It all started with the music. In 1996 and 1997, the parish priest of Lom Silvester Novak brought the St Petersburg State Capella Choir to Slovenia, where it held 30 concerts. This gave him the idea of including the best Russian restorers in the renovation of the more than 600-year-old church of St Catherine. For the restoration of the five altars, the priest connected with the company Restavrator and in the summer the four best restorers came to Lom: Vladimir Marčenko, Andrej Volkov, Vladimir Strazov in Aleksander Dvornikov. The last two also helped with the renovation of the altarpieces in the st. Isac cathedral in St. Peterburg.
The restoration of the altars in Lom church is a unique example in Slovenia, and a rare occurrence in across the world, of the Russian restoration tradition and the Saint Petersburg restoration school.
In the 14 years of work, the restorers formed a close bond with the locals. For this reason, the people from Lom were invited to visit the “Venice of the North”. “Strazov conducted in Lom once, for fun, and then invited us to visit Saint Petersburg for his birthday,” explained the leader of the Lom choir Jože Tišler.
Many important Russians came to Lom. Among them was one of the most famous Russians, Vječeslav Belza, who works as a presenter of numerous cultural shows. Belza spent a few days at Špan Tourist Farm. “He liked the peace and quiet that he found here,” remembered Slavka Meglič. Their farm housed members of the soloists of the Saint Petersburg ensemble during their Slovenian tour.
Karine Gišjan, the pianist, fell in love with Lom and Slovenia so much that she decided to stay. “I came to Lom at the invitation of the priest and organised summer concerts for several years. I received a warm welcome and made many friends,” she said. Even though she currently lives in Celje, she still likes to visit Lom. She also got married in Lom church. Her ties with Lom became even stronger when she started leading the Lom twin quartet, which can boast three victories at the “Veseli veter” international festival of Russian children’s music.
The priest Silvo explained that the Russian guests were mostly enthused by Lom’s nature and people. “The people treated them like one of their own, their family.” The guests liked that they could hike to one of the surrounding mountains or have something homemade to eat after they finished work. And it is this homeliness that Lom is counting on in the future.
Župnija Lom, Lom pod Storžičem 18, kontaktna oseba: Silvo Novak (031 442 937)
Izletniška kmetija PR’HARIŽ, Potarje 7, tel. 04 594 51 07
Turistična kmetija PR’ŠPAN, Potarje 3, tel. 04 594 50 45
Turistična kmetija REKAR, Grahovše 26, tel. 04 594 50 03
Turistična kmetija ŠTORMAN, Lom pod Storžičem 10, 041 786 269
Turistična kmetija Pr’ Tič, kmetija-tic.si