Cultural sights

Church of the Holy Trinity in Hrastovlje

The small stone church of the Holy Trinity lies beneath the walls of Karst edge of Slovene Istria in a small village Hrastovlje. Its interesting exterior will already draw your attention and the interior hides the most extensive and best preserved medieval frescoes including the famous 'Dance of the Dead'.

1 - Church of the Holy Trinity in Hrastovlje 2 - Church of the Holy Trinity in Hrastovlje 3 - Church of the Holy Trinity in Hrastovlje

Basic information
LocationHrastovlje, Coast and Karst
Type: church, frescoes
Entrance fee: yes
Altitude: 180 m
How to get there:
Leave the 'Ljubljana - Koper' motorway on exit Črni Kal. Continue in the direction of Sočerga and Buzet. Keep attention to a signpost for Hrastovlje, turn left and you will arrive to the village soon after.

Description:
On the edge of Hrastovlje, among vineyards and olive trees you will spot a stone wall above which a bell tower of the church of the Holy Trinity peeks. The church was built in the 15th century and the wall with two defence towers (for protection against Turk invaders) were built about 100 years after. The architecture of the church is very interesting - both walls and roof are made of stone. The church itself is quite small, but it boasts with the greatest and best preserved frescoes in Slovenia. The painter 'John of Kastav'  painted the entire interior (walls, arches and ceilings) with his team and completed his work in 1490. Frescoes are of earthly colors, motifs mainly religious and they show apostles, Coronation of Mary, Three Holy Kings, Stations of the Cross, the creation of Earth but the most famous one is certainly the “Dance of the Dead”. It is a parade of various people from the society, who march together with skeletons towards death. The motif supposedly originates from the epidemics of plague and conveys that death does not choose between the rich and the poor, the young or the old and cannot even be bribed (if you look closely, you will see that someone is offering gold coins to the skeleton).

You will find out more about the church and frescoes from the caretaker whom you also pay the entrance fee to.




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Cerkev Sv. Trojice v Hrastovljah
The small stone church of the Holy Trinity lies beneath the walls of Karst edge of Slovene Istria in a small village Hrastovlje. Its interesting exterior will already draw your attention and the interior hides the most extensive and best preserved medieval frescoes including the famous 'Dance of the Dead'.