Preskoči na vsebino

The succursal church of St. Roch, Kovača vas

Succursal church of St. Roch, foto: Simona Kostanjšek Brglez


The chapel of St. Roch differs from other churches in the parish of Slovenska Bistrica in the fact that it was built as a private chapel. In 1922 a local named Franc Juhart had the chapel made to express gratitude to St. Roch for the healing of his legs, as the stone plaque above the portal states. When the Juhart’s property was sold in 1935, the new owner refused to take the adjoining chapel, so it was bought by the parish priest Ivan Šolinc. In 1957 the chapel was incremented to the succursal church of the parish of St. Bartholomew in Slovenska Bistrica.

Although small in size, this quality building houses many architectural styles made by the Maribor architect Max Czeike (1879-1945), a Czech-German descendant who worked in Maribor in the interwar period. One of his best known works in Maribor is the coffee house in the Maribor’s central park, today home of the Maribor Aquarium-Terrarium. In Slovenska Bistrica the neo-baroque rebuilding of a fine mansion on the Mariborska Cesta 16 road was made after his plans. In the church there is only one wooden winged altarpiece depicting the Holly Father on the top. It is a typical work of the prolific sculptor Ivan Sojč (1879-1951) from Maribor, whose most famous work is the high altar in the church of St. Mary of the Assumption in Cirkovce. The central relief of the altar depicts St. Roch, whose name day is on the 16th August, and is considered to be the patron saint of infectious diseases as well as people with leg problems. On the sides you can see the images of St. Francis Borgia and St. Catherine of Alexsandria, the name day patrons of the Juhart family, husband Franc and wife Katarina.

The building standing on the exposed hill was an ambitious private commission. The municipality of Slovenska Bistrica has declared the chapel a cultural heritage site of local importance.

Altar of St. Roch; foto: Andrea Furlan

Simona Kostanjšek Brglez, ZRC SAZU (Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts), Umetnostnozgodovinski inštitut Franceta Steleta (France Stele Institute of Art History), 2019


This content was made for the project Umetnost za turizem. Umetnostnozgodovinske vsebine kot podlaga razvoju trajnostnega turizma Vzhodne Slovenije (Art for Tourism. Art Historical Themes as a Foundation for the Development of Sustainable Tourism of Eastern Slovenia) that is co-financed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia and the European Regional Development Fund. This content was also made for the research program Slovenska umetnostna identiteta v evropskem okviru (P6-0061) (Slovenian Artistic Identity in European Context (P6-0061)), which is co-financed from the state budget by the Slovenian Research Agency of the Republic of Slovenia.