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The magic of Central Istria

 

The image of Motovun emerging from the fog has become a trademark of the inner land of Istria. From the ancient city walls, there is a beautiful view of the fertile valley of the river Mirna, gentle hills planted with vineyards and the mysterious Motovun forest. The city of the film festival and Veli Jože reveals its rich and interesting history to you every step of the way through its narrow streets and squares. At the foot of the town is the station of the former narrow-gauge railway, Parenzana. 

Through a tunnel that many visitors to the city do not even know exists, you can cycle along the restored route of Parenzana towards Rakotule. In this place, which is mentioned in the 13th century, look for the church of St. Nikola, in whose frescoes one of the first Croatian graffiti is engraved in Glagolitic with a depiction of a generous saint. 

You can continue further to the nearby town of Karojba, from where the path of the Istrian divide leads you to the place wherein the 14th century a historical document of the same name was written in Glagolitic in the Croatian language. You can continue by bike towards Pazin before which, you stop in ancient Beram. Visit the church of St. Marija on Škriljineh, decorated with valuable frescoes by the medieval master Vincent from Kastav. Certainly, the most famous and most impressive fresco is the “Dance of the Dead”, which equates both kings and peasants in death. 

Finally, you come to Pazin, located above the impressive abyss of the stream Pazinčica and Pazin Cave. It is a city of rich heritage, as evidenced by the unique museum located in Kastel, the best-preserved fortress in Istria. It was from here, according to the story of Jules Verne, that his hero Mathias Sandorf escaped his jailers. You can end the perfect day in an Istrian tavern enjoying the flavours of local specialities, prosciutto, fuži, truffles and fine wines.