church with 500 yr old medieval fresco
This secret place is one of our most popular and surprising tips as most people would not get very excited about going to see a painting in a church! But wow, when you walk up the steep defensive hill and step inside the thick stone walls, built in medieval times to protect the villagers from Ottoman empire attack, then you enter this pretty little church and see the beautifully preserved 500 year old story of "the Dance of Death", only to be found in a few places in Europe, then you know you have found somewhere really special.
It's only 25 mins from the Lodge and when you also consider the fantastic scenery in this mini region, set back from the coast and dominated by a long, steep, rocky cliff face, with olive plantations and vineyards covering the sprawling sun soaked hills, this is really a spot that you cannot miss! Our guests often visit here on the way or way back from the Slovenian Riviera.
There is a little village car park close to the church and a local lady is available to open the church and she plays you a very informative recording which brings the frescos to life. You do wonder how she knows where to point her little stick in some of the other languages though! The three other walls of the church have fabulous frescoes depicting the new and old Testaments, but it is the Dance of Death that will steal the show for you.
When inside these thick defensive walls, just imagine the Turkish troops raging outside, unable to get in, the warning fire blazing high up to alert other nearby villages.
There is plenty of this pretty valley to explore and on weekends you can buy a ticket for a very reasonable price that affords you food at drink at a couple of the tourist farms in the village.
Unless you go for a long walk here you won't be spending your whole day here, but so many of our guests have come visited Hrastovlje as part of a daytrip, with the Slovenian, Istrian, Croatian and Italian coasts all so close and the cliffs of Osp casting their shadow over this mini region and everyone has said how surprised they were by the simple beauty and historical power of this little castle church, perched on top of a small hill.