The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Črmošnjice has a rich history. If you are interested in the traces of the Kočevje Germans, you are on the right track in Črmošnjice. The village lies below the slope of Kočevski Rog plateau, which strongly marked the local life with its natural features.

The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption is the highest and most notable building here. It has a distinctly high neo-Gothic point on the bell tower. It testifies to the self-confidence and entrepreneurship of the Kočevje Germans, who lived here for more than 600 years. It is interesting to note that in 1910, 123 people lived in Črmošnjice and only a handful of them were of Slovene descent. 

Just how did the ancient Gottscheer songs that were once sung by the Gottscheers in this church sound? You can get an answer to this question, as there are many interesting books available about their folklore, customs, and way of life. You can see the Gottscheer Museum in nearby Občice settlement.

During the Ottoman invasions, the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption was walled to become the core of the anti-Turkish fight. Similar fortifications were built by the locals in Stari and Novi Tabor in the vicinity. In the cemetery near the former village of Novi Tabor near Črmošnjice, old but beautifully restored Gottscheer tombstones remind us of the former inhabitants of the Črmošnjiška Valley.

Religion played an important role in the life of the Gottscheers, so it is not surprising that in 1509 this church grew into a parish church with many branches, built by pious parishioners even in the most remote villages of Kočevski Rog. Although these are in ruins today, they are accurately listed and documented.

The main altar in the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption boasts a vibrant motif of Mary being lifted into the sky by angels. The altars of the Gottscheer churches did not have much gilding, which is also characteristic of this church. We find several paintings and statues in it, saved from destruction and brought from the surrounding churches. Today, the parish church of Our Lady of the Assumption is co-managed by the parish of Semič.

Time is passing by, but traces of former residents are still visible here today and invite you to discover them!

Foto: Uroš Novina, Zvone Butala