The Church of St. James

The interior of the Romanesque Church of St. James in Bačva hides superbly painted walls.


Bačva 1

Find on the map

Audio guide:

+ 385 (0)52 449 291

How to get there:

The village of Bačva is located three kilometres south of Višnjan, a town some ten km northeast from Poreč. The church of St. James is at the very entrance into the village.


The key is in the first house next to the church.

In the village of Bačva, south of Višnjan, stands the single-nave Church of St. James. Its picturesqueness with inscribed apse is emphasized by the Gothic tow bells gable. Built in the 12th century in the Romanesque style, the simplicity of this church is characterised by the 16th century frescoes embellishing its interior. Discovered and restored back in 1913, church wall frescoes show the Christological iconography, the Annunciation on the triumphal arch and the God the Father at the very peak of the apse. Some of them were made by famous painter Dominic from Udine, whose works can be seen in several Istrian churches and recognized by characteristic details such as ornamental patterns, the use of orange two-strand pattern as a bordure and marble imitation in lower parts of the composition. Its talent is most visible when portraying large figures, such as the image of God the Father with fluttering drapery or the figure of St. George in modern 16th century garment. A special place in his iconographic works takes the symbolic scene of Holy Sunday, which figures are close to the Italian High Renaissance. A female figure of Holy Sunday speaks about the respect for Sunday rest, the story fabricated by folk theology in the late Middle Ages by showing the tools which use was forbidden on a Sunday. Below today visible ones, there is an older layer of frescoes with ornamental scenes most probably created during the Romanesque period. Apart from St. Anthony Church, there were frescoes in the Parish Church of St. Mary Carmelite which have not been preserved. Remains of the plaster with scratched halos of the Mother of God with the baby were preserved in the crescent above the portal. The existence of quality Gothic mural paintings in the Church interior is witnessed by negligible fragments on the western and southern church wall.