"Berat, Kala, Kisha e Shën Mërisë, Onufri museum" Top 5 Page for this destination Berat Things to Do Tip by JLBG
Berat Things to Do: 74 reviews and 200 photos
Kisha e Shën Mërisë (Saint Mary church) was built in 1797 where was already a previous church. The famous icon painter Onufri painted several frescoes in Kisha e Shën Mërisë as well as in other chuches of Kala. The church is now a museum with a wide collection of Onufri works.
Photo 1 : the cloister of Kisha e Shën Mërisë. The entrance into the museum is on the left; There were several schools visiting the museum. In our May visits, we noticed that there were always groups of school and college that visit places of historical interest. That has to be “end of year” travels.
Photo 2 : the entrance into the museum is not the main entrance of the church, but a vaulted entrance under the cloister.
Photo 3 : on top of the entrance, an amazing fresco. There are 24 (!) saints, standing as a pyramid, bent over a coffin with a baby that has to be newborn Jesus. Or may be the saints are actually angels as some of them have wings showing. On top of the pyramid, a winged figure with an aureole (the holy spirit ?). On each side, a saint riding a horse, carrying a smaller figure. The left rider is surrounded by a crowned king and a winged goat. The right rider is piercing with its spear a fallen man with a smaller spear.
Underneath, a three lines text that uses unusual Greek fonts with the date “1850”! Then this strange fresco is not that old!
Onufri works are inside but photography is forbidden! Too bad! Fortunately, I visited the church in 1988 and took a photo (photo 4). It is not very sharp as it was very dark. Onufri painting are indeed very beautiful and worth the visit. In adjoining rooms, there are other paintings on display, from Onufri and followers. Outside the museum, postcards are for sale.
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