Basilica of the Patroness Mary

Basilica in Ptuj

The pilgrimage Basilica of the Patroness Mary, in Ptujska Gora village 14km southwest of Ptuj, contains one of the most treasured objects in Slovenia: a 15th-century carved caped Misericordia of the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus. The church itself, built at the start of the 15th century, is the finest example of a three-nave Gothic church in Slovenia. It was named a basilica for its 600th anniversary in 2010.

Among some of the other treasures inside is a small wooden statue of St James on one of the pillars on the south aisle and, under the porch and to the right as you enter, 15th-century frescoes of the life of Christ and of several saints, including St Nicholas and St Dorothy with the Child Jesus. Look behind the modern tabernacle in the chapel to the right of the main altar for faded frescoes of St Peter and St Michael the Archangel. The modern stained glass is exquisite.

The church, perched atop Black Hill (Črna Gora), is an easy 10-minute walk from where the bus headed for Majšperk from Ptuj (up to six a day) will let you off. Dragica is a small bar opposite the church with snacks and views.