The old church at Drev is built on a knoll amid an ancient landscape full of early remains. The church is the oldest preserved church in this province, dating from around 1170. There are traces of blocked-up doorways and windows in the walls. The men’s entrance was on the south side, the women’s on the north. the priest entered the chancel directly from the south.
The interior is richly decorated with paintings and carved wooden furnishings. The pews were built in 1669, the galleries in 1697 and the pulpit in 1702. The ceiling paintings by J.C. Zschotzsher from 1751 were paid for by the church’s patron, Benzelstierna, whose coat of arms can be seen on the choir ceiling. To the sides of the altar, the list of kings and the list of this diocese’s bishops respectively are painted.
The church was abandoned in 1868 when the new church was finished. It stood empty for 40 years before being restored to use.References:
The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.
The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.
The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.