The Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle

Filial church of St. Valentin

The Filial church of St. Valentin - Villnöss

St. Valentin
I-39040 Villnöss (BZ)
+39 0472 840180

The Filial church of St. Valentin. This church was mentioned in 1303, maybe even earlier in 1090. The church town with its stone pyramid head comes from the Romanesque period (stone head from 13th Century). The one-nave church itself was given a dome in 1480 (previously it was flat) and a Gothic polygonal choir stool. As support for the asymmetric vaults, we can see triangular braces and 2 rectangular brace pillars on the facade outside. There is also an old, large and interesting offertory box with the date 1576 and a fresco of St. Christopher with a border and a garnet ornament from the 15th Century. The colours are still bright and the young saint is beautifully painted, with his eyes open wide, which reflect not only astonishment but also many questions. During the restoration of the church in 1975, large remains of a painting of St. George’s battle with the dragon could be found on the southern wall inside the longhouse. This painting dates back to the time before the endomement (1st half of 15th Century). According to Karl Gruber, it was painted by the master painter Hans von Bruneck, who also painted the chapel of the neighbouring village of Gufidaun. The most precious object in this chapel is the wing altar from around 1500. Everywhere, you can see typical late-Gothic forms, vivid movement, rich creeping plants, creased drapery and people being carried on donkey back. The shrine, which is straight at its upper side but slightly tilted to the front, shows three main figures on an ornate pedestal and underneath a canopy: Mary with child – lovely and with dignity, St. Valtin and St. Wolfgang, wonderful and indirectly acting figures. The child on Mary’s knee is not very original. The low predella wings and one of the three predella figures have been missing for quite some time. The predella niche was occupied for some time by a Baroque tabernacle but finally exchanged by St. Jakob. The half reliefs at the alter wings present some saints: in the upper row, we see Veronica(?), Helena, a crowned saint and Magdalena with a vase containing some oil; in the lower row, we see Florian in traditional costume, George, Mauritius and Martin with the beggar. The well-painted themes on the outside of the altar wings are taken from the legend of the church patron. We see St. Valentin in front of the Emperor Claudius, a very moving scene; further away, we see the saint in his room, the son of the orator Craton being healed; St. Valentin in prison, giving a blind girl her eyesight through his blessing – and, finally, his martyrdom is presented: being beaten with sticks. The pictures which are well restored, well painted, demonstrate beautiful colours and, of course, a wonderful background. In the top part of the altar, between braces, we can see a crucifixion scene, as well as two very well worked busts of Barbara and St. Catherine. - The wood carving was done by a master from Brixen. The painter of the pictures in the wing is one of Michael Pacher’s students.

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