St. James Cathedral, Ljubljana
Some very talented artisan obviously put a lot of effort into the sculpting of the massive bronze main entranceway of the cathedral. Must have taken a long time to complete. The heads of six former archbishops of Ljubljana appear to be hopelessly stuck in the door. The shrouded body of Christ lies below their sour gazes.
Not trying to be disrespectful, but I did not find this piece of art very pleasing to look at. I understand the door was made to commemorate the visit of Pope John Paul II to Slovenija in 1996. Amazing but this door appears to be at least 200 years old. Fortunately the 300 year old cathedral as a whole looks much better than its door. ( Actually I am just jealous that my local parish church in Oklahoma does not have a door like this. The door is very creative. Bravo ! )
The story of this church starts at the earlys 1613 when it was built by Jesuits. It suffered several replacments and renovations ever since. The altar and statues were sculpted in first half of 18th century than after the eartquake in 1895, the church's belltowers had to be replaced. Instead one bell tower is built and now it is the highest one in Ljubljana.
The St. James Cathedral or Church of St. James, depending on who you ask, has an altar by the Italian Francesco Robba (the same sculptor who designed the altar in the Franciscan Church in Preseren Square). Otherwise, the church appears to escape the interest of the guidebooks in favour of the other churches in the area. If you do visit the church, head for the St. Fracis Xavier Chapel with a more impressive altar including a White Queen and Black King. In any case, St. James is remarkable because it is at the end of Stari Trg and just before the former Balkan Gate that leads into Krakovo. Its hard to miss because of its bright yellow exterior.
Just south of Levistikov Square is the lemon yellow St. James Church, the first Jesuit church in Slovenia, completed in 1615. I popped inside to have a look but it looked like they were just about to start services so I made my visit quick and didn't take any photos. As I was zipping through I looked for the statues of the "White Queen" and "Black King" listed in my guidebook but didn't see them, it should be in an octagonal chapel.
The statue of the Virgin Mary that stands in the square outside the church was erected in the 17th century in gratitude that the Turks had bypassed the country according to the tourism office guide, my guidebook says its in honor of victory over the Turks in Hungary, either way it has something to do with Turks.