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Croatian National Tourist Board
Association of Croatian Travel Agencies
Istria Tourist Board
Istrian Quality
Region of Istria

Istria Humana

Bukaleta Bukaleta (Istrian earthenware jug) is probably the most popular souvenir from Istria. It was once considered as luxury and it could be found only in richer families or on special occasions. Ones of the most famous were jugs from Rakalj. In a good company Istrians most gladly drink wine and „eat“ the Istrian Soup from bukaletas.

GuestsFamous guests’ anecdotes and impressions are remembered for decades.
In two occasions, in 1743 and in 1744, the famous Venetian adventurer Giacomo Casanova visited Istria, staying in Pula, Bale and Vrsar. Vrsar is mentioned in his memoirs, where Casanova writes about the good food, wine “refosk” and beautiful women (with an emphasis on nightly "socializing" with beautiful maid). His visits to Bale’s castle Bembo has been recently revealed in the Venetian archives (and a possible affair with lady Bembo from the family Soardo). Famous artists visited Pula and left behind traces in their work, to name one of the most famous: Michelangelo and Dante. Italian poet Dante Alighieri wrote in the Divine Comedy: “…as Pula, along the Quarnero, that marks the end of Italy and bathes its boundaries".

Istrian SpaBetween Buzet and meadow below the steep rocks is situated the Istrian thermal resort – Istrian Spa. Ancient Romans used it to cure their illnesses in therapeutic water (circa 36 degrees Celsius), rich in sulfur, thermal baths and mud. Nowadays it has the same purpose for treating rheumatic problems and endocrine system.
In Istria, the land of legends, giants, witches, vampires, pirates and hidden treasures Istrian Spa has its own legend too.

Istrian Stone ShelterKazun (read: kazhoon) is a small stone shelter for shepherds and peasants to keep water, food and tools while doing their work in the field. It’s usually rounded shape. Kazun’s simplicity and aesthetic proportions are remarkable and well worth seeing. In addition, Kazun (casita) is used for overlooking fields and vineyards in the period before the harvest. Today you can bring it home, as an indigenous Istrian souvenir.

Istrian Wall PaintingsMedieval illiteracy didn’t allow people to read books, but there was a very effective way to keep faith and spread stories by wall-paintings.
Walls of churches were decorated with colorful scenes attracting the attention and giving a clear message to the illiterate believers.
Fresco-style masters, as well as the motives, differ from church to church and from master to master. It has been discovered approximately one hundred and fifty locations with frescoes across Istria.
Church walls as a "medium" began to be used somewhere in the 9 century while its culmination fresco painting came a couple centuries later.
Well known masters are Vincent from Kastav, master Anthony de Padua (Kascerge), Albert from Konstanz, Cleriginus from Koper (three Kopar’s painters from the same family).
The most famous frescoes are Dance of Death, Wheel of Luck, Living Cross ...
Areas with frescoes are Beram, Barban, Oprtalj, Pazin, Lindar, Rakotule, Hum, Draguc, Dvigrad, Zminj, Porec, Fazana.

IstriansIn Istria live, among others: Vlahi, Bezaki, Ćići, Bazgoni, Prikodražani, Bumbari, Roverci, Fućki, Krajevci, Benečani, Gorinjci, Dolinci, Boškari, Kuntražani, Dugohaljari, Kratkorepci, Pričanci, Trnoplesari, Proštinari, Kajići, Prigorci, Učkari.
It is interesting that Istro-Romanian language and Istroromanians came to Croatia in the Middle Age, mainly to the Cicarija area. The first written traces date from the late 15th and the beginning of the 16th century.
According to data from 1971, 1500 inhabitants of Istria were speaking Istroromanian language, but the number decreased to only 200 people in 1998. For this reason Istroromanian is listed on UNESCO's list of endangered languages.

Maklavun & Istrian Stonehenge Maklavun Tholos - 207 Meters altitude. Cairn like remains with Dromos entrance way and grave. Probably had a corbelled roof, like Newgrange, now lost. Site is seriously threatened by quarry systematically consuming the hill around it.
Istrian tumuli are more then 4000 years old. There are about 400 castles and forts from the Bronze and Iron Age in Istria. In the immediate hinterland of Porec, in the area between Valkarin, Dracevac and Fuskulin, are nearly a dozen identical hills, all about hundred meters high. You will not find them on the travel maps...

Medieval Istrian towns To mention some of them: Motovun, Beram, Buje, Buzet, Groznjan, Hum, Labin, Oprtalj, Pazin, Gracisce, Pican, Saint Lovrec Pazenaticki, Vizinada, Vodnjan, Zminj, Momjan, Dvigrad...
These towns in the interior of Istria were usually placed on top of hills, obtaining the natural protection. Although from the outside their appearance is fortress like, but within the walls a medieval towns are the mesh of narrow, winding streets. The central points of life in Istrian towns have been the church and square.
Each of them preserved their stories, loves, secrets and the magic for us to marvel at.

Observatory VisnjanDuring the past ten years, observatory Visnjan, close to Porec, has become one of the world's most prolific discovery sites for the small bodies in the Solar System, together with its founder and Head of the Observatory, famous astronomer Korado Korlevic. More than 1400 minor planets have been discovered with 40 cm telescope.
The observatory is recently moved 3 km away in Tican which has a 1 m telescope.

Parenzana RailroadRailway Parenzana was for 33 years connecting 33 Istrian places with the rest of Europe. It had taken nearly twenty years of preparation for it, but when they started to build 123 km, 9 tunnels, 11 bridges and 6 viaducts, everything was finished in less than two years.
Thirty-three years later Parenzana ended in a public auction. The railroad was dismantled and shipped for Abyssinia, and most likely ended at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea together with the boat.
In 21st cent the Project Parenzana has renovated the old railway and turned it into a very attractive bicycle and pedestrian path.

Sports Hall BaleIt was built in only 6 months, and made the covers of respected architectural journals worldwide as the best sports facility in 2008, the year of Olympics in Beijing! On the first World Festival of architecture in Barcelona sporthall Bale by 3LHD Architects won the first prize in the category of sports facilities. Competing for the prize, among others, were BIG Wembley Arena, Watercube Olympic swimming pool and tennis center in Beijing, but the small sports hall in the Istrian town of Bale won hearts and minds of the international jury too.

The Glagolitic alphabet The Glagolitic alphabet or Glagoljica is the oldest known Slavonic alphabet, used for more than a thousand years. It has around 40 letters, depending on variant. Croats in Primorje and Istria were the most committed to Glagoljica, especially in Roc and Hum. Oldest records in Istria are Plomin’s carving from 11th cent, Grdoselski fragment from the 12th cent and Hum’s graffiti from the 13th century.
The 7 km long alley of Glagols, which follows the road to Hum, has a series of stone monuments that are dedicated to the history of Glagolithics.

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