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If you are coming to Radol'ca on the highway from Ljubljana, a cluster of houses welcomes you above the Ljubno tunnel. The village of Ljubno, which is typical of the Gorenjska region, features houses with countless frescoes and the former pilgrimage church of St Mary.
The idyll of Ljubno does not end once you arrive at the village. It makes an even stronger impression when you drive through the village or take time out to walk the winding streets up to the church. Old and new houses alike are adorned by numerous frescoes.
You are unlikely to find a place with as many frescoes as Ljubno. It is interesting that the majority of them were painted only in the last two decades by renowned Russian artists Maša Bersan Mašuk and Nikolaj Aleksandovič Mašuk. They both emigrated from Moscow to Slovenia in 1994 and established their new home in Ljubno. They renovated the old house they had bought with the help of the villagers and expressed their gratitude by painting frescoes – not only on their own house, but also on a number of others. Both artists still live and work in the area.
Ljubno was once a renowned centre for pottery in the Gorenjska region, but the industry declined in the twentieth century. It was also once a pilgrimage centre. During the church's seventeenth century renovations, a worker struck the statue of Mary in the temple, which then started bleeding.
The story rapidly spread throughout the country and lured increasing numbers of pilgrims to the village. The church is still named after the 'stricken Mary', but the pilgrimage site started to decline with the development of nearby Brezje.
Famous citizen : Maša Bersan Mašuk and Nikolaj Aleksandovič Mašuk
GPS Northing (N) : 46,3132
GPS Easting (E) : 14,2466