Croatia Captured Showcase

- Motovun -

Motovun, also known as Montona, is a captivating medieval town located in the northern part of Istria, Croatia. Overlooking the Mirna River valley, this hilltop town is a renowned symbol of Istria's interior. Its historic core is dominated by the Romanesque-Gothic bell tower from the 13th century, standing alongside the 17th-century Parish Church of St. Stephen.

Photos taken on September 30th, 2023

Fun fact no 1

Motovun's medieval charm is unmistakable. The town is adorned with historical buildings and monuments, including the impressive Parish Church of St. Stephen and the Romanesque-Gothic bell tower. Its central square is a hub of architectural marvels, giving visitors a glimpse into the town's rich past.

Fun fact no 2

Motovun is surrounded by forests that are rich in truffles. These elusive and highly valued fungi are a significant part of the local cuisine, with many restaurants offering truffle-infused dishes. The town's association with truffles adds a unique culinary dimension to its character.

Fun fact no 3

The rolling hills and vineyards around Motovun are testament to the region's deep wine culture. With a history of winemaking dating back nearly 2000 years, the area is known for its production of varieties like Teran, Merlot, and Muscat. Visiting local vineyards and indulging in wine tastings is a popular activity, offering an insight into the region's viticultural heritage.

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Motovun, a picturesque town and municipality in Western Croatia, is nestled in the heart of Istria. Known as Montona in Italian, it sits atop a steep hill, renowned for its well-preserved medieval Istrian fortress.

With historical roots stretching back to prehistoric times, Motovun was a stronghold for Illyrian and Celtic tribes. Its name, of Celtic origin, translates to 'a town in the mountains.' The town comprises four distinct settlements: Brkač, Kaldir, Motovun itself, and Sveti Bartol, each offering its own unique charm.

Geographically located in northern Istria, Motovun is close to the towns of Buzet and Pazin and approximately 20 kilometers from the sea.

Motovun's real allure lies in its division into three parts. The oldest section sits at the summit, followed by 'Podgrađe' and then 'Gradiciol,' which cascades down the slope. A walk through Motovun is akin to a journey back in time, with its medieval architecture and ambiance.

The town's defense system, consisting of two rings of walls, is a highlight. The inner ring, dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries, encircles the town's oldest part. The outer ring, constructed in the 15th century, once encompassed Podgrađe.

A notable feature is the view from the 17th-century city lodge, located next to the inner city gates on the town square. This square is named after Renaissance composer and printer Andrea Antico, a native of Motovun. Opposite the church stands the 12th-century Communal Palace, expanded in the 16th and 17th centuries. Beneath the square lies a cistern that historically provided water to the entire town. For those seeking a physical challenge, a stairway of 1052 steps, the longest in Croatia, leads to the top of the town.

Motovun was historically linked by the Parenzana railway, connecting it with Poreč and extending to Slovenia and Italy. The old railway station below the hill serves as a reminder of this bygone era. Economically, the region prospers through agriculture and tourism. Motovun has been a host to notable figures like Miroslav Šutej, Mario Andretti, and Aldo Andretti, among others.

Culturally, the town is a hub of activity. The Motovun Film Festival, initiated in 1999, is a significant event here. Literature enthusiasts may recognize Motovun as the setting for Vladimir Nazor's famous work "Veli Jože." In summary, Motovun is a harmonious blend of history, culture, and breathtaking vistas. Its rich historical legacy, coupled with its contemporary cultural vibrancy, makes it an enticing destination for those exploring the diverse aspects of Croatian life and heritage.