Brezje - this, a typical village from the Gorenjska area, is to be found at the feet of the Karavanke Mountains. With the basilica of Mary the Helper, being the main shrine to Mary in Slovenia, this is a place of peace, love and hope. Some wittily call it Slovenia’s main spiritual health resort. This is the where place the symbolic axis of the Slovenian nation begins: Brezje – Bled – Bohinj – Triglav. In 1800, a chapel was built as an extension of the old St. Vitus church, which is surrounded by a beautiful landscape. The interior of the chapel was painted by a Carniolan painter Leopold Layer, including an image of Mary the Helper.
The village of Brezje is arguably the most renowned pilgrimage destination in Slovenia and is known for its Basilica of Mary Help of Christians which attracts numerous visitors.
The glory of Brezje began in the nineteenth century, following several miraculous healings that took place at the painting of Mary Help of Christians. In 1996, the Church of Mary Help of Christians was elevated to the status of basilica by Pope John Paul II. In 2000, the basilica was proclaimed a Slovene national sanctuary.
The basilica is managed by the Franciscans, who built a monastery next to the church. They run a modern Pilgrimage Office next to the car park, where you can obtain information on the sanctuary and pilgrimage routes.
Adjacent to the basilica, in the building that once served as the monastery's barn, the Franciscans opened the Canticle of the Sun Museum. In the park in front of the church there is a sculpture of the Holy Family and a huge cross.
weekdays and Saturdays at 7.00, 8.30, 10.00 a.m and at 7.00 p.m.
Sundays and public holidays at 7.00, 8.30, 10.00, 11.30 a.m, at 4.00 p.m. and at 7.00 p.m.
weekdays at 7.00, 10.00 a.m. and at 6 p.m.
Saturdays at 7.00, 8.30, 10.00 a.m. and at 6.00 p.m.
Sundays and public holidays at 7.00, 8.30, 10.00, 11.30 a.m, at 4.00 p.m. and at 6.00 p.m.
Brezje is also an important cultural centre. Every year, the Franciscan monastery organises a number of musical events, art colonies, scientific symposiums, various courses, book publications and gallery and museum exhibitions – all in a creative co-operation with the Gorenjska Museum in Kranj. The gallery of the “Song of the Sun” invites the spirit of beauty and open-heartedness. Brezje has been, in its 200 years history, visited by several millions of pilgrims. The average annual number of visits is still increasing, exceeding 300.000 visitors a year.