Preskoči na vsebino

The succursal church of St. Margaret, Ritoznoj

The mighty church, towering over the vineyards, was first mentioned in 1542. The primary building with its gothic bell tower was boosted in the baroque era, while the interior was decorated with vaults and painted with frescoes in 1742. The frescoes were then mostly painted over in 1930, when the nave walls were marble painted.

Succursal church of St. Margaret, Ritoznoj; photo: Simona Kostanjšek Brglez


The outside of the building is plain with the exception of an octagonal bell tower. You enter the tall, spacious and light nave by walking under a baroque choir loft with a wavy fence. The choir houses a rococo style organ, made in 1766 by an organ maker master Simon Otoničer (1730-1784) from Maribor.

Most of the church’s interior is painted with scenes from farmers’ life and work, vineyards and the church’s patron saint. On the wall with the triumphal arch, above the pulpit, there is a painted scene depicting the conversion of St. Paul and on the right side the scene depicting the martyrdom of St. John of Nepomuk, the patron of priests and against water related hazards. On the top of the triumphal arch there is an architectural and figural painting with personification of Glory. The main altar is painted on the far wall of the presbytery with an oil painting of St. Margaret of Antioch inserted in it. The patron of pregnant women and framers, with its name day on the 20th March, is also depicted in the presbytery next to an idealised depiction of this church in Ritoznoj. On the top of the altar the figures of virtues are painted and on the wall above the altar the coronation of Mary is depicted. In front of the main altar there is a quality rococo tabernacle dating in the late 1760s or 1770s. It is decorated with a contemporary painting of Our Lady of Good Counsel made by a baroque painter from Styria Anton Jožef Lerchinger (cca 1720 – after 1787).

The side altars are also painted. In 1756 two other altars are mentioned in the church besides St. Margaret’s; the altar of St. Donatus and intercessors in need. The choosing of patron, who defends from storms and intercedes for a good harvest, is expected in this place full of vineyards, where vines for the Rittersberger wine (known today as Ritoznojčan) were grown. Today the altars are dedicated to St. Anthony the Hermit, the patron of livestock, and to St. George, who brings spring, but their depictions are below the quality of the other paintings in the church. The former is accompanied on the altar by St. Martin and St. Urban, the patron of viticulture and winegrowers, and the latter by St. Notburga, the patron of farmers, and St. Ursula, the patron of healthy marriage and the sick. Its quality baroque architecture, furnishings and paintings, the latter losing some admiration after the later re-paintings, make the church of St. Margaret one of the important immobile cultural heritage sites in the greater area of Slovenska Bistrica.

Interior of St. Margaret's church; photo: Simona Kostanjšek Brglez


Interior of St. Margaret's church; photo: Simona Kostanjšek Brglez


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.