The Istrian peninsula has been inhabited since the Bronze Age and throughout its history has been an attraction for various peoples, both Slavic and Roman, which has given its cities a unique cultural character. You can admire ancient buildings as well as medieval palaces, churches and villas, which were built during the Venetian Republic. After the fall of the Venetian Republic, at the end of the 18th century Istria came under the rule of Austria, then France, and then modern Italy until it became part of today's Croatia. All this multicultural history has created an extraordinary architectural image of the region, in which the best European architectural styles from different eras are mixed. Take a journey through time by visiting each of the following places:
1. The Colosseum in Pula - the best-preserved amphitheatre in the world, a remnant of the Roman Empire.
2. The Verudela Fortress - the largest Austro-Hungarian fortress of the 19th century tells the story of how the Austro-Hungarian Empire tried to transform Pula and its surroundings into a major seaport.
3. The Church of St. Mary on Shkriljinah (Beram) - the Gothic church with its 15th-century frescoes will take you on a journey through the life and death of a medieval man. The most famous series of frescoes "Dance of Dead" is located here.
4. The Euphrasian Basilica in Porech - one of the most significant early Christian complexes in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with an impressive mosaic of saints.
5. Dvigrad - the ruins of an old town built in the 15th century by a pirate who had planned to hide there from the English fleet.
6. Hum Castle - an 11th-century castle in the smallest city in the world where Cyril and Methodius created the Slavic alphabet.
7. Glagolitic Alley - a 6 km road with sculptures in honor of the oldest Slavic alphabet - Glagolitic.
8. The Pazin Abyss - protected landscape above which the castle is built. According to the famous novel The Count of Monte-Christo, the main character managed to escape from the prison of the castle, overcoming the Pazin Abyss, but in reality no prisoner managed to do it.
9. Castle Morosini Grimani in Svetvinchenat - a 15th-century castle that survived to this day. Impressive medieval square for knights' tournaments and preserved town architecture will plunge you into the spirit of the late Middle Ages, the time of knights and beautiful ladies.
10. The Twin Gates of Motovun - The twin gates to the medieval city, with their antique inscriptions and elements of the 16th century, are a well-preserved symbol of security and strength in the Middle Ages.
Each of these places is a starting point for the next journeys through the centuries-old history of Istria.