St. Mary’s Spring/Fons beatae virginis Mariae – a phoenix of Slovenian monument preservation


“The Cistercian monastery, transformed into a museum complex, is surrounded by oak sculptures arranged in meadows. The sculptures were made by contemporary national and foreign sculptors. The site includes a masonry wall around the park and a part of a former smallholding with vineyards.”

“The Cistercian monastery, with three-nave basilica from the 13th century, outstanding chiselled elements and monastery wings added at a later date, surrounding an extensive court with baroque vault, has been transformed into the arts centre of the Dolenjska region. A mill dating from the 16th century is located next to the entrance.”

 Descriptions from the register of immovable cultural heritage: Kostanjevica na Krki – Monastery (EŠD 265), and Kostanjevica na Krki – Area of the Kostanjevica Castle (EŠD 8766)


During the last two hundred years, the younger of the two Cistercian monasteries in Slovenia has been hit by events and decisions crucial for its existence. France Stelè managed to renovate the abandoned church; the renovation lasted for only a decade, however, as in 1942 the monastery was set on fire. When, following many years of neglect, the bell tower also collapsed, the renovation of the castle started anew. The Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, under the expert guidance of conservator Ivan Komelj and in cooperation with the Federal Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments, carried out a reconstruction and later also a reconstruction of the monastery, which by 1971 was completely covered with a new roof. During the following decades, and with considerable support from the local community, the interior was renovated and redecorated. Many restoration and reconstruction works have since been carried out. Today, the Božidar Jakac Art Museum is one of the most beautiful restored monument complexes in Slovenia, serving as a model of its kind and offering a rich cultural experience.