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Panoramic view of the village
Panoramic view of the village
Hrastovlje is located in Slovenia
Location in Slovenia
Coordinates: 45°30′38.23″N 13°54′0.3″E / 45.5106194°N 13.900083°E / 45.5106194; 13.900083Coordinates: 45°30′38.23″N 13°54′0.3″E / 45.5106194°N 13.900083°E / 45.5106194; 13.900083
Traditional regionLittoral
Statistical regionCoastal–Karst
 • Total3.03 km2 (1.17 sq mi)
165.1 m (541.7 ft)
 • Total143

Hrastovlje (pronounced [xɾaˈstoːu̯ljɛ] (About this soundlisten); Italian: Cristoglie) is a village in the City Municipality of Koper in the Littoral region of Slovenia.[2]


Hrastovlje is also the location of the only major spring in Slovenian Istria, the karst spring of the Rižana River, which is itself the most important source of water supply for the Slovenian coastal area[3] and part of the habitat range of the marbled trout listed on the IUCN Red List.


Hrastovlje was attested in written sources in the 14th century as Cristoglan (and as Cristoviae in 1581, and Christoja in 1763–87). The name is derived from the plural demonym *Xrastovľane, referring to residents of a village named after oak trees (Slovene: hrast).[4]

Holy Trinity Church and fresco[edit]

Hrastovlje is best known for Holy Trinity Church, which contains a late-medieval Danse Macabre fresco. The church itself belongs to the Parish of Predloka.[5] It is a stone-built church, typical of the area, and stands on a small hill above the village inside a walled enclosure 8 m high. The church was built in the late Romanesque tradition before 1480. The encampment wall, built in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, is an irregular rectangle with cylindrical towers in exposed corners.

The frescos inside the church date to 1490 and are some of the best preserved in Slovenia. They were plastered over and whitewashed, and were only rediscovered in 1949 and were carefully restored. The most famous is the 7 m sequence known as the Dance of Death on the south wall of the nave, representing people of all walks of life from kings and popes to beggars and babies being led by skeletons towards Death itself. Scenes from the Book of Genesis also decorate the nave, images of the Apostles are painted in niches in the apse, with other saints and prophets as well as a Passion series and the journey and adoration of the Magi.[6]


  1. ^ Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia
  2. ^ Koper municipal site Archived 2009-03-08 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ The Rižana River: Environmental flow assessment (Assessment and Provision of Environmental Flows in Mediterranean Watercourses). By Nataša Smolar-Žvanut & D. Vrhovšek. Study made for IUCN. 2004.
  4. ^ Snoj, Marko. 2009. Etimološki slovar slovenskih zemljepisnih imen. Ljubljana: Modrijan and Založba ZRC, p. 163.
  5. ^ Roman Catholic Diocese of Koper List of Churches May 2008 Archived 2009-03-06 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Slovenian Tourist Board site

External links[edit]