Holy Trinity Church in Hrastovlje

A timeless historical church with world-renowned gothic frescoes of the dance macabre

Holy Trinity Church (Cerkev sv. Trojice) is a historical building in Hrastovlje, a peaceful village in southwestern Slovenia. The origins of this remarkable place haven’t yet been determined. The building is either a Romanesque church from the 12th century or an Istrian variant of Early Venetian Renaissance architecture from the 15th century. Either way, it was built on bare rock, mainly out of stone, which is very typical for the coastal region of Slovenia. As the stones were never entirely covered with plaster, visitors are able to see how the church was constructed. One can observe that the top of the church spire was rebuilt at some point in history, yet it is still unclear why. The church has only 2 windows. In summer, the room with the smaller window was protected from the sun, while in winter from the strong bora wind. The church’s interior was painted in Gothic frescoes by Johannes de Castua, dating back to the late 15th century, the most famous of which is The Dance of Death or “Danse Macabre”, only discovered as late as 1949.

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