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The Old Biblical Play in Škofja Loka

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It is Easter time, when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, there is an interesting event going on in Škofja Loka and we could easily call it a masterpiece. I am talking about the Škofja Loka Passion Play (that we call Škofjeloški pasijon) and it was first staged on Good Friday in 1721. This means that the 300th anniversary is approaching and we are eager to see the next performance in 2021 to celebrate the occassion. What makes this old Biblical play even more special is the fact that the manuscript of the play is the oldest Slovenian dramatic text that we know about and is written in the old Škofja Loka dialect.

More than thousand local volunteers, actors, walk-ons and even horses are involved in a play that brings scenes from the Biblical stories to live. The folk play performed as a procession turns the whole town into a theater with several portable stages between which the actors dressed in Baroque costumes are travelling. The streets are jammed with people, whereas the traffic and ordinary life in the medieval core of Škofja Loka are put on hold, when thousands of visitors are immersed in the biblical performance that takes them back in time. No wonder, this spectacular event is considered the biggest open-air theatre performance in Slovenia.

Even though the actors are volunteers, the quality of this play has been praised, and visitors from all over the world are attending this performance. The knowledge about performing in the passion play has been passed on between the amateur actors from one generation to the other. The importance of that can be seen - the play was even listed on Unesco Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and is considered a cultural heritage of national importance.

As said, you will have to wait until 2021 to see the next play, since it is only performed every few years or so due to its complexity. In the meantime, you can visit the museum in Škofja Loka (Loški museum) where a permanent exhibition of the Škofja Loka Passion Play is on view. In Capuchin monastery archives and library there is a precious collection of books and manuscripts. Some of the books were printed even before 1500 whereas the most renowned piece of the collection is the original manuscript of the Škofja Loka Passion Play, the oldest fully preserved manuscript in Europe.

Loški muzej Škofja Loka
Loški muzej Škofja Loka
Grajska pot 13, 4220 Skofja Loka

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The author



I’m Darja, from Slovenia, always excited to meet new people, try out new things, especially sports and baking sweets... as well as share with you about my country.

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