Vodnjan through history
According to the legend, it developed out of the association of seven villas which were part of the colonial goods of Pula.
VODNJAN / DIGNANO was known as early as Roman times as as VICUS ATTINIANUM and listed in historical records in 932 at the
time of Pietro Candiniano, to whom the Istrian towns were giving amphorae of ''good wine'' in exchange of protection.
Inside the historic nucleus, the town preserved its characteristic Medieval look with atria and narrow streets, irregularly
winding among houses, with cobble roads and facades made of cobble stone, old streets still impressively recognizable by their
Gothic, Venetian Renaissance and Baroque style and many churches rich with memories and art. Among many, in the old town there
is St. Jacob Church or ''delle Trisiere'' that was designated as a parochial church as early as 1212, a church that witnessed
some important historical events such as the peace agreement with Pula in 1331 and the writing of the Statute of 1492.
The streets of VODNJAN / DIGNANO still strongly evoke the past: from the Gothic palace of the Bettica counts and
faces engraved in the stone facades, to decorations made of wrought iron on the wells and the wooden engraved doors of important
palaces and the elegant Church of St. Mary of Carmel (built in 1630).
The large People Square in the centre
of the town denotes the old place where a castle with towers was built probably in the 4th or the 5th century and torn down
in 1808. The square is surrounded by important buildings such as the City Hall in the neo-Gothic style, the Benussi house,
the Bembo house and the Bradamante palace with its decorated facade and an elegant triphora.
The square in front
of St. Blaž Cathedral, the municipal church built on remnants of an early Romanesque church that was torn down in 1781 is
another important and frequently visited square. The church was consecrated in 1800 and it maintains numerous artistically
and culturally valuable works, such as a custody in bas relief from 1451, wooden figures and paintings made from the 14th
to the 18th centuries, works by great masters like Paolo Veneziano, Jacopo Contarini, Jacobello del Fiore, Lazzaro Bastiani,
Gaetano Grezler, Avenerio Trevisano, Antonio della Zonca and others.
The sacred art collection is specialized
in numerous relics and the bodies of saints, Reliquaries from Murano, habits of the saints and valuable old books. There are
many frescos in other churches; St. Margaret Church (the 12th century), Our Lady Traversa Church (the 13th century),
St. Kirin Church (the 6th century) or St. Foška Church (the 8-9th century), that are destinations for today's
VODNJAN / DIGNANO is a little town situated in the south-west of Istria 11,7 kilometres from Pula, at an elevation of 135
metres. It is an area of ancient traditions developing on the remnants of the prehistoric forts which have existed in the
wider area since ancient times.
VODNJAN / DIGNANO managed to maintain its outstanding characteristics of a Medieval
urban and rural centre, so that today it resembles a man with a rich history. Its wide area with innumerable characteristic
kažuni or casite ( little stone houses) built in the technique of dry-stone walls denoting property stands as witness to
a millennium of its inhabitants being engaged in agriculture, especially olive-growing and wine-growing as the basis of their
own material prosperity. With its 3,678 inhabitants, VODNJAN / DIGNANO still has a large number of people descended from
the indigenous population called ''Bumbari'' with a thousand year old roots.
They have been passing
down their Istrian-Roman and Istrian Venetian dialects to generations, together with a rich local folklore, valuable multi-coloured
national costumes, hair accessories, hundreds of years old song and dance traditions and celebrations.
In other words,
VODNJAN / DIGNANO is a municipal and tourist centre with its bilingual culture and heterogeneous population. It includes
the towns of Galižana, Fažana, Peroj, Barbariga, Valbandon and Gajana with a total of 8,274 inhabitants mainly engaged in
industry, tourism, agriculture and trade.
VODNJAN / DIGNANO is famous for its exquisite wines and renowned olive
oil that have been produced for centuries. It is situated at the crossroads of the main roads Buje-Pula and Rijeka-Pazin-Pula,
regional road Vodnjan-Fažana and Vodnjan-Galižana and the railway line Divača-Pula.The town is expanding through the growth
of its surrounding suburbs without spoiling its small town character surmounted by the highest bell-tower in Istria.