Tiny Beram is a little more than 5.6km (3 1/2 miles) west of Pazin. It’s a one-street town with a nice church, but that isn’t the church you’re looking for. You need to find “the keymaster,” who has the key to St. Mary’s, where the famous frescoes reside. As of summer, 2014, the holder was Mrs. Sonja Šestan (Beram 38; [tel] 052/622-903), but the townspeople will help you locate whomever it is. The tiny Gothic-style St. Mary’s is hidden away in the woods, 1.2km ( 3/4 mile) northeast of the village, about a 10-minute walk. Inside, the walls are covered with frescoes, stunning in their brightness and detail, depicting scenes from the New Testament created by Croatian artist Vincent de Kastav in the 15th century. The main attraction is the bizarre “Dance of the Dead,” showing a succession of skeletons carrying scythes as they lead the newly deceased into the netherworld. You will find explanations printed in English, though your guide will probably only speak Croatian. There is no entry charge to the church, but it is customary to offer the keymaster a gratuity for her time (you may also have to offer her a lift to the church and back).
- Frommer's Staff