Koper

Hrastovlje

30 Jul 2019
The Istrian village of Hrastovlje is most famous for its Church of the Holy Trinity, which dates back to the 13th century. The entire interior of the the church is covered in frescoes by the 15th century Slovene artist Janez of Castua, including the eerily enchanting Dance of Death or Danse Macabre [editor's note: this is also the title of a great album by an indie dance punk band from Omaha called The Faint].

Most of the equally impressive other works take their themes from the various parts of the Old Testament, and some include inscriptions in Glagolitic - the oldest known Slavic alphabet, developed by Saints Cyril and Methodius in the 9th century. The church is surrounded by 16th century walls with two defence towers, originally built to fend off the Ottomans.

The quaintly picturesque Hrastovlje village, with its traditional Istrian architecture, is also worth a stroll, and as with many of the village in the area it's a popular starting point for hiking, cycling and motorcycle trips into the surrounding countryside. For art lovers two galleries in the centre of the village are also worth perusing, the Jože Pohlen Gallery and the Victor Snoj Gallery.

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