The Vinschgau is a region that offers its guests art treasures and culinary delights amidst beautiful scenery.
For art lovers, the Church St. Proculus in Naturns is a must-see. The history of the structure can be traced back to the seventh century. Its Romanesque and Gothic modifications cannot hide its venerable age.
The "star" of the church, however, can be found inside: the saint on the swing depicted as part of the interior's rich mural paintings. It has been a controversial topic among scholars.
As far as I know, the consensus is that the frescoes are pre-Carolingian and date from the eighth century. They are the oldest mural paintings in German-speaking Europe.
In recent times, the figure has most commonly been identified as Bishop Proculus of Verona, fleeing from his martyrdom.
However, it has also been suggested that the figure represent the Apostle Paul, fleeing from Damascus. A herd of cattle, also depicted on the wall, nevertheless points towards Proculus, the patron saint of animals.
Translation: Erik Eising (M.A.)