Parish Church of St. Blaise - Vodnjan
The construction of this three-nave basilica with a semicircular apse, presbytery, transept and a choir started in 1761 where once was an early Romanesque three-nave basilica destroyed in 1760.
The church was built according to the model of the Church of St. Peter in Castello. It was consecrated in 1808, but was not completely finished. Its size, 56,20 x 31,60 m and its 25-meter-high cupola make it the biggest parish church in Istria. In addition, it’s the church with the highest bell tower (62 m), similar to that of the basilica of St. Marco in Venice. The bell tower was built in 1815 according to the design of Antonio Porta from Trieste, and was finished only in 1882.
On the neo-Baroque facade of the church visitors are welcomed by five saints: Saint Blaise, Saint Peter and Saint Lawrence to the right, and St. Paul and St. Quirinius to the left. The statues, all of them in natural size except from the statue of Saint Blaise which is bigger, were constructed by brothers Andrea and Giovanni Trevisan, the sons of the self taught and widely known painter Venerius from Vodnjan-Dignano.
The interior of St. Blaise is a Baroque space divided by arched arcade on pillars, there are nine altars from 19th and 20th century with richly decorated incrustations, marble and oil paintings of saints of great artistic value.
The church inventory is extremely valuable, part of which is on display in the museum that belongs to the sacral complex, and is known for the collection of relics and Holy Bodies. The Vodnjan parish church keeps altogether 370 registered relics or earthly remains of 250 saints. The collection has 730 objects from the 5th – 19th centuries.