Pićan – Gračišće – Lindar


St. Michael

Pićan was the center of the smallest Istrian diocese. Because of its size and low income it was referred to as the nutshell diocese. It belonged to the Aquileian Patriarchate. Bishops were mostly of German and Italic origin in the Middle Ages. The right of appointing the Pićan bishop belonged to the German emperor. Bishops performed the service of the general parish priest of the Aquileian Patriarchate and as “traveling” bishops, consecrated the churches in the greater area of the Patriarchate, particularly in the Slovene countries.

Mural paintings in St. Michael’s Church were discovered by Branko Fučić in 1947. They remained preserved only on the northern and a small fragment on the western wall. They depict the Adoration of the Magi, the Last Supper, Prayer at the Mount of Olives, Kiss of Judas, Christ before Pontius Pilate, Flagellation of Christ and St. George. The incomplete cycle of Christ’s life was made in the manner of cosmopolitan Gothic court art. In some scenes, such as the Kiss of Judas, figures are packed like sardines. Parts of the scene are densely positioned human heads, in three-quarter profile and abrupt inclinations with the breaking point in the neck. The graphic modeling of the volume, achieved by shading with thin lines of ochre, is the stylistic feature of this workshop and one of the reasons for relating this cycle to the works of Albert from Constance.

St. Michael’s Church is plunged in a magical, mythical landscape. You can experience this enchanting landscape at the beginning of August if you come here during Legendfest, the festival of folk tales, legends and myths of Istria.

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