Bale – Batvači – Fažana – Pomer


Holy Spirit

What today remains of Bale, significant castle under the rule of the Patriarchs of Acquileia, are two rings of walls. The parish church with crypt and notable Pre-Romanesque statue of Bale and its surroundings point to the one-time importance of this town. The large church nave with side chapels holds valuable artworks, of which the Pre-Romanesque sarcophagus, Romanesque crucifix and Renaissance wood-carved polyptych deserve special attention.


In two churches in Bale there are remains of medieval frescoes. The Church of the Holy Spirit of a well-proportioned, prismatic shape, with regular rows of stone blocks and a slate roof and masterly executed architectural elements on the facade has preserved a fine detail of molded stone support for eternal light amidst the pointed barrel vault. The tiny interior of the chapel is decorated with frescoes that have recently been attributed to Albert from Constance. He also decorated St. Anthony's Church at the nearby cemetery, with fragments of scenes from the life of St. Anthony discernible under the layers of later paintings. Merely visible is the scene of St. Anthony burying St. Paul the Hermit wearing a characteristic monastic habit of woven palm leaves. On the western wall is infernal agony: cauldrons licked by flames holding the bodies of the damned inside. These are the same scenes as the images of Hell in the Holy Spirit. However, the complete richness of Albert's repertoire is in the Church of the Holy Spirit. The most convincing scenes in terms of setting are: Flight to Egypt, Massacre of the Innocents and the Last Supper. They bear numerous details, not leaving time for the eye to rest. The only calmness to our eyes is provided by the whiteness of plaster in the damaged parts of the frescoes. It is hard to imagine the church painted in its entirety, and permeated by the restless brushstrokes of Master Albert rather than an air of tranquility.


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