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A Pearl of Gothic Art - St. Mary the Protectress at Ptujska Gora

In the south of Drava plain the land rises from the rich fields to the hills called Haloze. This is a poor, underdeveloped region of Slovenia, but one can find two treasures here: the people, and the fascinating Minor basilica of St. Mary the Protectress at Ptujska Gora.

Built at the end of 14th century and finished in 1410 this large Gothic church with three naves is probably the most outstanding example of sacral architecture in Slovenia.

The centerpiece of delicate interior decoration is the main altar with a huge wooden Mantled Mary The Protectress, carved in the beginning of 15th century - one of the greatest art treasures in Slovenia.

A graceful 15th century relief of the Virgin Protectress. Photo Janez Vizjak.

The basilica overooks the fertile plains of Drava field, a large alluvial fan strecthing from Maribor to the foothills of Haloze.

The large church soon became a popular pilgrimage site, and the village of Ptujska Gora thrived; they got market rights in 1447 and had their own court of justice - a Pillar of Shame still stands in the church courtyard.

There is a monastery of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual at Ptujska Gora, with the monks carrying the traditions that started over six hundred years ago.

All kite aerial photos shot with Nikon P330 on a Rokkaku kite.