Ursuline Church of the Holy Trinity (Saint Trinity Church)

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Background

The Ursuline Church of the Holy Trinity, known locally as Uršulinska Cerkev Sv Trojice, is a Baroque church in Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital and largest city. The church was built between 1718 and 26, when Ljubljana was the capital of the Duchy of Carniola, under Habsburg rule. The building is known for its façade of six colossal columns and for the main altar designed by Italian Baroque artist Francesco Robba (1698-1757). But the church also contains four important secondary altars along the sides of the nave. These side altars frame canvas paintings by Valentin Metzinger (1699-1759), an important master of Baroque painting who lived and practiced in Ljubljana and painted many altar images.

How We Helped

Two of the side altars were successfully restored in 1999, but financial support was not secured for the restoration of the two remaining altars. In 2000, with local support, WMF helped restore these monuments, dedicated to Saint Ursula and Augustine of Hippo. The altars were gently cleaned and their wooden elements were treated to protect against insect damage. Gilding was recreated, and the canvas paintings were removed and restored in the laboratory. The statues flanking the altars were removed, repainted, and regilded, and had missing elements recreated. The conservators also restored stucco lustro, a special plaster finish with a smooth and polished appearance imitating marble, which became very popular in the Baroque era.

Why It Matters

Italian Baroque in Slovenia. Rich and festive, the restored altars were soon ready to be appreciated again by churchgoers and visitors to Ljubljana.

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