St. Jakob Church

St. Jakob's Church

The Romanesque castle chapel of Termeno/Tramin

St. Jakob's Church in Kastelaz towers on a hilltop above the famous wine-growing village of Termeno/Tramin and can be easily reached from the village centre as part of a short, beautiful hike.

The chapel was first mentioned in 1214, in connection with the construction of the castle. Today, the castle has long since disappeared, but the little Romanesque church has been preserved. Originally the aisleless church consisted of a rectangular nave and a round arch apse. It was not until the 15th century, however, that the building took its present form.
St. Jakob Church
St. Jakob Church
"Heaven is light and hell is heavy, this is how we imagine paradise above and damnation below."
John Scotus Eriugena (815 - 877)
The frescoes date from the Gründerzeit period around 1215.The “Bestiarium," the representation of demonic powers and mythical creatures in the base area, is quite famous. Christ with the four symbols of the evangelists, surrounded by the twelve apostles arranged in pairs, is in the middle of the apse. On the left and on the right, an atlas supports the sky and in between hermaphrodites, half human, half animal; and above them are Cain and Abel, who offer their sacrifices.

St. Jakob's Church in Kastelaz is open daily from spring to autumn; guided tours for groups are available on request or as part of the weekly village tour.

The Bestiary
The special feature of the Romanesque frescoes in St. Jakob's Church in Kastelaz is the imaginatively detailed bestiary, the representation of demonic powers and dangerous mythical creatures of the ancient mythology, which are pictured at the pedestal. They too reach up to the apostles and thus illustrate the break, but also the transcendence between the holy and the demons. It is about a representation of the cosmos, the divine above, the unholy below. The hybrids thus symbolise the antithesis of the divine order.
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