Bičići – Barban – Prodol


St. Matthew

If until now you disregarded the advice to visit the frescoes in Istrian churches on foot instead of arriving by car, here you will not have a choice. You will need about ten minutes of walking, so be sure to take along a topographic map and compass. Or you can find someone who knows the exact location of St. Matthew's Church to take you there. Such a small edifice amidst nature, where wild animals are more frequent than people, is truly a magnificent sight. It was restored recently, but before that it had been so neglected for years that there was a tree growing from its roof. The interior is divided in two bays and has a pointed barrel vault. The frescoes are badly damaged so that the depicted saints are barely recognizable. Among the frequent and common ones such as St. Michael, St. George and St. John the Baptist, there is one depicting a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, with only the face visible. This is St. Lazarus of Bethany, brother of the sisters Mary and Martha, whom Jesus restores to life four days after his death. As far as can be seen presently, in terms of style they are very much like the younger, Gothic layer of frescoes in St. Martin's Church in Sv. Lovreč. Before leaving, stop and look back for a moment; it is very unlikely that you will return here soon. And remember that you are among the few who has visited this church.

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