradition, a large cross was situated at its current position and the worshipers assembled there for prayer.
In the late Bronze-Age and the old Iron-Age (9th– 4th century BC) Lož valley became one of the centers of the so-called Inner Carniola Community. The fortified settlement on Križna gora had remained the centre of the community at least until 6th century BC. It had an important strategic role due to its exceptional viewpoint. A large number of archaeological excavations and a preserved 135 meter-long wall on the northern side of the hill confirm the existence of a prehistoric fort and of the antique settlement situated on these grounds. In the late antiquity (5th and 6th century), the road across the northern part of the valley, from Bloke plateau over to Lower Carniola (Dolenjska), became one of the main traffic roads. A fortified settlement on Križna gora emerged nearby. In the 15th and 16th century the fort served as a refuge from Turkish invaders.
The oldest mention of the Church of St. Cross dates back to the year 1526. In the 17th century, with two new chapels, the church was presented with a touch of Renaissance. It became a popular pilgrimage site after 1743, with the consecration of thirteen chapels representing Stations of the Cross on the way to it. The pilgrim house and the vicarage building, close to the hilltop, also originate from that period. Due to the increase in the number of pilgrims, the Acquileian patriarch gave construction consent for an enlarged late baroque church. The roofing of the campanile, built simultaneously, has been damaged by windstorms and fires several times, which is why it has a flat concrete roof nowdays. The sumptuous inner equipment was partially damaged and plundered in the post World War II years.
The art-historical value of the church is discerned through the monumental, awe-inspiring Passion cycle from a baroque master Fortunat Bergant.
The chapels of the Stations of the Cross were thoroughly restored in 1986, when the local academic painter Stanislava S. Púdobska renewed them with new depictions. She also created five copies of Fortunat Bergant's originals for the church interior.
Alma Bavdek: Inhabitation of the Lož valley from the Late Bronze Age until Late Antiquity, NMPo.
Janez Kebe: Križna gora nad Ložem (1987) and Loška dolina z Babnim Poljem (1996).
PHOTO: Edvard Šega