Holy Trinity - Idrija's Oldest Church
It is situated on the spot where, in 1490, according to tradition, a legendary “tub maker” first noticed the autochthonous mercury,
which was washed out from layers of carbon slate by a spring. The first
wooden chapel was erected soon after this memorable event, as confirmed
by a document issued in Videm (Udine) on “” August 1500.
By the beginning of the 17tht7th
century, a Gothic stone presbytery, wooden nave, and even painted
ceiling were added to the building. In the second part of the 16th
century it was temporarily taken over by Protestants, who exerted a
major influence in Idrija’s affairs. During the 30 year war, in the
first half of 17th century, when work on the new baroque church of St.
Barbara in the middle of settlement-market town stopped, the Church of
the Holy Trinity was renovated and embellished. In 1629, the master mason, Anton Knez,
created a Late Gothic, ribbed and fan-vaulted presbytery with rosette
joints and pointed windows adorned with spherically shaped stone
ornaments. The baroque nave was equipped with lateral “golden” altars
in 1668, and the central image (oil on canvas) in the main altar,
Coronation of the Virgin By the Holy Trinity, was painted by Cark von Reslfeld
in 1703. After additional construction work on the parish church of St.
Barbara was accomplished, the Holy Trinity was left in neglect. In the
first half of the 19th century, some even wanted to transform it into a
school or a mercury storehouse, and others suggested removing it
altogether. Fortunately, the archbishop of Ljubljana, Alojzij Wolf, our eminent fellow Idrijan, interceded and achieved its preservation.
half-a-millennium-old church of the Holy Trinity is nowadays
exemplarily restored. Municipality Idrija had it refurbished in the
years 1981-1984 by designs by the architect France Kvaternik.
The building was given back its authentic forms and its interior has
gained much in its appeal, whereby both historic and modern stylistic
elements have been sensibly emphasised. The presbytery is embellished
by stained windows designed by Lojze Čemažar, a painter who has united Biblical and Idrijan topics in an evocative manner. Objects like metal ore, a miner’s point (drill), and a carbide (eternal) lamp have thus been granted the role of eloquent symbols.