This monastic and parish church belongs to the Franciscan Province of Bosna Srebrena. Records show that Franciscans were present in this region in the 15th century. The Turks destroyed one of their monasteries in 1521, and another one was vandalized in the 17th century. The construction of this church started in 1929, according to a project designed by the famous Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik (1872–1957), whom Parisher Grgić, head of the monastery at the time, invited to do so, upon the suggestion of sculptor Ivan Meštrović. After Plečnik’s death in 1957, his student, arch. Valentinčić took over the instructions for further building. A tower was added in 1962. The Church of St. Anthony has a rotund shape and its layout resembles the statue of Saint Anthony holding baby Jesus in his arms. The bell tower is 52 meters tall and the church itself has 25 m. At the top, a 3.70 m high cross was placed made of white steel. The bell tower is slightly leaning, making it an attraction in itself. The statue of Saint Anthony, situated on a wall above the main altar, is the work of sculptor Ivan Meštrović. The 2.75 m tall bronze statue was put up in 1955. A statue of the Heart of Jesus which sits on the side alter was made by Ljubljana-based artist Božo Pengov, according to Plečnik’s design. A statue of Mary set inside the Lady altar was also designed by Plečnik and made by Božo Pengov. The statue is placed in such a way that it’s almost in line with the observer. The Lady is quite unusual, both because of her Oriental features and some elements in the iconography (such as snakes).
Bregalnička 14, Belgrade, Serbia