Gračišće is a town of a very distinctive architecture
and exciting history. It is situated on a bluff above Čepičko polje (a field called Čepičko), a former lake, where there is
a wonderful panoramic view over the surrounding hills, Učka, Julian Alps and the Dolomites. It is located about 8 kilometers
east of Pazin, on the road Pazin-Kršan-Vozilići. Gračišće is surrounded by lush greenery and the rich architectural
and natural heritage. A kilometer away from the town, there is a hill called Perunčevac, which was named after the supreme
god of ancient Slavs, Perun. Between Gračišće and Pićan lies a protected landscape of 570 ha of size, with some unusual
geologic features, where the diversity of background, marl and limestone has led to an unusual phenomenon of detached relief,
where in the marls, stream valleys are formed, while more stronger limestone builds hills that dominate the landscape.
Because of preserved medieval urban structure and numerous historical monuments, the town is legally protected. The people
living in the town and the surrounding villages offer a distinctive gastronomic and enological experience, with traditional
dishes and wines from their region.
It is known that people resided
in Gračišće before the golden age of the Roman Empire. 2000 years ago ancient Gauls gave the name of Gallignana while
the Slavs, after their immigration to Istria in the 6th and 7th century, called it Gračišće. Its name is mentioned
for the first time in written documents in 1199. The town was once surrounded by defensive walls of which only the east tower
remained (from the fifteenth century). It is well known that in the 15th century peasant-noblemen with the Croatian surnames
still lived in Gračišće.
A large number of residential houses have carved dates from the 15th century, which testify
of the time of their construction. Four local churches are the properties of cultural monuments. For centuries, Gračišće
has been a favorite summer residence of the Bishop from Pićan, what is witnessed by the Bishop's Palace. At that time, the
"municipal Authority" was developed, headed by the Prefect, judges and old men-advisors.
Church Sv.Marija na Placu - built in 1425, the church is a worthy example of Gothic
architecture with influences of the northern style. The interior was painted in the 15th century, and there are Gothic frescoes,
wooden Romanesque crucifix from the early 13th century and Baroque facades
Church of Sv.Anton
bishop of Padua -former Chapel, built in 1381, and restored in 1486 with a baroque altar.
Church of Sv.Pankracije - built in the 15th century and recently restored.
church of Sv.Vid, Modesto and Kresencija- erected in the 17th century at the place of a much older church. It has three
naves and seven marble altars. One of the interesting things is the statue of Sv.Vid with a model in his hand which in perspective
shows the town during the 15th century. The bell-tower, 30 meters high, dates back to the 13th century. One shrine is dedicated
to Sv.Eufemija with a valuable Romanesque crucifix.
Palace of the Salamon family -
built in 1570, a beautiful example of Venetian Gothic style.
The route of Sv.Šimun
-11km long circular route, one of the oldest hiking trails. The starting descent leads to the ruins of the church of Sv.Šimun.
Along the route, the remains of an old mill can be seen, while crossing the old stone bridge travelers can reach the picturesque
waterfall Sopot and a small lake. Going further up the hill top, one comes across a church of Sv.Stjepan. The path continues
to the top of Mary Magdalene, where the namesake church from the 15th century is located as well as a lookout with a beautiful
The Bregi cave - the longest Istrian cave and one of the most interesting
caves even for the foreign speleological expeditions. Up to now, its length has been documented up to a total of 2045 m.
Kožljak- this former town-fortress was built in the Middle Ages on a hilltop citadel,
mentioned in the documents from the beginning of the 12th century by the Croatian name of Iosilach or Gosilach, at the time
when it became the feud of the patriarch of Aquileia.
Romanesque parish church of Sv.Hadrian
Church of St. Cross from the 18th century
Church of Sv. Juraj at the cemetery - built in 1590.
Traditional wine festival - Festival
of central Istrian vineyards
Maneštra festival – making of maneštra (soup
of fennel, asparagus and barley) and jota of sauerkraut
Harmonica festival – brings
to life the old story about organić – name given in and around Gračišće to the harmonica.
downhill Gračišće - Croatian race in downhill mountain bike, craziest Croatian (and other) cyclists downhill-skiers
who fearlessly run down the Sv.Šimun road with great speed