A journey through the centuries

Set out for discovery of the hundred-year-old tradition of peoples and civilisations which left their marks in every little part of Istria. In a leisurely walk around Istria, apart from travelling through space, you will also be travelling through time and familiarise yourselves with the history of Istria and a rich cultural heritage!

  • Historical heritage
  • Cultural heritage
  • The Petrapilosa castle
  • Buzet
  • Hum
  • Roč
  • Kotli
  • Sovinjak
  • Vrh
  • The Path of the Giants
  • Istrian medieval small towns
  • ''Subotina po starinski'' day

As an oasis of the rich historical and cultural heritage, Istria tells the story of the peoples who have dwelt in this area since ancient times. It is for you to just listen to it, as you will love the experience which Istria and Buzet offer you!

Istria is a region of history, culture, but also of legends. An old legend says that, once upon a time, before people inhabited Istria, giants lived in the Mirna River Valley. The main giant was Dragonja, who ploughed a furrow from the Mount Ćićarije towards the sea, through which water started flowing – the giant named it the Mirna River. He made another furrow and named the river which flowed there after himself, Dragonja. The other giants occupied each his own hill and, passing heavy stones to each other, built their little towns on the hills. After having built all the towns, there were a few small stones left over, so they decided to build another town. This is how the smallest town in the world was created – Hum. You can learn the legend about the small towns built by the giants by following the Trail of Seven Istrian Giants.

Start from Buzet, a medieval town on a small hill, from where a unique view spreads of the Mirna River. Slightly leaning southwards, the old town of Buzet has two town gates, Vela (large) and Mala (small), four squares, connected by three main streets – the square on which the Parish church is situated is carved in natural stone. Buzet, the town of truffles, is an ideal place for tasting of this unique fruit of the Istrian earth.

Continue further along the Path of the Giants and you will reach the Petrapilosa castle. On a cliff above the Bračana River canyon, legends and intriguing folk tales have been spun for centuries around this imposing fort. In the middle ages, the Petrapilosa caste served to keep watch over the Mirna River and Central Istria.

The giants’ steps will take you to Sovinjak, where, under the hundred-year-old chestnut tree, strikes the old sundial clock. Many call the Sovinjak area a holy land as, due to the mixing of the mountain and sea air, many noble cultures grow well: olive trees, vines and figs. The Sovinjak inhabitants are also proud of the oldest bauxite mine in the world – Minjera.

Climb to the Istrian viewpoint – Vrh, a small place situated at an altitude of 397 metres above sea level, from whose church bell tower spread delightful panoramic views of Istria. Another small town built at the foot of the Mount Ćićarije is Roč, which, during the 15th and 16th centuries, was the centre of Croatian literacy.

Each rich in history and tradition, fairytale Istrian small places exude a certain uniqueness. One of them is also Kotle, through which the Mirna River flows which, spilling from one “cauldron” to another, creates waterfalls worthy of admiration.

The giants arranged the remaining stones on yet another hill and built Hum, well known as the smallest town in the world, but also as a town of pomice, mistletoe and herb brandy “biska”. You will tour it in 5 minutes, but Hum will leave you with an experience which you will remember for much longer.

When you visit all the towns built by the giants, come back to Buzet, an old town on a conic hill which, once a year, in a time machine, returns to the ancient Pinguentum. On ”Subotina po starinski” day, the whole town enjoys the folk festival which used to be celebrated around the Nativity of Mary religious holiday in the Buzet area, around 100 years ago. During these September festivities, there is an opportunity to visit the old forge, the old pharmacy, potters, weavers and many other old crafts.

Visiting of and familiarising with the Istrian medieval small towns, their history and tradition of the locals, offers a special pleasure. Let yourselves go and head for the Path of the Seven Istrian Giants; each one of them will tell you his own story – the story of life!

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