When someone mentions of Beram, Nostalgia of my good times there grips me. It is one of the oldest towns in Istria, located in Europe. As a matter of fact, various explorations can attest to the facts that the town had inhabitants during the Iron Age. Which begs the question; how old is the town and how is it’s overall quality of health? The first settlements are recorded on the Bream hill-fort; where there was a hill which was surrounded by a wall; resulting from terrain configurations. It was here too that Roman forts and castles were later erected. This later came to be a place of travel attraction; as the ancient architecture was later preserved till today.
It was while we had gone to Zagreb for a culture expo. When my classmates and I decided to travel to Beram. We visited the town just a day after the expo had ended. Since we had only that day before the long travel back to our country, Italy. However, it was crucial that we make the most of the visit. We were at Beram mid in the morning.
Our first place to travel was the parochial church of St. Martin. Nonetheless, we had to hike from Podberam. Where we alighted the travel bus, to Beram. It is a short walk giving you the pleasure to enjoy the beauty of the place. However, we hadn’t made any prior arrangement for our travel. We had to wait for about an hour before clearance. We hadn’t known that one is required to do so. After the clearance we ventured to sight-see the magnificent church; which bears evidence about ancient Glagolithic literacy. It depicts how ancient scholars from Istria came to learn with the Glagolithic priests. There are various testimonies present in the church’s sanctuary. There wasn’t much to see there though.
Travel to the St. Mary of the Rocks Church
It was time to head to the church of St. Mary of the Rocks. We had already made prior arrangements; hence we didn’t have problems there. From the church of St. Martin, we climbed the bell tower. Then spent some time there sight-see the beautiful stretch of Beram.
We then decided to travel through the city sight-seeing. The locals were hospitable and helpful. We had lunch in the town and a few drinks of the local wine; before we continued with our journey. We hiked from Beram to a small settlement called Skriljine; where the church of St. Mary is located.
The church of St. Mary of the Rocks also called the Sanctuary of St. Mary of Beram. Or the Blessed Virgin of the Rocks; that was the best place that we adventured that day. What really caught my eyes was the manner. In which history had been preserved in this small place down several generations. The place was well maintained and looked nicely. Especially for those, like us, who like to travel here. Inside is the church; which was built within a cemetery.
The name of the church ‘rocks’ emanates from the strong stratifications in the rocks; which used to build it. Inside the walls are painted with frescoes. Which were the painting of Vincent of Kastav. These lovely painting are the major travel tourist attraction in the church.
Dance of the Death
The architecture of the church, when we decided to travel here; is the most awesome piece of attraction too. It is designed in a way to protect the frescoes. Also, the church from wear and tear. The various painting depict the early life of Christians; the life of Mary and Christ, the last Supper, the entrance of Jesus in Jerusalem, the birth of Christ, as well as the Passion of Christ. Along with beautiful paintings of various Saints.
The interesting paintings, however, are the frescoes; which depicts the ‘Dance of Death’. These sections depict how each individual is hopeless on the verge of death. There are various paintings of kings, queens, high priest etc. They show that everybody will one day perish.
It was great experience to travel all over this place. We had good time there. There were many visitors that love to travel that day at the site. This explains how popular this little church is for the tourism sector in Istria. By evening, we took a travel bus to Pazin. From there we headed back to Zagreb; to prepare for our flight and travel back the following day.