You need to know that in Istria Croatia the sights are varied and interesting. There is a clean environment, mild climate, and breathtaking views. The list of the most remarkable places in the region includes natural, cultural, and historical monuments.
Top 6 Istria Croatia Sights
The list of famous places of the Istrian peninsula includes historical cities, natural attractions, and architectural structures constructed in different centuries.
Istria Croatia sights: Hum
This is the famous record holder in the Guinness Book of Records, officially recognized as the smallest town on the planet. Hum is a historical place that is worth visiting for lovers of walks in ancient cities with beautifully preserved architecture.
The castle town of Hum is located near Buzet in the northern part of the Istrian peninsula. This is a popular destination among tourists from around the world. The entire territory of the peninsula is a national monument, so it is better to explore it on foot.
Hum is located on top of a mountain, 349 meters high. Local legend says that the city was built by giants from large stones near the Mirna River. In the 11th century, Hum got its modern shape. Since then, little has changed in its architecture.
Sights of Hum
- Chapel of St. Jerome, created in a unique Romanesque style in the 12th century. The architect was Antonio from Padua. The temple is decorated with frescoes, graffiti, and inscriptions of the Byzantine era.
- The Church of the Ascension of Mary, built in 1802.
- Clock Tower built in 1552.
- City Museum with a collection of inscriptions on the Glagolitic alphabet.
- City walls, within which there are two small streets.
- City gate built in 1562. In the 20th century, they were updated by metalworkers.
According to the data for 2019, 72 people live in the city. The infrastructure is conventionally developed; there is a konoba, a shop, a cemetery, and a restaurant.
It is also called the Lim fjord. It is a unique geographical object that was formed during the ice age. “Limes” in Latin means “limit” or “border”. The bay and the valley in this area have this name. It is the only fjord in the Mediterranean.
The reservoir belongs to the Adriatic Sea. The bay is part of the Lim gorge, which stretches from the coast and almost to the center of the peninsula. Steep mountains rise up to both sides of it, with a height of up to 100 m.
Gulf of Lima is located in the western part of Istria, near Vrsar. The channel is long and narrow, stretching for several kilometers. The seafood farms breed mussels, oysters, as well as sea bass and crucian carp. You can taste the delicacies right there – there are numerous restaurants on the shore.
Within the fjord, there are beautiful landscapes and breathtaking sunsets. Leafy forests occupy the territory in the southern part of the canal, and coniferous forests are in the northern part. Numerous viewing platforms with panoramic views have been erected along the perimeter of the bay.
The Limsky Canal is a natural hydro-morphological phenomenon that sticks strongly into the land and is located at an altitude of 150 m above sea level. The bay was formed due to erosion of rocks by the Pazinchitsa River, which has now turned into a stream.
Features of the Limsky channel
- The fjord is 45 km from Pula, 9 km from Rovinj and 252 km from the Croatian capital Zagreb.
- It got its name “Limsky” from the Romans; the gorge was the natural border of the two provinces of the Roman Empire – Italy and Dalmatia.
- The channel is part of the Lim gorge 35 km long.
- The total length of the bay is 12 km, the maximum width is 600 m, and the maximum depth is 30 m.
- The water in the canal is slightly salted due to many fresh sources that feed it.
- In 1980, the Lim fjord was declared a conservation area. Therefore, fishing, diving, motor boats, and jet skis are prohibited on the territory of the reservoir.
- In the southern part of the bay at an altitude there is the Cave of Romuald – the hermit Saint Romuald lived here. Since the 11th century, church services have been held in the cell.
- Within the fjord there is a local attraction – the karst cave of Baredine which is 66 m deep. It can be accessed only as part of an organized tour with a guide.
- In 1958, the bay was a movie set for the “Vikings” movie.
Colonies of birds and animals live within the fjord: owls, vultures, hawks, deer, badgers, foxes, and wild boars. You can visit the Limsky Bay on your own and with excursions. Some bay caves can only be reached by sea on a ship. Vessels on a canal cruise depart from the docks from Porec and Rovinj.
This is a famous archipelago located to the west of Istria – in the northern part of the Adriatic Sea. Brijuni is a famous landmark of natural origin with clean beaches and numerous exotic plants.
In total, it consists of reefs and 14 islands, with a total area of 37 square meters. The largest islands of the archipelago are:
- Veli Brijun – 5.7 km²;
- Mali Brijun – 1.7 km²;
- Vanga (Krasnica) – 0.18 km²;and
- Gaz, Galija, Vrsar, Supinić, Okrugljak, C-Jerome, Grunj, Supin Pusti (Madona), Kozada (Krasnica), and C-Mark.
The islands are located on deposits of limestone, red earth, and brown porous stone. The rocks are white, similar to marble with silicon and clay. Numerous structures on the islands were built from this material.
Brioni is separated from the mainland by the Fažana Strait. The nearest town and local administrative center is Pula, 6 km away. Scientists claim that as early as 10 thousand years ago, the archipelago was part of the peninsula.
Features of Brijuni
- The totality of several islands were recognized as an archipelago and a national park in 1983.
- The first human settlements in this area date back to 3000 BC – the Bronze Age.
- There are unforgettable landscapes, diverse flora and fauna in the natural historical park, as well as a fancy coastline, 38 km long.
- The Briuna Islands are not hilly; the plains are covered with vegetation native to the subtropics. Olive trees, laurels, oaks, rosemary, cedars, and oleander grow here.
Sea urchins live in the water, which indicates clear water.
There are many historical monuments left on the territory of the island:
- Church of St. Herman of the 15th century;
- Roman palace of the 1st – 2nd centuries AD;
- Temple of Venus;
- Roman prison;
- Basilica of St. Mary of the 5-6th centuries;
- Monument to Robert Koch; and
- Byzantine castrum.
Until the 19th century, numerous quarries were built on the islands. The first tourists started to come to the islands in 1896, the flow of travelers began to grow in 1903.
Legend of the origin of the Briuna archipelago
The local legend is associated with the origin of the archipelago. Once upon a time, God decided to create a Garden of Eden on earth, so that every person could see this beauty and know the happiness contemplating it. Thus, according to the traditions, Istria appeared.
However, the evil devil was not happy with such a development of events and decided to destroy the created beauty. He took away a canvas bag from an angel, tore it open, and inside there were stones that had not been used to create the Paradise.
In a few seconds, thousands of sharp rocks scattered across the land of the peninsula and turned the Paradise into a land of contrasts. It was exquisite and rough at the same time, fertile and deserted, sunny and cloudy.
After this, the sad angels collected particles of Paradise, which were preserved in the lands of Istria and hid them among the sea waves from evil eyes. According to legend, this was how the famous Brijun islands appeared.
Istria Croatia sights: Glagolitic Alley
The monument that was created to perpetuate the Slavic alphabet continues the list of Istria Croatia sights. Glagolitic Alley is located in the center of the Istrian Peninsula. It is located along the road connecting the city of Hum and the village of Roch. The length of the alley is 6 km, on both sides there are sculptures on the Glagolitic alphabet in the form of letters.
Glagolitic Avenue is a famous tourist attraction, created in honor of the oldest Slavic alphabet. The monument was erected on the initiative expressed in 1976 at the Čakavski sabor. The ideology was developed by Professor Josip Bratulich and the writer Rank Chrnya. The sculptor Zhelimir Yanesh work to embody it in stone from 1977 to 1983.
In total, there are 11 monuments that remind of the main stages in the development of ancient Slavic writing.
No. 1. Column of the Chakava National Assembly
The first sculpture is a stone column, 2 m high, created in the shape of the letter C from the Glagolitic alphabet. In ancient Slavic language it means “Word”, and in the context – “mind” and “reason”.
No. 2. Table of Cyril and Methodius
This is a sculpture in the form of a three-legged table with words STOL KONSTANTINA KIRILA I METODIJA carved on the glagolitic. First, there were two cypress trees next to the sculpture, which symbolized the saints.
No. 3. Chair of Clement of Ohrid
The sculpture is presented in the form of a stone group under a huge oak. This is an armchair with numerous stone blocks around it. The stones are designed for students to sit on. These are the symbols of the first Slavic university.
Clement of Ohrid was a pupil of Cyril and Methodius. He founded the first Slavic university in Macedonia near Lake Ohrid.
No. 4. Lapidarium of the Glagolitic
This is a stone wall with numerous inscriptions on the Glagolitic, which was taken from old letters found in different parts of the former Yugoslavia. The attraction includes copies of the exhibits that are stored in the lapidary in front of the church of the village of Bronobichi.
No. 5. Croatian Lutsidar – Istria Croatia sights
The attraction is dedicated to the medieval Croatian encyclopedia Lutsidar. The monument is a mountain, at the peak of which there is a stone symbolizing a cloud. Mount Uchka became its prototype; for the authors of the encyclopedia, the hill was a kind of Olympus.
No. 6. Monument of Grgur Ninsky
This is a monument in the form of a book with a carved alphabet in Latin, Glagolitic, and Cyrillic. The attraction calls to recall the Croatian bishop Grgur, who lived here in the 10th century.
No. 7. Rise of the Istrian Code of Laws
This is a stone gate created in the shape of the letter L from the Glagolitic alphabet. From this place, visitors to the monument can look at the road with numerous sculptures that form the inscription ISTARSKI RAZVOD. This is the name of the Istrian code of laws, which was adopted in 1275.
No. 8. Wall of Croatian Protestants
This is a construction with a deepening in the form of a C symbol from the Glagolitic. It is presented in the form of an hourglass with the names of Croatian Protestants. There are disks with quotes from Protestant books on the walls.
No. 9. Yuri Jacques Halt
There is a stone block, which symbolizes the Missale’s mass-book, written in Glagolitic in 1483. It bears an inscription – a reminder of Yuri Jakon about the first printed Croatian book. Around the stone block, there are 7 stone letters that form the name of the deacon.
No. 10. The Monument of Resistance and Freedom
The sculpture is placed in front of the entrance to the city of Hum – at the end of the alley. The monument includes 3 stone cubes, which symbolize various historical eras: modernity, the Middle Ages, and antiquity.
Each block has an inscription that refers to a certain period of time: for the Middle Ages it is written in the Glagolitic alphabet, for antiquity – in the Latin alphabet. Block – modernity displays the song of the national Istrian revival.
Together, the cubes represent the centuries-old struggle against destruction and violence in the name of freedom and peace.
No. 11. City gate of Huma
This is the entrance to the smallest city in the world. The gates are lined with copper and decorated with 12 medallions that symbolize the months of the year. Each of them has different types of homework and field work.
On the gate, there are inscriptions welcoming guests who came to the city with good intentions and at the same time threaten those who arrived with malicious intent.
Ancient Roman Amphitheater in Pula
The famous building built in the 1st century AD continues the list of Istria Croatia sights. The ancient Roman amphitheater was a gigantic structure. It accommodated up to 23 thousand spectators.
The Colosseum in Pula was built by decree of Emperor Vespasian. The height of the external walls of the structure is 29 m, the length is 130 m, the width is 100 m. The amphitheater includes 4 towers.
Basic facts about the Ancient Roman Amphitheater of Pula
- The amphitheater was one of the six largest coliseums of the vast Roman Empire. The construction is well preserved to this day. Today, large parades, events, concerts of live music are held here.
- Limestone was used to build the walls. On the first two floors, there are rows with 72 arches, on the top floor there are 64 rectangular openings. The arena was separated from the stands by iron bars. Under the arena, there were various underground passages connecting the cells with the scene.
- Under Emperor Augustus, in 2-14 A.D., the amphitheater was wooden, and when Claudius came to power, the walls of the building were rebuilt and made of stone.
- In 79 A.D., the arena was enlarged to make it easier to host gladiatorial fights.
- In the 5th century, Emperor Honorius forbids gladiator fights, and from that moment interest in the amphitheater fades.
- Locals begin to destroy and rob the coliseum. Vandalism lasted until the 13th century, when the patriarch of Aquileia issued a decree on the untouchability of the amphitheater.
- In the Middle Age, livestock were grazed on the coliseum arena, knight tournaments and fairs were held.
- In 1697, Leo Tolstoy visited Pula and the Ancient Roman Amphitheater. This is evidenced in his diary.
- At the beginning of the 19th century, the arena was reconstructed, and in 1932 the coliseum was converted for public events. After that, the number of seats was 5,000 spectators.
In ancient centuries, the main form of entertainment that was held at the coliseum was gladiatorial battles and harassment of wild animals. Occasionally, a large velarium sail was installed over the amphitheate, which protected visitors from rain and sun.
Groznjan – Istria Croatia sights
It is one of the famous ancient cities on the peninsula. The village is located at an altitude of 260 meters above sea level in the western part of Istria. The area around the town is a rich deposit of light marble, the origin of which began in the Cretaceous period.
The population is small, about 1,000 people live in Groznjan. The village is part of a chain of small cities that tourists who are heading towards Hum or Motovun like to visit.
Groznjan is on the top of the hill, so this gives it a very spectacular look. But despite the apparent massiveness of the town it is easy to get around it in 15 minutes.
Groznjan is popular with artists and musicians who come here to study and work. In numerous town houses, there are improvised galleries where you can buy souvenirs. Goods made of Venetian glass, dishes, dolls, figurines and paintings are particularly popular.
Sights of Groznjan
- Church of Sts. Damian and Cosmas;
- The parish church of St. Vida, Modesta and Baptism.
Cultural life in the town is in peak in late August. At the end of summer, the Ex Tempore art festival is held here – it means “Out of Time”. In July, there is a three-week jazz festival.
In Istria Croatia the sights are distinguished by their identity, saturated with centuries-old history and culture. They have prints testifying to the past – when the territory was under the rule of the Roman Empire and Yugoslavia.
Istria is an eco-friendly peninsula with beautiful panoramic views, numerous natural, cultural, and historical sights.