Best time to photograph Saint Micheal’s Church on the Marsh

By Ian Middleton

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This website and its articles contain links and adverts. The adverts and some links, but not all, are affiliate links. This means that if you click and buy something I will receive a small percentage of money, but at no extra cost to you. The price remains the same if you buy.

Plecnik Church of Saint Michael in Crna Vas

There are hundreds of churches scattered across Slovenia, but none as interesting and unique as the Church of Saint Michael on the Ljubljana Marshes (ljubljansko Barje) It was designed by Slovenia’s master architect, Jože Plečnik, who is most famous for his masterpieces in central Ljubljana.

The church was built between 1937 and 1940. Interestingly, it is similar in characteristic to a Greek temple, but also bears similarities to the many churches found in the karst region of Slovenia; the open belfries being one of the most distinctive features.

As it is situated on marshy terrain, the church is built on piles. It’s made of a mix of wood and stone with a long stone stairway lined with pillars leading up to the main doors, which are aligned with the belfry. This is what makes it such an interesting feature to photograph.

The best time to photograph this church is at dawn when surrounded by mist, which isolates it from the otherwise distracting background. Also at dawn its beautiful facade is lit up by the artificial lights, which enhances the blue hour mood.

I usually photograph it when on my way to take sunrise photos from the nearby Church of Saint Ana.

Additionally, should you not be a morning person, you can also capture it at dusk.

Church of Saint Michael at dawn

Church of Saint Michael by Joze Plecnik at dawn, Crna Vas, Slovenia.
30 sec - F11 - 24mm - ISO 300
Church of Saint Michael at dawn, Crna Vas, Slovenia.
15 sec - F11 - 24mm - ISO 300
Church of Saint Michael at dawn, Crna Vas, Slovenia.
30 sec - F6.3 - 24mm - ISO 200

Here, when it was a bit clearer and the moon was up, I was able to capture a nice straight on view of the church with the distant Ljubljana Castle illuminated down on the bottom right.

Church of Saint Michael at dawn, Crna Vas, Slovenia.
30 sec - F11 - 24mm - ISO 800

Daytime photography

If you can’t make it to the church early morning, or even for dusk then don’t worry. This beautiful church is just as photogenic during the day and also in certain seasons.

These photos are actually from the very first time I came to photograph it, for a book publisher. It was in late spring and the fields were full of dandelions in full bloom. More importantly, it’s the best time to capture the belfry and facade, which is all covered in ivy. In May the ivy is at its most vivid green and sparkles in the morning or afternoon light.

Inside the Church of Saint Michael

Getting inside the church is a rare opportunity but one that is well worth the effort. The beautiful wooden interior is something really special.

Sightseeing tours of the Plecnik Church of Saint Michael are possible by prior arrangement every Saturday and Sunday morning (from 8:00 to 12:00). Some other days are also possible but you must book this at least twenty days before the date required. More info here:

Getting there

By car

Getting to this fabulous church is easy. Simply drive around the Ljubljana ring road, take exit 33 for Rudnik and head for Crna Vas. At the first set of traffic lights go straight ahead and the church is just a little way down on the right.

By bus

Buses run from various locations around Ljubljana to Crna Vas and stop right in front of the church. Check this excellent site for more details: Moovit

Equipment needed

Tripod: You’ll need a tripod for dawn or dusk shots as the light will be low. If you only have a compact or mobile phone you can still get some shots by using one these handy little flexible tripods here:

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Disclosure:

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