Welcome to another trail enabling you to discover some magnificent hidden medieval small towns made of stone... Pazin – a true heart of Istria! First written records referring to the city as Castrum Pisinum appeared in 983 and presently, Pazin is known as a commercial, cultural and educational center of entire central Istria. Unique for its spectacular position above the carst abyssal cave, Pazin holds the medieval Pazin Castle – Kaštel (today, the Ethnographic Museum of Istria and the Municipal Museum are both in the castle) located on the verge of a 130 meters deep abyss. And that's why Jules Verne had been so thrilled by this sight so that he placed a part of the plot of his novel 'Mathias Sandorf,' written in 1885, right in this setting. Also, visit parish church of St. Nicholas with its magnificent, precious frescos and ribbed gothic vault with many colorful coats of arms of old noble families.
Soon we arrive to Cerovlje, where you shouldn't miss the late-Ghotic chapel of the Holy Trinity dating to 15th century, decorated by some interesting frescos, and the 19th century parish church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Continue further through Paz and Boljunsko polje to Šušnjevica and then, through Vozilići, you arrive in Kršan. Feudal land property, having obtained its name for the rockiness of the spot and at the same time, was erected on the foundations of an ancient early medieval burg, and formed part of an independent squire's estate within the County of Pazin. Since 14th century, under the Austrian power and then, until 19th century, under the power of various families, Kršan has survived as one of the most preserved citadels in Istria encompassing almost the entire town. Right here, amongst high walls of the Kršan Castle, dominated by a square tower decorated by human figures and the nearby 17th century parish church of St. Anthony the Abbot, one of the most prominent medieval documents was found in 1850 – the distinguished Istarski razvod. Written in the Glagolithic alphabet and then in Latin and German lettering, this text has shed light on a specific chapter of the Istrian Middle Ages since it had clearly determined territorial boundaries! Finally, we set off through Potpićan, Tupljak and the village of Zajci to reach Gračišće.
Being an absolute pearl of the Istrian hinterland, the entrance into Gračišće can be really enchanting: a magnificent Salomon Mansion made in the combination of gothic and renaissance styles, it makes you think for a moment as if you were lost in some distant corner of Venice. Apart from this mansion, do not overlook St. Mary' s chapel on the main square containing some valuable 15th century frescos and the former bishop's chapel of St.Anthony from Padua. Also, visit 17th century St.Vitus, St.Modest and St.Kresencije's parish church, latter offering you a splendid landscape view.
For all of you who decide to ride across an alternative path, after leaving Cerovlje, you should proceed to Gologorica, ride through the Gologorica little valley and the village of Zajci so as to arrive in Gračišće. Here is a piece of advice for you - do not pass through Gologorica without taking a break! A place once inhabited by the Celts and then by the Romans (they named it Mons Nudus, meaning a bare and treeless hillock), it is a really peculiar spot: the town gate, St. Peter's and St.Paul's parish church and a beautiful mansion with a loggia of the former rulers of Gologorica from De Franceschi family.