Heritage / Cultural Heritage
“Pri Brecu” Granary
The Pri Brecu Cellar in the village of Jesenica near Cerkno is a rectangular granary made from local stone and built into a hill. It is part of the homestead and has a vaulted cellar, a floor, and an attic. It is covered by a symmetrical brick gable roof with short plastered overhangs. All three floors in the granary have a single-cell ground plan. Vital produce used to be kept there: grain, flour, and meet were kept on the top floor in wooden boxes, while lard was stored in special containers; the cellar was used for storing potatoes, cabbage, wine, etc., and the attic for tools and handicraft products. The original material substance is preserved both in the exterior and the interior of the granary.
As the granary was not only used to store produce, but also valuables, its importance was reflected in the size of the wrought iron key and the manner of locking the doors. It is assumed that the original facility was a ground floor building, probably thatch-covered. The inscription 1843 carved in the beam, the traces of front doors on the northern façade, and the built-in wooden wall cabinet in the walled up opening on the inner side, attest that the granary had been increased in height. The facility was not intended as a living space, and the minimal lighting through the ventilation openings, which are covered with nets to prevent animals entering the facility, is sufficient. The wooden front doors on the ground floor, in the upper floor, and in the attic are low (142–150 cm). The façade is plastered, and adorned by full massive doors, stone window frames on the ground floor, and a fresco secco on the western façade, featuring a female figure with a crown and an outspread cloak. Due to the poor condition of the bottom of the painting, it is difficult to determine whether the motif features the Virgin of Mercy or St. Ursula. The difference is in the motif.
The Virgin of Mercy shelters the people under her cloak and Saint Ursula shelters her friends, martyrs, and virgins. The author of the painting is unknown. The facility was thoroughly refurbished in the 2018–2019 period. Maintenance as well as conservation and restoration work were performed. The painting has been restored on the basis of a black-and-white photo with pixel retouching, so as to enhance the parts that were still visible in the photo. During the replacement of the decrepit built-in wall cabinet, a built-in round earthen bowl appeared below the bottom frame. An especially interesting find was the cross with the Pilgrim Virgin, which the previous owners had stuck to the beam, thus protecting the homestead from various afflictions.
The refurbishment of the granary is a prime example of how to preserve our tradition and cultural heritage. Cultural and natural heritage represent a sense of belonging, and help us differentiate between different communities despite the onset of globalisation.
The granary is open for guided tours following a prior arrangement with the owner Bojan Štremfelj.