The Wooden Churches and Chapels of Turopolje Region


A ride through or a visit to Dvoranci, Lučelnica, Gustelnica, Cvetković Brdo and Lukinić Brdo, Gradec Pokupski, Auguštanovec, Lijevi Štefanki, Cerje Pokupsko, Gladovec Pokupski and the northernmost inhabited settlements of Buševec, Velika Mlaka and the city of Velika Gorica, you will be offered the opportunity to become better acquainted with the unique wooden churches and chapels scattered about through this region.

The wooden churches and chapels represent the highest achievements of national Baroque architecture in northern Croatia. Though they were many in number, particular in those areas rich in downy oak, today only forty from the 17th to late 19th century are still standing in the region of Northern Croatia.

In Turopolje, a hotspot from which the concentration of original national creative forces spread its influence to the entire region between the Kupa and Sava Rivers, and where the tradition of building wooden churches remained deep into the 20th century, a complex of wooden sacral architecture with the same features was built. In the region covered on county web site, today a total of thirteen of these wooden beauties have been preserved.

We are certain that they will delight you with their architectural simplicity and originality, and the multitude of rustic details which bear witness to the artistic capabilities of the local masters or the carpenter’s associations of Turopolje. It is possible to enter the majority of chapels, some with impressive painted interiors, some more, some less (the key is usually kept by the local bell-ringer).

Wooden Chapel of the Wounded Jesus, Pleško polje

This chapel was erected and furnished in 1758 by Rozalija Plepelić, the widow of the nobleman Ladislav Plepelić. On display in the Turpolje Museum is a document from 1767 regarding the continued care of the chapel by the Plepelić family. The chapel is exceptional due to its façade decoration. The year 1896 is written in paint on the façade and, according to the type of chapel and the way the planks (wooden beams) are joined, could correspond to the year of construction. The foundation beams, as well as the chapel walls, were cut and joined in the “German” angle. The eaves were edged with teardrop shaped decorations, and like the remaining ornamentation on the chapel façade, painted in the colours of the Croatian flag: red, white and blue. The chapel walls are adorned with paintings of the Stations of the Cross in wood, by artist Mate Mihinica from Obrezina.

Information:
Key to the chapel: Parish Office Blessed Alojzije Stepinac,
tel: +385 1 6222 170, parish priest Josip Ružman.

Wooden Chapel of St. John the Baptist, Buševec

Constructed in the second half of the 17th century, it was firstly dedicated to the Holy Apostle, and then to St. Paul the Baptist, based on the main statue on the altar from 1696. The altar is decorated with rich Baroque carvings of the leaves of acanthus. The interior of the Chapel is especially valuable with its rustic paintings which have been preserved on the vault and walls. The vault is painted with scenes from the Separation of the Apostles. There are paintings on the walls of the Chapel of the Evangelists – St. Matthew and St. John on the northern, and St. Mark and St. Luke on the southern wall. It is important to note that this artwork falls into the category of very rare maintained true national art, which differs from that in the wooden Church of St. Barbara in Velika Mlaka. This Chapel was an inspiration for a series of wooden chapels in Turopolje and Pokuplja in the post-Baroque period.

Information:
Key to the Chapel by announcement: Katica Detelić,
Dolenec 23, Buševec, tel. +385 1 6255 822.

Wooden Chapel of St. Anthony of Padova, Gustelnic

Kapela-u-Gustelnici-1The current chapel was built in 1888 and consecrated one year later at the same location of the earlier church from the second half of the 17th century. With its appearance and specific method of construction, it differed from the local traditional construction method. It was built by the timber-workers who applied planks using neither the German nor Croatian angle, but a technique called ‘na žale’. The inside walls are lined with colourful planks painted with geometrical and stylized plant motifs which are reminiscent of the motifs from the traditional national costumes. The chapel was designed by Dr. Hermann Bollé, and it was built by a group of various masters from Styria, Hungary, Germany and Croatia.

Information:
Key of the Chapel: Parish office Dubranec,
Dubranec 3,
tel: + 385 1 6267 407, by appointment only.

Wooden Chapel of St. Rocco, Cvetković Brdo

Kapela-u-Cvetkovic-Brdu-1The current chapel, situated in the same spot as the original chapel from the second half of the 17th century, was built in 1867 and consecrated in 1888. It is magnificently panelled with small boards. The thick boards were burnt in the German corner method, while the windows are closed in the old-fashioned way from the outside with wooden shutters. The main altar was consecrated to the patron saint, St. Rocco, and the far right altar was consecrated to St. Vitus, crafted from wood by Josip Markuz, a self-trained sculptor from Roženica, who continues the tradition of the Turopolje wood carving masters.

Information:
Key of the Chapel: Parish office Dubranec,
Dubranec 3,
tel: + 385 1 6267 407 by appointment only.

Wooden Chapel of St. John the Baptist, Lukinić Brdo

Kapela-u-Lukinic-Brdu-2The first wooden chapel, according to the inscription on the bell, was likely built in the second half of the 17th century, while today’s chapel dates back to 1908 and was consecrated in 1909. The chapel was built by the carpenter’s association Marko and Jure Janković from Čička Poljana, and the main altar is the work of master Pospišil from Buševec.

Information:
Key of the Chapel: Parish office Dubranec,
Dubranec 3,
tel: + 385 1 6267 407 by appointment only.

Wooden Chapel of St. George, Lijevi Štefanki

Kapela-sv.-Jurja-Lijevi-Štefanki-2One of the oldest and most valuable wooden chapels. It was constructed in 1677 at the location of an earlier chapel, and in 1704 it was moved to its current location. In terms of construction and elections, it is inclined towards the rustic type of wooden chapels. Of special note is the cast iron rooster on the peak of the conical tower. The inventory has a Baroque colour scheme, and the ornaments and richly carved altar from 1725 dominate. There is also a painting of St. George and the image of the Mother of God in medallion form.

Information:
Key of the Chapel by announcement:
Mrs. Božica Hrvojić, Lijevi Štefanki 94, tel: +385 1 6264 768

Wooden Chapel of St. Peter and Paul, Cerje Pokupsko

Kapela-Cerje-PokupskoMost similar to the chapel at Lukinić Brdo, although it is much smaller. It was erected in 1932 by the master carpenters Orečići from Lijevi Štefanki. The ornamentation is similar to that of the wooden chapel and the family homes they also built in the Pokupsko region. The chapel includes a modest altar from the 17th century, which indicates the older origin of this chapel.

Information:
Key of the Chapel by announcement:
Mr. Zdravko or Mrs. Ana Sučec,
Cerje Pokupsko 29,
tel. + 385 1 6266 150

Wooden Chapel of the Holy Trinity, Gladovec Pokupski

Kapela-u-Gladovcu-Pokupskom-2Erected in 1847 on the hill outside the village. The oldest piece of inventory is the oval painting of All Saint’s and a small side altar. In the Chapel, there is also a very interesting and valuable painting dedicated to St. John of Nepomuk, a votive painting from 1743 depicting the battle against the Turks in the landscape where the river flows before a fortified town. In the painting, the donor is shown riding a horse in the middle of battle. Other inventory of the Church interior dates back to the Rococo period, most likely transferred in part from the burned Church of the Holy Trinity in Slatina. Excellent for relaxation, with benches surrounding it, at the same time with a beautiful viewing point.

Information:
Key to the Chapel: Slavica Zaluški,
Gladovec Pokupski 9,
tel. + 385 1 6266 428

Wooden Chapel of St. Elias, Auguštanovec

Constructed in the 19th and 20th centuries, located in the village; it will charm you with its simple beauty.

Information:
Key of the chapel: Mr. Nikola Crnolatec,
mob. +385 98 687 668

Wooden Chapel of St. Leonard, Gradec Pokupski

Kapela-Gradec-Pokupski-1Constructed in 1938 at the location of an earlier Chapel. The main altar has been preserved in its national historical style.

Information:
Key of the Chapel by announcement:
Ms. Katica Tor, Špički 43, +385 1 6278 041

Wooden Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity, Dvoranci

Kapela-Presvetog-Trojstva-Dvoranci-1Built in the 18th century. Original inventory preserved: main altar of the Most Holy Trinity and two side altars, St. Rocco on the left and St. Florian on the right.

Information:
Chapel bell-ringers and key of the Chapel by announcement:
Mrs. Barica and Mr. Tomo Kušević, Dvoranci 68,
tel: + 385 1 6291 299.

Wooden Chapel of the Holy Spirit, Lučelnica

Drvena-kapela-u-Lucelnici-2First mentioned in 1668, it was demolished and a new chapel built in 1704. In the 19th century, a new chapel was built at the same location of the old one. Today’s chapel dates back to 1935. The small altar in the Baroque peasant style, from 1749, has been preserved with its two statues and painting of the crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The stations of the cross, the work of local artist Mate Mihinica from Obrezina, hang on the walls of the chapel.

Information:
Key of the Chapel – cafe “Sunčev zračak”,
Lučelnica 39,
tel: + 385 1 6277 541.