Hrastovlje Church of the Holy Trinity

Hrastovlje Church of the Holy Trinity

Hrastovlje Church of the Holy Trinity
4.5
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles141 reviews
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Jungl3Boy
Sydney, Australia76 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
hmmm....lots of really great reviews. But this needs some context.
This church is tiny. Sure, it's in a nice location and the interior wall/roof paintings are interesting. However, you're in/out within about 5 minutes.
The church isn't publicly open. There is a number on the front and you call, and local person will come and open the gates for you. Inside is the church. They will play a recording (in whatever language) and all the paintings are explained. This takes more than 5 minutes, but unless you want to listen to an explanation of every single wall painting, you take a couple of pics, walk around the outside and then back into the car - there isn't much else to see/do.
You'll also need to pay a small fee (~5EU per person). Not alot I guess for one person I guess, but if a family of 4-5 turn up, relatively expensive.
Written 19 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cseka83
Budapest, Hungary21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
I like the "not avarage" churches, so I loved this one. The fort on the hill feeling is great, frescos are amazing, most of all the dance with death scene.
Written 30 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CatharineB
Ottawa, Canada1,622 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
The Holy Trinity Church, located in the inconspicuous village of Hrastovlije, is an old Romanesque church built in the 15th century with a high protective wall and two defense towers (for protection against Turk invaders) that were built about 100 years later. The architecture of the church is very interesting - both walls and roof are made of stone. Away from the touristic routes, visiting this church was a unique and peaceful travel experience, if you like art. Do not expect a large church with gigantic domes, but its small-scale and non-touristy character made it a rather matchless experience.

Small, but impressive from the outside, the real treasure is hidden inside. 500-year-old frescoes with an unbelievable variety and expressiveness that are rarely found in Europe. There are depictions of the creation story, rural life, and the famous and moving Danse Macaba (dance of death). I was somewhat reluctant to post a review, fearful that more and more buses will unload tourists and just flood this little church.

You can see the church from the main road, just drive towards it and park at the bottom of a small hill. We found the church closed but called the telephone number that can be read on the closed gate. The attendant arrived within five minutes, welcomed us and started an audio description (with speakers, no earphones), supporting the audio description with a laser pointer.

The interior of the church is completely lined with frescoes from the New and Old Testaments. The frescoes were of motifs, mainly religious and they showed apostles, the Coronation of Mary, the Three Holy Kings, Stations of the Cross, the creation of Earth. But we were left speechless in front of the incredible Danse Macabra, a procession of skeletons that accompany 11 characters towards their inexorable destiny.

We could see the pontiff in front of everyone, followed by a king and a queen, dressed in luxurious but now useless clothes. Followed by a cardinal in a fur coat, a bishop and a monk with a prayer book. Extraordinary, further back, the rich bourgeois who takes death by the hand, while in the other he still holds a purse full of coins. A loan shark tries to bribe a skeleton. Lastly a soldier, a man with a crutch and a child who goes straight from the cradle to death. Now they are all the same.

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. It served to remind the people of Hrastovlje of the fragility of life and universality of death.

We learned that the painter 'John of Kastav' painted the entire interior (walls, arches and ceilings) with his team and completed his work in 1490. The amazing artwork has remained unchanged ever since. These medieval frescos were discovered hidden beneath thick layers of plaster, in nearly perfectly preserved condition in 1949.

A visit will take about 30 minutes. Hrastovlje is located about 18 kilometers southeast from Koper, we just followed the directions provided by our GPS. Park in the small lot at the bottom of the hill and just walk up. Take care if you have any mobility issues – it’s a bit of a steep climb, over uneven, rutted track, but so worth the effort!
Written 26 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wombling_Free_7548
Bristol, UK2,107 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022 • Couples
A short walk from the car park takes you to this fortified church. There was someone there when we arrived, so we waited a few minutes until it was our turn for the tour. For €3pp, the guide put on an audio description in English, then she pointed to the fresco which were being described, which worked well. Then you could wander around at leisure. The frescos were incredibly well preserved and vibrant. It was quite something to see them. You can also buy postcards (€1) and a small guide to the frescos (€2).
Written 28 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vedran S
Ljubljana, Slovenia84 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019
Fortified chuch on outside, very unique fresca inside presenting how all died at the end and get waht they deserve.
Written 3 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dave H
Boston, MA374 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
From Ljubljana, I did the Coast tour (Slovenia Explorer). On the way to Purin, we stopped at this church which is about 3 miles off the A1 highway. It's a beautiful church with it's wall covered in Frescoes. The most famous one is the 'Dance Macabre', but it also has scenes on the lower wall from the Old Testament and scenes on the upper walls from the New Testament. When you go inside, a woman plays a recording that explains what is inside and she points out the different scenes the recording is talking about. To me this was one of the top 5 sites in Slovenia that I saw in a place that had many places to see.
Written 8 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Globetrotter045
Haacht, Belgium5,416 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2018 • Solo
Hard to get here without a car. But if you have one, it is a lovely and winding drive from the coast passing small hill villages , vineyards and lots of nature.

The fortified church of the Holy Trinity is set on a hill in the tiny village of Hrastovlje. It is a small church, but inside the walls and the ceiling are covered with old frescoes. The famous Dance Macabre is one of the best preserved frescos. Extraordinary to see : every figure, from peasants to kings, walk towards a dug grave.

Entrance is 3 €. A the start of your visit, the guardian of the church will play a taped commentary and he will point with a laser pen towards what is explained on the tape. After that, you are free to take as many pictures as you want, only no flash. If you got a few minutes to spare, have a walk around the village. Very pretty and a completely non-tourist place.
Written 4 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jean Luc M
276 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Couples
This church has very nice frescoes on its walls. Inside, the story of the church is explain by a guide with audio support. Very interesting site
Written 9 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sylviane M
Bury St. Edmunds, UK58 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Couples
Stunning 15th frescoes in a church surrounded by a defensive wall. Audio explanations guide you through the frescoes, the lady selling the tickets pointed to the frescoes as the audio was explaining them, very interesting. It is only the second time that I see Danses Macabres frescoes and these are in a perfect condition.
Written 7 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

IfeelBled
lancaster Pennsylvania5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2017
Breath taking vistas.Amazing wall paintings that were lovingly explained to us in English.The guide was fabulous.Highly recommend the Dance of Death Experience!
Written 3 March 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Hrastovlje Church of the Holy Trinity

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