Vodnjanska cesta 53a, 52212 Fažana, Istria/Croatia

Groznjan

Grožnjan, known as the city of artists, surrounded by green hills and a magical white soil is a must-see destination for those who want to discover the treasure chest of Istria. Because of its interesting history, which has been written in every nook and naturally permeates the present, it is rich in ancient churches, prehistoric finds, ancient castles, magnificent palaces and many other old buildings, whose past glory was recovered through restoration, all in order to be able to evoke the charm of the past. Its white soil (bijele zemlje) feeds many vineyards and olive groves; the fresh springs have been invigorating the local people since time immemorial, while in the numerous flower meadows and quiet woods, wild game lives as it always has. Because of all this, the area of Grožnjan offers agritourism and many taverns and restaurants with traditional Istrian cuisine, offering  gifts of pure nature, like: home-made cheese, ham and pasta, meals prepared under the bell (peka in Croatian), truffles, asparagus and mushrooms, all decorated with golden wines and olive oils. Grožnjan is also home to numerous national and international artists. In this small town, there are as many as 28 ateliers; there is also the city art gallery with works by artists from around the world, and even the well known Imaginary Film Academy found its home here. In the summer, all of Grožnjan becomes a stage on which renowned jazz and classical musicians alternate, as do many other artists who have discovered the true joy of creation here.

History

The territory of Grožnjan was inhabited in prehistoric times, as evidenced by findings from that period. During the Roman Empire, many buildings, walls and the harbor in Bastia were built and the area was very active in trading. The Middle Ages was characterized by a new immigration wave and numerous attacks, because of which new walls and castles were built. It was first mentioned in written documents in 1102 under the name of Piemonte, when its castle with the whole fiefwas given to the church of Aquilea. From the 13th to the mid-14th century, Grožnjan belonged to the Pietrapelosa family and in the mid-14th century it fell under Venetian rule. This was the period when the old walls were renewed and new ones were built because the area had become an important part of the defenses of Serenissima. During its reign, numerous churches and palaces were built. In that period, Grožnjan still had access to the sea through the port of Bastia. This period brought a number of diseases, particularly the plague epidemic, and attacks. It was particularly destructed during the war of the Uskoci in the 17th century, and after the war and the fall of Venice, it was almost deserted. Changes in the government and the arrival of Napoleon followed by that of the Habsburgs did not affected Grožnjan, which was slowly failing all the time. The arrival of Italy and the First and then the Second World War meant new suffering and another emigration wave of the population, which was slowly returning after the territory’s liberation and annexation to Yugoslavia. of Grožnjan and its surrounding area’s real renaissance came after the annexation to the Republic of Croatia, when the production of Mediterranean plants began and Grožnjan became a confluence of numerous artists and musicians.

Recommendations

Grožnjan – preserved parts of the medieval walls and city gates from the 15th century, Renaissance loggia from the 6th century and a beautiful baroque Spinotti palace from the 18th century

The small Churches of St. Rocco and St.Martin – built in the 16th century

The city Gallery Fonticus – with numerous works of art from local and foreign artists

The heraldic collection of Grožnjan – contains more than 150 relief emblems, mainly of Istrian and Croatian cities

Završje – a beautiful medieval town, surrounded by ancient walls and towers, which is entered through a gate adorned with ancient bas-relief and the Contarini family crest. The ancient church of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built in the 16th century. The place is famous for its magnificent Završje castle , from the 11th century, known as the Contarini Palace. Here is where the church of St. John and Paul with five altars and rich decorations and church of St. Rocco from the 16th century can be found.

Ponte Porton – the ancient port of Bastia, with the church of Our Lady of Bastia from the 15th century

Kuberton – prehistoric mounds were found here. The local church, from the 13th century, has a nice wooden retable

Šterna – a place of inexhaustible resources, with a parish church from the 18th century and the church of St. Kancijan from the 16th century, with an altar and a wooden retable from the 16th century

Kostanjica – a place inhabited since ancient times, with Roman finds, old traditional architecture, St. Stephen’s church from the 14th century, the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Peter and Paul from the 16th century with 3 altars, statues and two barbarian heads and a Venetian bell tower from the 18th  century built of sandstone.

The parish Church of St. Vid, Modest and Krešencija – from the 16th century, with an organ from the 19th century, carved choir stalls from the 18th century, oil on canvas from the 17th century, 5 marble altars and a bell tower from the 17th century

The Church of St. Kuzma and Damian and the chapel of the Holy spirit – built in the 16th century

The Church of St. John the Baptist – built in the 15th century

The Church of St. Florian – built in the 14th century

Events

Sv. Frančeška, Završje – a traditional celebration with entertainment program
Music and cultural Summer HGM – cultural program with a variety of artistic and musical events
Grožnjan Day – a traditional celebration with entertainment, sports and cultural programs
Jazz is Back, Grožnjan – International jazz festival with the world’s best jazz musicians
Ex-tempore, Grožnjan – International figurative art event.
Exhibition of red wine, white truffles and mushrooms – gastronomic and oenological events