Jurklošter (monastery/mansion)

12th century

Monastery was founded by bishop Henrik I. in 1170, and was confirmed in 1173 (or 1174) by pope Alexander III. Because the primary monastery was disbanded because of unsettled material matters, on the grounds of gift document by then provincial prince Leopold of Babenberg, probably around 1127, when the monastery church of St.Martin was censecrated, a new one was built. Monastery church is is still standing. In the 16th century the monastery slowly fell into ruins, so it was handed in 1591 to jesuit collegiate from Graz by archduke Ernest. Jesuits handed the dominion in 1600 to barons Moscon to rent, but they later managed it by themselves. In 1635 the monastery was raided and ravaged by rebelled peasants, and it is shown as totally in ruins on Vischer's image from 1681. After abolition of jesuit order the dominion was taken over by academical fund in 1773 and gave it to lease. In 1780, after the ruins of monastery were removed, a mansion was build. A mansion was also headquarters for a district court. In 1870 a chamber manager at the time C.K. sold the dominion together with mansion to company E.M Zündl et. Comp. from Trieste, and after it became the property of Henrik Ritter noble Draže. Before the last world war the owner was Henrik Falter. During WWII the mansion was burned down and totally destroyed. About how mansion was like before devastation many photos from before war time are witnesses.

The mansion was built at the end of 18th century on foundations of former monastery in typical baroque-classic style. Building, which was leaning with its west wing on the church, had L-shaped ground surface, and was opening towards east all the way to the defence wall. It was one floor high and had half-storey, but no cellar. On the courtyard side both wings were surrounded by arcade corridor.

Excellent medi-eval writers were living in the monastery, Odo from Novara (prior 1189 - 1190), Sigrif of Schwab (mid 13th century), Michael from Prague (1401) and Nikolaj Kempf (prior 1447 - 1451 and 1467 - 1490).
We can also learn the following from the preserved documents:
In 1468 the monastery obligates to its lord Herman of Celje, his heirs and descendants, to perform anniversary mass to the complacence of all his ancestors and by the name his father Count Friderik and Countess Dimota, his brother Count Ulrik and himself, when God calls him by his side. Count Herman gave two tithes for this: one on their estates in Jurklošter and the other in parish Šentrupreht. Both tithes belonged under Planina dominion, which was property of the count.
In 1373 the monastery promises to have daily mass for which it gets tithe on Bodrež (Bodruss) and 30 marks in Graz dinars. Liturgy will be held for alive and for the souls of deceased counts, because Herman and his wife Katarina have done "grozz lieb vnd fuerdrung" to monastery and - if its God's will - they will do it again.

Also known is a legend which tells that Veronika of Desenice, who was murdered on Ojstrica, is burried in Jurklošter.

Rarely a car drives through the flat land of Gračnica valley, but if it does, it usually doesn't stop here. People, who know at least some history or are intrigued by it, will probably be attracted by a brief view of ruins and convinced to stop for a short time and look around.
A few meters to the west a primary school is now standing. At the road not far from monastery we can see an old chapel.

A lot more about monastery Jurklošter (and Žiče) can be found in a book: Mlinarič, Kože: "Kartuziji Žiče in Jurklošter", Založba Obzorja Maribor, 1991, ISBN 86-377-05-87-1

Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Grajske stavbe v vzhodni Sloveniji - Spodnja Savinjska dolina", Založna Park, Ljubljana, 1992
Dolinar, France M. [Publikacija ARS]: "Samostani v srednjeveških listinah na Slovenskem", Ljubljana, 1993
Contact details:
Contact person: JANKO CESAR
Web links:
Jurklošter (Municipality of Laško)
Shows and entertainment:
GPS coordinates:
N 46° 05.691' E 15° 20.658'


Entrance to the church, above the entrance a statue of knight in armour
Close-up of inscription plate at the entrance, which very briefly describes history of monastery
Fish pond, located in front of entrance to the monastery
Apartment in the western preserved part of the mansion
Monastery church with its modest defence wall
Remains of ruins of once formidable mansion
Arcades between preserved ruins of west part of the mansion
Eastern tower, in which a tourist point is located nowadays
Eastern tower from south-east direction
Cemetery at the eastern walls; built in the 20th century, because it is not visible on Reichert's image from around 1860
Monastery church, view from east side
Around 5 meters high still preserved western defence wall
Northern defence wall, which is now lowered
Still visible remains of southern wall in the distance
Tower of monastery church
Courtyard at the monastery
Preserved gothic window, probably at the chapel, where Veronika of Desenice was burried
Jurklošter is also accessible through this bridge south; a stone path leads to the stream underneath it
Mansion; photo from before the war
Baroque arcades on courtyard of the mansion; photo from before the war
C. Reichert, Jurklošter with church and mansion; collored lithography, from around 1860
Seal of convent of the monastery in Jurklošter from the first half of the 14th century
Jurklošter, G. M. Vischer (1681)
Jurklošter monastery ("Stara Kaiserjeva Suita", 1825)