Motovun

Motovun is the most famous of towns situated on hilltops in central part of the largest Croatian peninsula called Istria. It overlooks the valley of the river Mirna, Motovun forest that is rich in truffles and vineyards where the grapes for Teran wine are being grown. The surroundings of Motovun are known for a very fertile soil and agriculture as 70 % of the Istrian fruits are grown there.
The town consists of three parts and has two rings of walls. Once there, the view is breathtaking. Between the external and internal gates is the town square named after Josef Ressel. He worked as a forester in Motovun and was in charge of growing and collecting the wood for the shipbuilding industry in time of Austro-Hungarian Empire. His invention of the screw propeller changed the maritime navigation. In 1829 Ressel was the first person to use a screw propeller in civil navigation on a modified steam ship Civetta. Otherwise, he was the author of more than 30 technical inventions for which he was granted 10 patents. In Ressel Park in Vienna, close to the Technical University, stand a statue in his honor. He was on a 500 Schilling note and on a postage stamp in Austria. Nearby is the city loggia under whose roof decisions were made public to the citizens and judges passed their sentences. Today it is a beautiful spot to look at the sunset. Once you pass the inner gate a spacious Andrea Antica Square (named after a Renaissance composer and music sheet printer from Motovun) is right in front of you. The Church of Saint Stephen and the Bell tower are among the first buildings you notices. The communal palace on the same square is one of the best preserved Romanesque public palaces in Istria. A large cistern below the square was essential for its water supply capacity. Polesini palace, the residential buildings in Borgo, the Church of Saint Anthony of Padua and Saint Cyprian, a hospice and many more interesting buildings one discovers during a pleasant stroll. In spite of many influences the presence of the Republic of Venice in the past is very evident.
Motovun Film Festival was established in 1999 and makes the town vibrant with film projections lasting for a few days in summer. Independent producers and innovative films make the festival very interesting.
The Festival of Teran Wine and Truffles is a treat while Throwing of the Horn on Ash Wednesday is more for local people.
A legend of the good hearted giant Veli Jože who lived in the area of Motovun is symbolic and glorifies freedom and justice. Days of the giant Veli Jože have a goal of positioning Motovun as a world destination of fantasy literature.
So, if you enjoy in beautiful views, fine wines, truffles and legends - come and visit.