Hum, Istria: Discovering the World’s Smallest Town and Its Enchanting Heritage

This was my second time visiting this charming small place in the heart of Istria. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to sit down and enjoy a glass of wine since I was on a tight schedule, but I plan on returning to Istria sometime in 2024, so I’ll do my best to spend some time in this place, which looks like someone’s backyard.

Let me tell you what I have learned about the smallest town in the world!

Hum, a quaint village in central Istria, Croatia, falls under the jurisdiction of Buzet in Istria County. Often claimed as the world’s smallest town, Hum boasts a population of about 30 residents.

Despite its small size, Hum is rich in historical and cultural charm. The village has retained its old-world allure, encompassing just two streets within its well-preserved town walls. Key attractions include the Parish Church of the Assumption, built in 1802, and the 12th-century Romanesque Church of St. Jerome. The latter is particularly renowned for its frescoes, which bear Byzantine art influences, and its numerous Glagolitic inscriptions.

Hum is known for a unique tradition where men from the parish use a wooden stick, called ‘raboš,’ to carve votes and elect the village head on election day. The village’s culinary scene, though limited, is highlighted by the Hum Tavern, the only eatery in town, serving ‘biska,’ a mistletoe brandy prepared from ancient recipes.

The ‘Alley of Glagolitics’ is another notable feature of Hum, ending at the Hum Gate. This gate is adorned with 12 metal medallions, each representing typical rural activities for each month, such as harvesting and mowing.

As per the 2011 census, Hum saw a population increase to 30, up from 17 in 2001. Historically significant, Hum was the first place where the Croatian noble family Korijenić-Neorić was mentioned, a lineage that later gained prominence in Dalmatia.

An intriguing legend surrounds Hum’s creation, involving giants constructing towns in the Mirna Valley, which includes other beautiful hilltop towns like Motovun, Roč, and Bale. According to this legend, Hum was built using leftover stones from these larger projects, adding a mythical dimension to its origin.

Check the Showcase page of Hum by clicking HERE.

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