Pazin – Beram


St. Nicholas

Pazin is the center of the one-time Pazin County and presently the administrative center of Istria County. It is best to come in the end of June, during the Days of Jules Verne. This pioneer of science fiction was inspired by Pazin and its deep cave above which stands the medieval Pazin Castle, one of the nicest and best preserved in Istria. Standing beneath the compact volume of its massive walls makes us feel truly humble, and we cannot help thinking of how unconquerable it must have been.

The road to the Parish Church of St. Nicholas is marked by the tall, detached belfry. The Gothic sanctuary of the three-aisled church with stellar vault is painted in its entirety. The frescoes were painted after 1456, the year when the vaulting was constructed. They are quality import, attributed to one of the South Tyrolean workshops that painted the cloister of the parish church in Brixen. Commissioners of this cycle were local feudal lords whose coats of arms stand out on the keystones of the vault. Besides scenes of the Genesis on the vault, are St. Michael and the battle between good and evil angels. The walls of the sanctuary bear sheets from the Biblia pauperum, the Dutch 40 page wooden carving edition and the forerunner of European printing that often served as a graphic model. Behind the Baroque altar stands hidden the Crucifixion with a multitude of accompanying figures. A very rich color scale has for years been unnoticed due to the veil of impurities that deposited over the frescoes. Restoration cleansing of the Nativity scene revealed its original colors. This exquisite painting stands out by its quality. The Pazin workshop was thought to influence the development of Late Gothic workshops in Istria. However, this cycle is separate from all the medieval mural paintings of the Peninsula. The inscription on the triumphal arch tells us that these paintings, the best that could be commissioned at the time, were made in Glory to God in the highest: Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Print page Send to a friend