Church of Saint Egidius

In Osilnica valley, seven churches have been preserved from the past and each is something special. The oldest church is the Church of saint Egidius in Ribjek, whose main altar dates back to 1681.

The Church was built at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries. It is built in the Renaissance style. As the construction was gradual, the interior was mostly baroque. The main altar was built during the construction of the church, and the side altars were built later, in 1697. The exterior of the church is richly decorated with seven edges, painted window sills, consecrated crosses and the remains of frescoes. The fully preserved late Renaissance architecture is enriched with high-quality Early-Baroque furnishings such as Baroque altars, a pulpit and a painted wooden ceiling in the church nave. The church is also adorned with a bell tower on a horseshoe, which is covered with a shingled roof and is quite unusual for these places.

Next to the church is also a cemetery. As a curiosity, the church stands on the line that connects the petrified Man under the Loka wall and the Mother of God on Mount Athos. The Church, with its patron Saint Egidius, reminds us of the fear, trembling and threats of the time (Turkish danger, folk tales about the petrified Man – a hunter and his family, who went hunting on the feast of the Mother of God…).

The tour lasts about 15 minutes and costs 1 € per person.

The legend of the Man and an old woman 

A man who lives here or comes here as a tourist, stares at the mighty and majestic Loka wall (Loška stena), which rises above village Ložec, like an outgrowth of the Knezov rep. The locals will tell you a lot about parts of the wall (for example, the Clock), and most of all, of course, about the Man. The following story was written about him.

Once upon a time, a family lived in village Ribjek: a husband, wife and three children. The husband was a passionate hunter who went hunting many times. The wife was at home, taking care of the family, the home and the small farm. So one day, on a Sunday, there was a big holiday. The husband went hunting early in the morning. He has been watching, stalking and waiting for a game for quite some time. He had already climbed high into the wall, but found nothing and did not hunt anything. As if it was not the right day to hunt, or as if something had conspired against him. No animals were to be overlooked, everything is hidden somewhere. He was getting impatient and the anger in him was growing. How to get home without prey? That would be too much of a shame for him. The morning is already running out, the sun is high, and he has not even shot once!

Meanwhile, the wife, who tidied everything up at home in the morning and took care of the children, was already hurrying along the bidge above Ribjek and bringing her husband food, so that he would not be hungry. The older children got tired of loneliness and went after their mother. Only the youngest child remained in the cradle. In the silence and beauty that reigned in the valley, the festiveness of the day was felt when other people went on pilgrimages. Only our family did not care. The sun was the highest in the sky, the clock on the wall showed noon and then the bell on Sveta Gora rang. From far, the famous sound of the Sveta Gora bell can be heard, all the way to our hunter, who could no longer overcome his anger. When he heard the bell of the Church of the Mother of God of Sveta Gora, he grabbed a rifle and aimed it at Sveta Gora and shot. For the first and last time that day. Why? He was instantly petrified, his faithful wife who brought him food and the oldest two children who wanted to be with their parents. God’s punishment for human sins and vanity, says folk wisdom. That this was a real case of silently testified the stone pillars – the needles that have been preserved to this day.

The man is on a shelf below the top of Loška stena. It has become one of the symbols of the valley. In the middle of the ridge, which starts above Ribjek, there is a woman (Baba) in the middle of a pine forest and children below. Only the baby in the cradle was saved of doom. If we go along the road from Stari Malni towards Ribjek, we have a beautiful view of the Loška stena (Loka wall) with the Man who takes us all.

Published on: June 4, 2021  -  Filed under: Sightseeing EN - Osilnica