Brezje (Radovljica)

Brezje (also Brezje na Gorenjskem, dt: Pirkendorf in the Upper Carniola) is a village in the Slovenian community radovljica of Gorenjska. It is located northwest of the city of Kranj, 485 meters above sea level, and has 493 inhabitants (as of 2002).

Brezje was first mentioned in the 11th century and is regarded today as the most important pilgrimage site in Slovenia. The current Sanctuary, the Basilica of St. Vitus ( Basilica Sv. Vida ), was consecrated in 1900, but goes back to older churches in the same place. In the vernacular, the Basikila is called due to the Marie image located there and supposedly miraculous also Maria Hilf ( Marija Pomagaj ). The by the Slovenian painter Leopold Layer (1752-1828) in 1814 created image based on the miraculous image Mariahilf by Lucas Cranach the Elder, which is located in Innsbruck Cathedral. Pope John Paul II elevated the Sanctuary in 1988 for minor basilica and visited them in 1996. The square in front of the church dates from the famous Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik.