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Tabor - the Fortified Church of Hrastovlje

This was really frustrating ... we went to one of the most charming and interesting places in Slovenia -and all we got are a couple (no, really - two!) good kite aerial photos ...


Hrastovlje.



This fortified church dates back to 14th century - just after the plague ravaged the countyside - and is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, them supposedly being good against the disease. The walls around it were added later, in the times of Ottoman raids: the rich bitches hid tin their castles, and the folks were mainly left for themselves, so they built the wall and the whole village hid there - the walls offering physical, and the church spiritual protection.


A walled church like this one is called tabor in Slovene, meaning encampement.




While the old little church and its walls are cool, the real Medieval gem is hidden inside - all the walls and the ceiling are covered in 15th century frescoes, made by Janez of Kastav, and they include one of the few extant depictions of the Danse Macabre - the Dance of Death.


Part of the Danse Macabre scene. The whole can be seen here (the fresco is 7 meters long). Note the glagolitic inscription!


The frescoes are perfectly preserved because they were covered with plaster and were 'discovered' in 1948. A side story - one of the panels depict a strange bird that went (locally) extinct, but came back ... read all about this fascinating recovery here.


Southestern bastion and a part of the church apse


The defensive walls include two bastion-like towers; two layers for archers are still visible.


The whole ensemble - the walled church on the hillock and the sleepy village around it - set below the sheer cliffs of the Karst edge is truly spectacular (and there is a really good restaurant, too). One of the must-see places in Slovenia!



Kite aerial photos shot in impossible conditions with Nikon P330 on a Rokkaku kite.