St. Proculus Church

St. Prokulus' Church

A little church ‘sui generis’

The St. Prokulus' Church in Naturns/Naturno occupies a special position among all Romanesque churches in South Tyrol. This small church on the Roman Via Claudia Augusta was built between 630 - 650 AD. and is probably the oldest preserved building of the early Christian era in the Alpine region. The tower with coupled round arched windows and low, walled pointed dome in Romanesque style was only added around 1150.
St. Proculus Church
St. Proculus Church
"All that is, is light“
John Scotus Eriugena (815 - 877)
St. Prokulus' Church is also famous for its pre-Carolingian cycle of frescoes. These are some of the oldest preserved pre-Romanesque murals. The frescoes are so well preserved in part because they were hidden under a layer of Gothic paintings applied in the late Middle Ages until the 20th century.

Further archaeological excavations revealed the remains of a late antique house and an early medieval tomb. Burial objects, such as a Germanic short sword and other objects were discovered. Archive material and human bone finds also testify to the cemetery's use as a plague cemetery after an epidemic in the middle of the 17th century. After all, St. Proculus was located outside the village centre.

The Proculus Museum
In 2006, the ‘Prokulus Kulturverein’ association founded the Proculus Museum a few metres from the church. This architectural gem features a ground level entrance that leads down into the underground museum rooms. Along a route through the museum, the Gothic frescoes that were removed in the church to bring the older paintings back to light can be seen, among other things. By means of finds, pictures, maps, and cinematic techniques, four ‘space-time stations’ transport visitors back to the epochs of late antiquity, the early Middle Ages, the Gothic period and the 17th century.
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