Hidden gem Svetvinčenat
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  Posted November 2nd, 2017 by Zdenko  in Travel | No comments yet.

Traveling Croatia

By: Zdenko Kahlina

Neat little town in Istria
My wife & I came across small town of Svetvinčenat, on our way to Rovinj and rated this as the best place we visited in Istria so far. We stopped there only for half hour, but even this was enough to explore this beautiful little town with a well preserved castle and if I remember correctly 5 churches. The old fort and old town, with its lovely little church and quaint refreshment houses really appealed to us – and there were very few tourists.

svetvincenat01The renaissance square ‘Placa’ and the church of St Catherine

Hidden gem in Istria
The medieval town Svetvinčenat, situated in the south of the central part of Istria, is one of Istrian jewels in which the tourist offer has taken on a new life over last several years, especially through various events which are held in exceptionally attractive historical locations of this little town. There are also several good restaurants and cafes in the town centre.

The village of Svetvinčenat is adorned with the renaissance square ‘Placa’ and the castle Morosini-Grimani, one of the best-preserved examples of Venetian architecture in Istria. Among Svetvinčenat’s rich cultural heritage, the remains of the frescoes in the church of St Vincent near the village cemetery, and those in the church of St Catherine stand out.

savicente_-pocetna_1The main square ‘Placa’, the medieval castle Morosini-Grimani and the church of St Catherine

Get to know Svetvinčenat
This extraordinary and unique little town hosts many interesting events that attract visitors and revive the town. In the past several years, Svetvinčenat and its citizens have been actively involved in finding and adding interesting events and creating a rich cultural program that appeals to a variety of tastes.

The program begins with the Flower Market in April, followed by the Selection of Miss and Mister Goat in June, while the Cheese Festival takes place in July. Svetvinčenat hosts its most famous event, the International Dance & Non-Verbal Theatre Festival, in July. The main square ‘Placa’ and the medieval castle Morosini-Grimani take central stage at the medieval festival in August. At the end of autumn the best wine producers from the region present their products in Svetvinčenat at the New Wine Festival.

svetvincenat02The medieval castle Morosini-Grimani

IMG_9062Vera by the medieval castle Morosini-Grimani

The square and parish church in Svetvinčenat
The village of Svetvinčenat and its square ‘Placa’ and the castle Morosini-Grimani, are one of the best-preserved examples of Venetian architecture in Istria. The Svetvinčenat square is the most comprehensive example of planned Renaissance urbanism with rows of houses, a stone cistern in the middle of the square and the parish church, naturally.

Svetvinčenat is an exceptional example of a planned and inspired erection of a settlement from the early 16th century when the Morosini family became the owner of the castle and feudal lands. They renovated the castle in its Renaissance form, while Pietro Morosini re-urbanized the entire settlement under the principle of an ideal, regular Renaissance town. 

IMG_9061The main square in Svetvinčenat

IMG_9066One of the streets in Svetvinčenat

The Large Square, called the Placa among people, has preserved its Renaissance features, harmonious architectural dimensions and simplicity. In the centre of its trapezoid layout is a stone cistern (the well) made in 1808. The square is encircled by the castle and the palace on one side, and the Parich Church of the Annunciation of Mary on its eastern narrower side. The remaining sides are encircled by a row of identical one-storey houses with Renaissance windows and the town loggia. They are almost identical to the forms of the houses from the late 15th and the 16th centuries built in the Venice folk residential areas. These are simple and functional structures which monumental feature is provided by symmetrically placed semi-circular single lancet windows.

IMG_9069Small church just outside of town

The construction of the Parish Church of the Annunciation of Mary dates back to the late 15th century. It was most probably finished in 1529. Its facade is simplified, with a trefoil finish existing in Venice. There is a family crest with Pietro Morosini initials on the facade. It was built from local stone. However, its architect has remained unknown. The southern part of the square has been occupied by the 18th century town loggia with an open porch and six arches with elegant vaults. The loggia has two entrances, one leading to the main town square, while the other exiting into a side alley.

The square in Svetvinčenat is the most comprehensive example of planned Renaissance urbanism in Croatia. Its special significance stems from the unique shaping of all carved architectural details on the castle, houses, the loggia and the church.

svetvincenat00Arial view of Svetvinčenat

Svetvinčenat takes you back to history and represents the soul of the old Istria with its charm and atmosphere. So visit Svetvinčenat in Croatia! You won’t be sorry!

Hope you have a good season!

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