Motovun is a small medieval village in central Istria with a population of 531 inhabitants and a very rich historical heritage well worth visiting. It is a famous tourist attraction and one of the pearls of the Istrian inland. This enchanting little city will leave breathless anyone who comes to visit. Walking through small narrow streets, discovering its rich history through medieval buildings or simply admiring the amazing view from the hilltop will make you fall in love with this magical place.
Motovun is situated on Motovun hill and built over on a site of ancient settlement Castellieri. It has been added to the UNESCO Tentative List in order to enter the World Heritage list. Motovun was mentioned in written records for the first time in the early 9th century, but it was fortified as we know it today by the Venetians, who took over Motovun in the 13th century and it made part of Venetian colonies for more than 500 years. During that period city walls, towers, and gates were built and remained almost completely intact till this day. Motovun is truly an exceptional place to immerse yourself in the past and discover what an amazing heritage our ancestors left us to take care of, and enjoy its beauty. Although Motovun is a small town, there are numerous interesting places to visit and things to do. So take a look at some:
For those in shape, there is the longest Istrian stairway with more than 1000 stairs that lead from downhill to Motovun’s city core. The church of Saint Stephen is the parish church built in early 17th century in the late Palladian style. The church holds several valuable artworks od various late baroque artists. Other than the parish church, there are three other small churches built in the 15th and 16th century. Located just near the parish church there is a bell tower that dominates the city’s historic core.
Municipal Palace is particular for the walls, adorned with the remains of Romanesque double windows from the 13th century. There is also a town’s old hospice built in the 17th century. The Tower, also known as the The New Gate, is connected to the Municipal Palace and through it with the city walls. City Loggia, located on the Josef Ressel Square, was built as a belvedere from which the Mirna river and the valley can be seen.
Motovun is also the host of Motovun Film Festival, held for the first time in 1999. It is a festival dedicated to films produced by small cinematographies, a festival with a soul as the organizers describe it. “With its selection of films and guests of honor, the festival celebrates the authors sticking to their artistic stubbornness, unconventionality, and originality at all costs. With films and direct communication between filmmakers and film lovers we want to create a cozy spot for those who enjoy the magic of cinema.” – Motovun Film Festival
And finally, don’t forget to enjoy the real taste of the extraordinary Istrian gastronomic specialties with truffles, fresh pasta (like fuži), cured ham (pršut), Istrian ox (boškarin) and famous Istrian wines from grapes grown near Motovun like Malvazija and Teran.