Bale – Batvači – Fažana – Pomer


Our Lady of Mount Carmel

This small fishing town is one of the few Istrian coastal towns that has preserved its specific character with the arrival of the crowds of tourists. Although until recently it existed in the shadow of the Brijuni islands, as its transit port, today it has developed into a popular tourist destination. One of Fažana's trademarks is the pilchard, whereas proof of its fishing tradition is the event of salting pilchard.

The settlement was founded on the site of an ancient ceramics workshop for the production of amphorae. From the end of the 14th c. to the mid-16th c., Fažana acquired its present-day urban structure. Two significant elements of the town are sacral monuments: the chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, built at the entrance to Fažana, at the intersection of roads to Pula and Vodnjan, and the Church of SS. Cosmas and Damian standing in the very center of the main square.

The chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a simple, Gothic, single-naved edifice with a pointed barrel vault and ending in a straight sanctuary wall. Its construction is linked to the spreading of the cult of Our Lady of Mount Carmel following the privileges offered by Pope John XXII in the 14th c. The church in Fažana testifies to the early spreading of this cult in Istria. Two layers of mural paintings remain. On the older one is a merely visible scene in the center of which is a round mandorla with rays of light radiating from it. It is uncertain what was inside. On the sides are the kneeling images of angels with arms crossed on their chest, gazing into the center of the scene. What makes this fresco so outstanding are the unread music notes above the mentioned scene. It seems that the remaining part of the church was not decorated with frescoes. The fresco is badly damaged, not much remains of the original colors. Characteristics in terms of style suggest painting under the influence of international Gothic.

The younger mural paintings depict scenes from a saint's life. Originally, there were six narrative scenes on the longitudinal church walls, which by their style belong to the continental influence of Late Gothic layer of mural painting in Istria.

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