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Between Mirna river and Lim fjord, facing the blue sea, loved by the Mediterranean sun, kissed by the four winds, surrounded by all shades of green, lies the old town of Višnjan - a perfect picture of Mediterranean charm. At the very entrance to Višnjan, today as centuries ago, the strong pines, ancient oaks and rich chestnuts welcome us as a reminder of the true ruler of Višnjan - its nature. The nature has always been a princess and sustainer of local people, on its red soil vines and olive trees are carefully cultivated, green fields feed the rare and powerful autochthonous cattle - Boškarin, forests are rich in wildlife and forest fruits, while its deep pride many mysterious abyss and pits with underground sculptures and truly fascinating animal world. The town and surroundings are unavoidable from the cultural and historical point of view. Several prehistoric settlements were found here while a walk through the old town shows the impressive architecture of bygone times. The bell tower located on top of a hill, underneath the tower, dominates the entire region, on the lovely square there is a beautiful loggia from the 17th century and the church of St.Kvirik and Julita. In front of the church, there is an old cistern with a well that overlooks the famous Sinčić palace, and then a stone arch with the Venetian lion. In the immediate vicinity, there is the church of St. Anthony the Hermit, with interesting frescoes and graffiti from the 14th century (some of them Glagolitic). The view from the hill of the old town stretches across the green fields and lush vineyards to the sea coast where Poreč, Tar and other cities can be seen...
Višnjan is world known for its astronomical achievements. In fact, in Višnjan, there is the famous observatory, which is one of the ten most productive observatories of the world of all times while it is the first in Europe by the number of discovered asteroids. With this new kind of attractiveness, the astro-tourism, Višnjan region is widely known by the number and quality of agro-tourist farms. The local residents, known for their diligence and conformity to the rhythm of nature, opened the doors of their homes and hospitably offered to visitors real customs and pleasures of the Istrian man, sharing with them the distinctive taste, flavors, and the true beauty of life.
The Višnjan area, due to its geographical and climatic attractiveness, was inhabited in prehistoric times. Among the most famous localities, highlight can certainly be placed on Montenes (in Celtic ‘beautiful hill’). In the village Strpačići, findings from the Bronze Age were found. The name Višnjan probably derives from the Latin word Vicinianus meaning close(near) because in the past Višnjan was the closest possession of Poreč. The area rises during the Roman Empire when the road Via Flavia was built, whose access roads intersected the whole territory. In that time, village Dijan was established in which, in 9th century, the Benedictine Monastery of St Michael was founded on the remains of one of many ancient villas. After the fall of Rome, Ostrogothic time followed, and from the 539 until 751 the Byzantines ruled this territory, after which came Lombards, who followed and lead the peninsula to the rank of the Duchy. In 771, Charlemagne, after defeating the Lombards, partitioned the country into fiefdoms. Already in the early Middle Ages, Višnjan was surrounded by walls with two city gates and a defense tower. Following the submission of Motovun, to whose jurisdiction Višnjan’s wider area belonged, the whole area came under the rule of the Venetian Republic and shared the fate of other Istrian cities. After the fall of the Serenissima, there was a short French rule, when Višnjan was separated from Motovun and together with Bačva added to Vižinada as part of the Illyrian province, and again returned to Austria from 1813 until 1918. The economic boom began after construction of railway Perenzana, connecting Trieste and Poreč, used by the local inhabitants to send local products, mostly wine and ham, to major cities for sale. During Austrian government, the town and surrounding villages as well as others in that period, experienced cultural and economic renaissance. After Austria, Istria was under the rule of Italy, when even Višnjan passed through difficult times. And after a few decades, the city was freed and merged with the mother country and finally became an integral part of Croatia.
St. Anthony Abbot Church - from the 13th century, the entrance to the old town, with frescoes and Glagolitic inscriptions
Church of All Saints, St. Mary Magdalene - the 16th century; in the cemetery
Church of St.Kvirik and Julita - from the 19th century; on the site of an older church, with paintings of Venetian masters from the 17th century
The City Arc - from the 18th century with the Venetian lion from the 17th century
Municipal loggia - from the 17th century, the old square Belfry - from 18th century,
Venetian style Baroque municipal building - from the 17th century, the old square Tićan,
Observatory building - the first example of cyber romance
Castle Montenes - Prehistoric site
Cave Baredine- natural geomorphologic monument, beautiful hall decorated with stalagmites, stalactites and underground lakes
Labour day,Pineta - traditional folk festival, 01.05.
Open day zvjezdarnice (Tičan) - program , 16:00 -21:00 h;
Messierov maraton (Tičan) - Copetition, 6./7. 04. (20:00 h)
The World Astronomy Day, the square - the public perception of the Moon, 20.04.
ASTROFEST, traditional meeting for astronomy lovers -festival 21.06.-22.06.
Mandalenjina - folk festival, sports competitions and entertainment, 25.07.-26.07.
St.Lovro night - the public perception of Perseids, 12.08.-13.08.
Get to Croatia by flying to Venice. Venezia Lines departs daily from Venice to all major resorts in Istria. Day trip tickets available to Venice, to make your Istrian holiday even more memorable.
Istra Inspirit is a series of events that revive history, Istrian myths and legends at authentic locations. Take an opportunity to experience extraordinary magical adventures possible only in Istria!
Ready to feel some adrenaline? Try something fun and new – visit the best adventure park in Istria – Glavani Park. All those who are brave enough, (or feel like they want to be brave ), regardless of their age, will enjoy themselves swinging about amongst the trees.
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