Pavilion on the Castle Square

Pavilion on the Castle Square

The Church of St. Jacob, later consecrated to the Church of St. Joseph, stood on the square in Žužemberk. It was built in 1317 and was owned by the lords of the Žužemberk castle. The church was demolished around 1955. In the place where the church once stood, the stone foundations have been restored, which outline its floor plan.

The Žužembrerk pavilion was constructed in cooperation of the residents of the Municipality of Žužemberk, two English architects who won a competition selection, architecture students and all those who were involved in the construction or otherwise contributed to the EASA013 event. The design of the building tries to solve the square’s spatial dilemma, which lost its eastern façade during and after WWII. The pavilion is placed in the park between trees and is covered with a gable roof that summarizes traditional patterns of folk architecture, a haystack, and at the same time reminds of the Church of St. Jacob, later renamed St. Joseph, which once stood in this area.

St. Jacob or Jacob the Great was one of twelve Jesus’s apostles and the first among them to suffer a martyr’s death. Legend has it that he spent a long time in Spain, where stands the Church of Santiago de Compostela (Santiago = Saint Jacob), where Jacob’s relics are also held, along the renowned 800 km long Jacob’s pilgrim trail Camino de Santiago.

Locals tell that in the mid 60s of the past century the local authority was not able to tear down the church. The bell tower in particular “resisted” the most to the intentions of the officials of that time. A professional miner was called for help. He eventually managed to successfully break the church’s resistance; however, a larger section fell on the miner’s bicycle and crushed it. And this represented some kind of a God’s punishment for the miner.


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