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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.
After Pazin the trail takes us further to Lindar, a place that in the Middle Ages along with Gračišće and Pićan formed a large fortification that was supposed to defend Pazin from the enemy. Find out about a special cross visiting Gothic chapel of St.Catherine.
If we proceed to Salamunišće (Batluga), and then through the villages of Cere and Gržine, we arrive in the absolutely unique city of Savičenta. With its grandiose Morosini-Grimani citadel with towers, parish church, municipal loggia and a line of 16th century houses of the Renaissance and a town cistern- šterna in the middle, Savičenta really belongs to a range of the most attractive Venetian creations of that period effected in this region, and with held one of the rare witchcraft trials in Istria during 17th century. Famous for its various cultural and artistic events, such as Dance and Silent Theater Festival.
We move on towards Žminj, in the old times an important road junction, featuring the Calvary from 1720, once doubly fortified city of Žminj, today preserves a part of the ancient Citadel i.e., one of the former 4 round towers and one wing of the castle on the opposite of which there is a nicely decorated public cistern dating to 1863. Don't miss to visit the parish church of St.Michael built during 17-18 centuries on the spot of the former one dating from 12 century and the chapel of St. Trinity depicted by frescos. Take a short refreshing break here and then passing through Katun Lindarski and Lindar return to Pazin.
But, you can choose an alternative road from Savičenta to Žminj through Kanfanar. Kanfanar developed in 17th century by settlers of the surviving population from the nearby Dvigrad. Once there, do not miss visiting the famous stone pulpit placed on six pillars with 13th century low-set relief. In case you didn't know, when the railroad was built towards Pula during the Austro-Hungarian rule, Kanfanar got a railroad station with all the accompanying facilities considered ultra modern for those times, and by construction of an annex branch line for Rovinj in 19th century, it became the only rail junction in Istria. Nota bene: on the last Saturday of July you can discover discover 'Jakovlja' – the festivity of St.Jacob where a march-past of the autochtonuous Istrian ox – the famous boškarin, takes place.