St. John the Baptist Rotunda

St. John the Baptist, the church (rotunda) at the mouth of the rivers Bistrica in Drava, attracts attention with its round nave and a nice sculptured roof with a small tower. Pope Leon IX consecrated it in 1052 on his way to Carinthia and Styria.

The structure in the present form was not built at the same time; all the reconstructions from the 19th century have been removed, and the building is connected with a steel connection due to cracks. The exterior shows a reconstructed wall that used to surround the building, covered with a weatherboard roof. The entrance into the interior is through an original semi-circular, slightly horse-shoe shaped Romanesque portal, with a marked apse with a low semi-circular wall built on the original foundations, and which was in 1st half of the 14th century replaced by the three-sided early Gothic presbytery. The offering altar in the apse stands instead of the original one, and there is a piece of the original screed (pressure) retained to the left of the entrance. The nave is illuminated by the original semi-circular Romanesque window, while there are three gothic windows in the presbytery. The walls of the presbytery are painted in al secco technique in two bands, and were painted in the early Gothic style of the first half of the 14th century. A passionflower is painted in each square of the coffered wooden ceiling of the nave that dates back to the 1st half of the 18th century. The wooden ceiling in the presbytery is from the 2nd half of the 16th century, while the altarpiece with statues of John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, Laurence and Stephen is a beautiful carving work, dating back to the end of the 17th century. To the right of the arch there is a baroque oil painting of St. Joseph with Jesus and St. Lucy with the donor in a rich frame. On the presbytery exterior, the Baroque wall painting of both Johns - the Baptist and the Evangelist – is preserved and under it a simple box for money. The relief of the eagle on the external façade to the right of the entrance is a Roman remainder, which proves that St. Johns stands on cultural ground with more than a thousand-year history.