A chapel erected by the locals originally stood in its place. In 1671, according to the plan of a monk from Stična, a nave was added to it. The church was built in the Baroque style. Mass pilgrimages to Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of all lovers, encouraged the parish priest of Štanga, Mihael Saje, to start rebuilding the parish church in 1880. With the efforts and donations of the locals and pilgrims, the bell tower was raised and the roof was covered with copper. Three new altars were erected in the church: the two side altars are dedicated to St. Gertrude and St. Anthony the Great, and the main altar to St. Anthony. The altars are the work of stonecutter Toman, and the statues are the work of sculptors Ivan Zajc and Josip Grošelj. An additional decoration to the sanctuary was provided by the painter Anton Cej, who depicted St. Anthony of Padua as the intercessor in sickness, helper of the poor, and preacher in the medallions on the vault of the nave and the presbytery. The church was hit by an earthquake the following year, so it was reinforced with iron rods, and the cracks were filled with cement. In 2018, the church was completely renovated. In front of the church, there is a linden tree, which was supposedly planted by the parish priest Saje in the 19th century. Legend has it that the girls who went to ask St. Anthony for a husband had to bump into that linden tree so hard that it shook its top. The villagers have recently planted a new linden tree, which will continue the tradition when the old linden tree is gone.

The “Pri Janezu” Inn is located next to the church of St. Anthony of Padua, and has a century-old tradition. They offer Sunday lunches and à la carte dishes, with an emphasis on local and home-grown food. There is a children’s playground in front of the inn, and the surroundings offer many opportunities for recreation (T: 041 578 226).

More information: parish of Štanga, Velika Štanga 10, Šmartno pri Litiji, T: 040 616 795, E: zupnija.stanga@rkc.si