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The Žiče Carthusian Monastery was designed in accordance with the Carthusian rules of the time and was divided into two monasteries – the upper one served the monks and the lower one served the lay brothers.

The village of Špitalič was named after the monastery hospital, which was intended for lay brothers and guests. The lower monastery was the economic centre of the monastery complex. Here, one could find stables, barns, glassworks, brickworks and other outbuildings, as well as a guesthouse with an infirmiary.

The story of the creation of Špitalič is related to both legends about the founding of the Žiče monastery.

“Otakar IV, the son of the founder of the Žička kartuzija, is said to have ultimately completed the construction of the monastery in the present Stare Slemene. Fearing that God’s wrath would strike his father Otakar III for disobedience to the apostle, when he had already begun to build a monastery in Konjice, he had another monastery with a church built on the site of today’s Špitalič. The new monastery was to be inhabited by the Templars – the Christian Order of Knights, and the church was dedicated to the Mother of God. When the then Pope Clement V cursed the Templars in 1312, the monastery in Špitalič was demolished, but they did not dare to demolish the Church of Mary, as it was protected by Mary. The legend goes on to say that on holidays, the bell-ringer as well as neighboring farmers heard a bell ringing at night, calling to the service of God. On hearing this ringing, the church caretaker rushed to the church several times, but found it locked and no one around.” (Zdovc 1994: 17)

Source: Zdovc, V. (1994). Legende in pripovedi na Konjiškem. Slovenske Konjice: Zgodovinsko društvo Konjice.


The Church of the Visitation of Mary, ecclesia minor, is located in the area of the lower monastery in Špitalič. You can read more about it here.