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Saint Barbara's chapel in Velika Mlaka

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Saint Barbara's chapel in Velika Mlaka is a Baroque jewel of wooden building in Turopolje. There are written traces about the chapel dating from 1642, and we can follow the history of building all the way to 1912 when a porch was added. The quality oak timber from Turopolje has been defying time for more than three and a half centuries. The oldest part of the chapel is the 17th century shrine with an apse in which a beautiful winged altar stands out with its display of the life and martyrdom of Saint Barbara on one side, and Christ’s Passion on the other. The main altar painting displays a standing figure of Saint Barbara.

There are around 150 preserved paintings on the chapel’s wooden ceilings and panels that display saints and floral designs and that were probably painted sometime between 1749 and 1759. One uniqueness of this chapel is a rare iconographic depiction of the Saint Kummernisse, a crucified female saint whose face is covered in a beard, which is located at the south entrance that leads to the choir. Another piece of art worth mentioning is the display of Virgin Mary the Protector which stands above the entrance to the sacristy- here we point out that this is also a rare example of this theme in continental Croatia. In the middle of the display is the character of the Madonna with a spread cloak under which the faithful have hidden. Despite some clumsy artistic solutions, these examples show us how the patrons and the artists themselves made efforts in finding and establishing cultural connections with higher social classes.

Right beside the chapel we find a one storey wooden belvedere (čardak) with a porch made out of carved wood that serves as a rectory and together with the chapel it makes a harmonious unity. A small wooden chamber used to store wheat also draws attention of visitors. It is a remnant of the old church manor.

When in 1976 the parish of Velika Mlaka was founded, Saint Barbara’s chapel became its parochial church.

Saint Barbara's chapel Picture Gallery