RS st jakob kastelaz tramin
RS st jakob kastelaz tramin

St. James in Kastelaz Church

On the Kastelaz Hill above the wine village of Termeno hybrid creatures, half-human and half-animal, can be admired.

Bronze findings dating back to prehistoric times and Roman coins prove that a sunny hill near Termeno (Tramin), called Kastelaz Hill, has already been inhabited in ancient times. The St. James’s Church rises here, a real gem from an art-historical point of view. It houses a widely known and well preserved Romanesque fresco cycle, which is among the oldest ones in the German speaking area. The St. James in Kastelaz Church - sometimes mistakenly called St. Jacob’s Church due to the fact that the German “St. Jakob” is used for both St. James and St. Jacob - was first mentioned in 1214 AD, but presumably its origins date back to the 11th century.

Around 1220 the chapel, which dominates the landscape around Termeno, was decorated with a Romanesque fresco cycle showing imaginative hybrid creatures of man and animal, including creatures with dog heads, bird or fish parts and centaurs, mixed creatures of man and horse, from Greek mythology. They represent the opposite, so to speak the sin, to the series of frescoes above, showing the 12 Apostles and Christ in Majesty. In the side nave, however, there are colourful Gothic wall paintings realised by Ambrosius Gander in 1441.

The St. James in Kastelaz Church - “Kirche St. Jakob in Kastelaz” in German, “Chiesa di San Giacomo a Kastelaz” in Italian - participates at the annual “Day of the Romanesque” and is also one of the stunning places along the “Alpine Road of Romanesque Art - Stairway to Heaven” in South Tyrol and in the Swiss Canton of Grisons. And how to reach the chapel? It is accessible in a short walk, as it doesn’t offer any parking possibilities. Parking spaces can be found in the nearby village centre of Termeno. St. James in Kastelaz represents also the starting point of the Kastelaz Path, a panoramic trail which leads in a 2.5-hour walk to the village of Cortaccia.

Summer opening hours: from mid-March to mid-November 2019
daily from 10 am to 6 pm

Winter opening hours: from mid-November 2019 to mid-March 2020
Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm

Entrance fee:
2.00 Euros, guided tour for groups upon request

Further information:
phone: +39 0471 860131 / 860190 (guided tours)

Currently, access may still be subject to certain restrictions.

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