Kostanjevica Monastery (Gorizia)

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Kostanjevica Monastery
Entrance to the Bourbon Crypt
Interior of the Bourbon Crypt
Not to be confused with Kostanjevica na Krki .

The Kostanjevica Monastery ( Castagnavizza in Italian ) with the Church of the Annunciation is located on a 143 m high cliff above the Slovenian part of the city of Gorizia ( Nova Gorica in Slovenian ). In 1985 the monastery, the monastery library and the church were declared a monument of art and architecture and thus belong to the protected cultural heritage of Slovenia. After Slovenia's independence, the entire monastery complex was extensively renovated and restored.


In 1623 Count Mathias von Thurn had a church built in honor of the Mother of God and a small Carmelite monastery , which was enlarged and expanded over the next 134 years. In 1781 the monastery was abandoned by Emperor Joseph II , and the church and monastery were closed. In 1811 the monastery was handed over to the Franciscans , who still manage it today. Since 1821 the Franciscan high school and the theological college of the order had their seat in the monastery. During the First World War the monastery and church as well as the whole area were affected, but rebuilt after the war.

Monastery church

Kostanjevica is an old Marian pilgrimage site, in whose honor Count Matthias von Thurn initially had a small church built next to the monastery for an image of the Mother of God. Over the centuries the church was expanded to the size it is today. After the Carmelites left in the 18th century, the church was initially closed. Services were only resumed when the monastery was handed over to the Franciscans in 1811. During the First World War, the church was destroyed during the fighting between Italy and Austria-Hungary on the Isonzo from 1916 to 1917. It was rebuilt between 1924 and 1929 with restoration of stucco and frescoes.

The picture on the main altar shows the Mother of God with the baby Jesus. The fresco of the Merciful Mother of God of Kostanjevica is by Leonardo Rigo . The ceiling fresco depicting the Coronation of Mary was created by Giovanni Moro . In the church there are numerous tombstones of members of the local nobility.

Monastery library

The outstanding monastery library was named after Padre Stanislav Škrabec (* 1844; † 1918), an important Slovenian linguist and grammarian of the 19th century, who lived in Kostanjevica Monastery for 42 years. The beginnings of the library go back to the holdings of the Franciscan monastery Sveta Gora from the 16th century. When the Franciscans had to leave Sveta Gora, they first took the library with them to Gorizia and later to Kostanjevica. Numerous books were lost due to the repeated moves, but the Franciscans refilled their library over the decades. It now comprises 10,000 books, including around 30 so-called incunabula as well as numerous prints from the 16th to 19th centuries. Of particular importance for Slovenia is Arcticae horulae (Winter Hours) by Adam Bohorič, the first in Slovenian to be written in 1584, with the author's handwritten signature.

Because of its importance, the monastery library was registered as a cultural and historical monument by the then Yugoslavia in 1952 .

Bourbon Crypt

Charles X, the last King of France of the Bourbon family , and members of his family were buried in the crypt of the monastery . After his abdication as a result of the July Revolution in France , he first went into exile in Great Britain before coming to Gorizia in 1836, where he died of cholera a few days later. It is thanks to Duchess Louise Marie Thérèse de Bourbon of Parma that all Bourbons who died in exile found their final resting place here. Kostanjevica is also called "Little St-Denis ".

Persons buried in the crypt:


  • Chiaro Vascotti: Storia della Castagnavizza contenente eziandio la malattia, la morte e il funerale di Carlo X. rè di Francia, del conte della Marna, figlio primogento di sm christianissima e del Duca di Blancas , Gorizia, 1848

Web links

Commons : Kostanjevica Monastery (Gorizia)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 45 ° 57 ′ 0.4 "  N , 13 ° 38 ′ 13.9"  E