Address: Stare Slemene 24 3215 Loče pri Poljčanah
The ruins of our largest Carthusian Monastery stand behind the walls in the hidden valley of the Žičnica River. Already by the road from Špitalič, which was a part of the Žiče Monastery, one can follow the remains of the estate and monastery ponds. The Carthusian Monastery is, in spite of its only partial preservation, with its individual pieces of architecture and its ruins, the key object in the series of European Carthusian architecture and exceptional for the Slovenian territory. It was founded in 1160 and was one of the first Carthusian Monasteries outside France. With a short break in the second half of the16th century, it grew from the 12th until the 17th century. Its founder was Ottokar III of Traungau.
Outside the monastery there is a hospitality area called Gastovž. A provisional path leads across a small bridge and through the ruined part of the walls to the interior. Inside the walled complex, a slender, reconstructed periphery of the Church of St. John the Baptist (sv. Janez Krstnik) stands out. The church was first a unified longitudinal area with a rectangular ground plan with no division into the nave and the presbytery, with the entrance only from the monastery. The church was dedicated ten years after the founding of the monastery. In the 15th century it was Gothicised. The remains of the cross-hall, which was somewhat renovated in the 16th century, are visible. It had a refectory and a capital hall. The walls were renovated after 1991, and on them lean the renovated cylindrical defence towers from the 15th and 16th centuries and older monastic buildings.
Inside the walls, in the middle of the monastery, there was a cemetery marked with a preserved Gothic slender designed chapel (1469) with a central floor plan and a star-ribbed vault under a steep roof with a flattened cone. In it are refined stonecutter's details and a model of the monastery as it used to look when it was in full bloom. The sculptures on the administrative building were done by Franc Krištof Reiss. In the church were statues by Mihael Pogačnik and Jožef Straub.
The monastery was finally closed by decree of the Austrian Emperor Joseph II in 1782. The fittings were divided up and sold around the churches, and a large part of the chiselled decorations were taken to near and far surroundings. The monastery was used as a quarry by the local farmers. After World War II the church was partly renovated. During the last twenty years there have been continuing renovations.
The monastery is accessible and arranged for a modest visit. The municipality occasionally organises guided visits. On the slopes of the Carthusian Monastery is an arranged garden with herbs and a small shop of medicinal herbs and other remedies. In Gastovž a restaurant is open.
GIZ Dravinjska dolina
Stari trg 29
Tel. : ++386 3 759 31 10, 51 444 141
Tel. 2 : ++386 3 752 37 32
Fax : ++386 3 759 31 11
Web site : www.knjiznica-slovenskekonjice.si
Access for invalids
GPS Northing (N) : 46,3112
GPS Easting (E) : 15,3931