Church St. Bolfenk

Church St. Bolfenk

St. Bolfenk on Pohorje is an attractive small church, surrounded by the green forests of Pohorje.

Surroundings The surroundings of the church are interwoven with cycling and footpaths. In the immediate vicinity is Hotel Bellevue and the Bolfenk Apartment Settlement, and just a few minutes away is the Viewing tower. To reach St. Bolfenk you can walk up the hill on foot, take the Pohorje cable railway or travel by car.

Origin, Renovation, Fire, Reconstruction 

Over the centuries the church of St Bolfenk on Pohorje has experienced many changes. In its immediate vicinity there was already a prehistoric path running by the mountain ridge, which are proved by sepulchral mounds, the Poštela trench, Pohorje foundry and other findings along the way to St Areh.

The present day church was built in 1501 on the spot where there had most probably earlier stood a smaller chapel. Namely, the first written documents about the beginning of a building being constructed in this place date back to the year 1291. Wolfgang Herzenskraft Limbuški built the church in the then typical German late Gothic style.

After the reformations of Joseph II the church was abandoned in 1785, parts of the interior furnishings were taken to neighbouring churches. In the year 1856, when the building was in a very poor state, it became the property of the then Maribor mayor and notary Otmar Reiser. Fiver years later he began renovation works. On the northern wall of the tower a viewing balcony, gallery, was placed which prior to that was a part of the then coffee house Pix in Maribor. Otmar Reiser junior continued with the renovations, when he inherited the building. On the renovated roof of the tower he placed a gold-plated capital with a cross, which was blessed by the then bishop Anton Martin Slomšek.

In the year 1878 he arranged lodgings for foresters and six rooms for alpinists with a visitor's book. Consequently Bolfenk can be considered as the oldest alpine lodge on Pohorje, which recorded 600 to 1000 visitors annually.

A fire destroyed the building on 29th March 1950. In the year 1971 employees at the Institute for monument protection began to reconstruct Bolfenk. In 1991 its owners, the Town Community of Maribor, continued more intensive improvements. The reconstruction was completed and a ceremonious opening took place on 29th March 2000, exactly 50 years to the day since Bolfenk was burnt down.

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