The Church of St. Lenart

 Trg osvoboditve 9, 2230 Lenart v Slov. goricah ( Map )

Description

The church is situated on a hill above the town square, in the highest area of Lenart, and it gives a special character to the town. It is a uniformly Late-Gothic building, which was originally Romanesque and was built between 1515 and 1518. The matrineum (which houses the choir), bell tower and some defensive structures were added in 1531. The bell was cast in 1573. Two Baroque chapels on the western side of the church date from the first half of the 18th century, and the sacristy was constructed around the same time. The church of St. Lenart, which gave the town its name, was first mentioned in 1196. The Benedictine abbey of Admont in Austrian Styria had vast territories in Slovenske gorice in the 12th century, the centre of which was in Jarenina. When the old parish in the latter town started breaking up, the first parish to gain its independence was the one that had its centre in the church of St. Lenart. The estate at St. Lenart’s (“apud Sanctum Leonardum”) was named in the document from 1196, which probably means that the church building itself already existed at that time. The parish of St. Lenart near Maribor was first mentioned in 1354, which means that it was already independent at that time. The church of St. Lenart was next mentioned in 1215. In 1445 the parish was said to “cover” 28 nearby settlements. In the era of the Ottoman raids the church also had a defensive role to play. Thanks to its high-quality architecture and detailed masonry, it is the finest example of the “Slovenske gorice Gothic”.