Croatia Captured Showcase

- Draguc -

Nestled in central Istria, Croatia, the village of Draguć, or Draguccio in Italian, stands at an altitude of 359 meters, home to 56 residents as of 2021. This historical village, dating back to the 11th century, has evolved from a feudal castle to a key point during the Venetian-Austrian War. Known for its agricultural heritage and growing tourism, Draguć also boasts archaeological sites from prehistoric and Roman times. Its picturesque landscape and rich history have earned it the nickname "the Hollywood of Istria," making it a unique blend of past and present.

Photos taken on December 30th, 2023

Fun fact no 1

Draguć houses the Parish Church of the Holy Cross, built in the 15th century within the castle area, and features a unique municipal square with a communal well, a municipal building, and a fontik. The village also showcases the Church of the Holy Rosary, housing numerous artworks, and the Romanesque cemetery church of St. Elizej, which stands out with its distinctive color effect created by alternating rows of stones and its Roman tombstone altar pillar.

Fun fact no 2

Since 1999, Draguć has hosted the traditional music event "Bajsi in Draguć," celebrating local instrument playing. Additionally, the House of Frescoes, opened in 2015 in a former school building, operates as a cultural center under the Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria, providing educational and cultural activities, including wall painting workshops and an online cultural heritage database.

Fun fact no 3

Due to its picturesque setting and well-preserved historical architecture, Draguć has been a popular filming location for various domestic and international movies and TV series since the late 20th century, earning the nickname "the Hollywood of Istria." This aspect highlights the village's scenic beauty and its appeal as a backdrop for visual storytelling.

Learn more

Draguć, also known as Draguccio in Italian, is a village located in central Istria, Croatia. Situated at a latitude of 45°20′N and a longitude of 14°1′E, Draguć rests at an altitude of 359 meters above sea level. As of 2021, it has a population of 56 residents and is approximately 17 kilometers northeast of Pazin, within the Cerovlje municipality.

The village is positioned along the Pazin – Cerovlje – Buzet road, overlooking the Butoniga basin.

Historically, the population has engaged in agriculture (grapevines, olives, figs, cherries) and livestock farming (cattle, pigs). More recently, tourism (holiday homes) has become an important part of the local economy.

Archaeological remnants on the hill above Draguć (Stari Draguć, 504 meters) indicate the presence of a prehistoric hillfort. During Roman times, the area was inhabited but not heavily Romanized. The settlement of Draguć originated as a feudal castle atop a ridge, around the 11th century, when it was under the ownership of the Margraves of Istria. It is first mentioned in a 1102 deed by Ulric II (as Dravuie) when it came under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Aquileia. In 1350, it was annexed to the Pazin County. After the Venetian-Austrian War in the early 16th century, Draguć came under Venetian rule in 1523. It was known as Dragutsch in German sources and Draguchi in Venetian reports. Draguć was an important military point in defending the Venetian border against the County and suffered during the Uskok War in 1615, as well as from a subsequent plague epidemic.

In the 15th century, the Parish Church of the Holy Cross was built within the castle area and has been renovated multiple times since. After the Uskok War, the entire former suburb was surrounded by unique walls with corner towers (constructed by Venetian provveditore Francesco Basadonna). The main square in front of the church and bastion features a communal well, a municipal building, and a fontik. The settlement began expanding southeastward, and during the 18th and 19th centuries, the main longitudinal street was formed with baroque and neoclassical houses.

The church's inventory is mainly from the 19th century, including a marble altar and an altarpiece by Venerio Trevisani. The Church of the Holy Rosary (Saint Mary of the Rosary), built in 1641 and renovated several times, is located at the eastern entrance of the village. It houses numerous artworks, including a carved altar with a pall, a late Gothic statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Carmel, several wooden retabula with saint figures, and multiple altar paintings. The cemetery church of St. Elizej, a Romanesque building from the 12th-13th centuries, features a semicircular apse and flat ceiling, with a striking color effect on the external walls created by alternating rows of darker and lighter colored stones. Its altar pillar is a Roman tombstone, and Romanesque wall paintings with strong Byzantine iconographic influences were discovered and restored (early 14th century). On the western edge of the settlement, outside its borders, is the small Church of St. Rok from the early 16th century. Its walls and vault are covered with paintings by the Istrian painter Antun from Padova (Kašćerga), blending folk expression with Renaissance forms.

Since 1999, the village has hosted the music event Bajsi in Draguć, which promotes traditional instrument playing. In 2015, the House of Frescoes was opened in a former school building as part of the European Revitas project. This facility, operating as a branch of the Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria in Pula since 2017, includes an info-point, a small gallery, and has hosted symposiums, workshops on wall painting, education for teachers and tourism professionals, and produced several publications. It also launched an online cultural heritage database called Istrian Cultural Heritage / Patrimonio culturale istriano.

Thanks to its picturesque setting, Draguć has been a filming location for domestic and foreign movies and TV series since the second half of the 20th century, earning it the nickname "the Hollywood of Istria”.