Bale – Batvači – Fažana – Pomer


St. Foška

In St. Foška's Church a large parish fete is held on February 13, the feast day of this saint. Naturally, there are crowds of people that day, so the real atmosphere of the church can be experienced when visiting the church alone. It was built at the corner of a centuria, fertile plot of land marked out by boundaries in Antiquity. Centuriation is best preserved in the Vodnjan area. This ancient monument is equally valuable as the nearby Arena, Triumphal Arch of the Sergi or the Temple of Augustus. In addition to the many archeological monuments, this area is renowned for the greatest concentration of kažuni, traditional Istrian dry stone field huts. In the vicinity of St. Foška's Church is the only site where altogether three kažuni have been constructed collectively, as well as the oldest known kažun and kažun with the largest diameter.

The mural painting in St. Foška's Church dates from the beginning of the 12th c., immediately after the church was constructed. It is interesting in terms of technique, as it is not a true fresco but a kind of semi-tempera. Christ Enthroned set with gemstones is surrounded by a rainbow-colored mandorla. He is bestowing benediction with his right hand in the Orthodox manner, while holding a book which is resting on his knee with his left hand. The writing on it says: ego sum omnipotens deo (I am God almighty). The mandorla is carried to Heaven by four angels while beneath it is the scene of six astonished Apostles observing the Ascension. The reduced number of Apostles was necessary because of the defined area of the painted surface and in order to preserve the monumental character of figures and the entire scene. The background is divided into five horizontal fields. The Apostles are depicted in the lowest one, which also displays Christ's feet. The field above it is of a much lighter coloring, with only the Apostles' haloes touching it. This field had a Latin inscription, today merely visible, which was most probably a literary model of the theme. At the very top, above Heaven, is a wide bordure with interlaced pattern. Beneath the scene of the Ascension are two birds drinking from the same chalice, symbol of the Eucharist. In the conch of the apse there are fragments of Sedes Sapientiae (Virgin Mary seated on a throne with Christ Child on her lap). Overall stylization of figures in geometric ornaments prevails. It is attributed to the North-Italian workshop using models of South-Italian origin.

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