Excursion: Antifascist Symbolism in
Churches & Boat Trip with Lunch

Date: Monday, 4 September 2023

Time: cca 9.30 am (Ljubljana) – 7 pm (Ljubljana)


“When Europe fell prey to totalitarian regimes in the twentieth century, the Slovene artist Tone Kralj responded to the cruellest oppression by systematically depicting his own and his community’s resistance against Fascism and Nazism in public spaces, under the very nose of the regime. As incredible as it may seem, the regime never discovered and punished his rebellious actions. The painter embedded his ideological subversion of Fascism and Nazism in wall paintings in more than fifty Catholic churches along the Slovene–Italian ethnic border, thus disseminating his subversive message among the people with whom he shared the same cultural memory. With many of them covering a surface area of several square metres, the church paintings introduced Hitler and Mussolini into Biblical visual narratives, portraying the two dictators with irony and grotesqueness as villainous Biblical characters, often in the role of hangmen, murderers or clowns. The symbols of their regimes were incorporated into Biblical scenes depicting eschatological dimensions of the struggle between good and evil, thus spreading – in the time of the most brutal fascistization – the painter’s firm belief in the historical downfall of the Fascist and Nazi regimes.”

We will visit two churches (in the villages of Hrenovice and Lokev) depicted by Tone Kralj.

The guided visit to the churches in Hrenovice and Lokev are based on Prof Egon Pelikan’s research and monograph Hitler and Mussolini in Churches. The Church Painter’s Subversion of Fascism: The Ideological Marking of Space along the Slovene–Italian Border (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2020;   https://www.peterlang.com/document/1063499). The above summary of the book is taken from this website.

The topic has also been addressed in Prof Egon Pelikan’s article “Uncovering Mussolini and Hitler in Churches” published in Austrian History Yearbook (Vol. 49, 2018, pp. 207-237; https://doi.org/10.1017/S0067237818000164).


In the historic town of Koper, we will embark an old traditional boat with a nice psychoanalytic name “Meja” (“border/boundary/frontier”) and take a slow boat ride along the Slovene coast to the Portorož resort. The trip will include lunch on board; it will also be possible to have a swim in the sea (in that case, don’t forget to take along your swimsuit and towel).

From Portorož, the bus will drive us back to Ljubljana.

Price: EUR 80,00









The price includes:

  • Bus transfer Ljubljana – Koper/Portorož – Ljubljana
  • Guided visit to two churches (Hrenovice, Lokev)
  • Boat trip Koper-Portorož
  • Lunch on board (fish, meat or vegetarian menu; beverage: soft drink, water, white wine)
  • VAT

The price does not include:

  • Symbolic entrance fee to the Lokev church (EUR 1)


For further information related to the excursion, please, contact Breda Biščak ([email protected]).

The excursion will be organized by the AJ NAVTIKA company (https://www.panoramska-voznja.si/) if a minimum of 25 people books the excursion by 31 May at the latest. Minimum number of participants: 25.

Pre-booking deadline: 31 May 2023