St. Karpophorus Church
The most beautiful Romanesque bell tower in South Tyrol
Located in the Tarres district of Laces, this small, flat-roofed, aisleless Romanesque church dedicated to the little-known Roman martyr Karpophorus features one of the most beautiful divided Romanesque bell towers in Vinschgau valley – and the whole of Tyrol. Typical of the Vinschgau region, these church towers boast lesenes, blind arches and abat-sons that divide them from top to bottom in accordance with a very particular hierarchy. The sculpting of the towers themselves varies from the ornate to the modest. St. Karpophorus’ tower includes a walled pyramid and a choir with a groined vault.
Archaeological finds have shown that St. Karpophorus Church was erected on the site of at least two previous buildings. This sacred structure was awarded to the Teutonic Knights in around 1214 by Emperor Friedrich. A series of reconstructions in the Late Gothic era, in 1744 and in the early 20th century each influenced the appearance of the church – fortunately, the widely visible and highly symbolic church tower was spared.