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19 Feb

Basilica of St. Fosca

Close to the town of Batvači (Valmadorso), an impressive basilica of St. Fosca can be found, an important monument of history and culture which was, given its size, constructed further away from the town and modern holiday houses. There are no documents that indicate the date of its construction. The construction and proportional characteristics imply that it belongs to the pre-Romanesque period, that is, to the early medieval period. The facade is decorated with the motives of shallow hanging arcades, characteristic of the architecture of the Romanesque period. Since there are no doubts that the arcades were built at the same time as the church itself, the whole building is considered of the Romanesque or early Romanesque period.

The former appearance of the church was considerably modified during the reconstruction period that lasted from the year 2000 until 2004. By restoring its original basilica-like appearance, the church became much more elegant and the original lighting of the central area through the windows of the main nave was restored. The spacious lopica (votive portico) is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, lopicas in Istria.

It seems that the church was not built by experienced architects, for what one can gather from the abundance of evidence. However, the wall paintings inside the church were produced by highly skilled painters that came to Istria from other places, not long after it was built. The church houses the greatest examples of Romanesque paintings in Croatia. Since St. Fosca is a very popular saint among the inhabitants of Istria, every first Sunday after the 13th of February (St. Fosca Day), believers from all over make pilgrimages to this church. Right after the mass and sundown, people traditionally share meals in the surrounding meadows, usually fried eggs with homemade sausages (fritaja).