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The name derives probably froam the Latin word „Vicinianus” that means „in the proximity” because in the past Višnjan was the closest property to Poreč. It belonged to the Poreč’s bishop till 1203 and later became property of Counts of Gorica and Pazin as part of the Motovun’s fief.
With Motovun passed under Venetians as testifies the city entrance with the lion from the 17th century. The romantic ancient centre in which is located Villa Višnjan hides a beautiful lodge from the 17th century , once the centre of the city life and today a unique photo point with a view on the sea and Istrian olive yards and wine yards. Other interesting buildings are the St.Kvirik and Julia church with classicist front and separate bell tower (27m), renovated house Sinčić and a small pearl on the beginning of the old centre, the St.Antun eremite church (14th cenutry) with fresco and remains of glagolitic graffiti. Not far away from Višnjan there are still the ruins of the middle age church and monastery of St.Mihovil in the earth (9th century). Inhabitants of Višnjan are peasants (the area is the hometown of many famous Istrian winemakers) or are working in tourism in nearby holiday centers as Poreč, Funtana, Vrsar, Lanterna or Novigrad. Višnjan has an astronomic observatory and on national level is well known thanks to its astronomer Korado Korlević and the name of the Višnjan’s observatory.
(Source: Istrian encyclopedia)

 

OBSERVATORY

If you want to see new places, meet new people and their hobbies, Višnjan is the right choice. Beyond winemaking and tourism practiced by the majority, a fistful of people in Višnjan dedicate their „nights” to the sky. In Višnjan for decades operates a serious astronomic association that managed to rise the observatory of that small town with barely 2.400 inhabitants to a world level. Specialists say and we have the evidence ,that astronomers in Višnjan already in 1998 discovered more than 370 new asteroids, what is more than the sum of all discoveries of the observatories in Nizza, Wien, Pula and Belgrade togheter during their past. The next year they were even better, they discovered 923 new asteroids, two comets and one potentially dangerous object. Already in 2003 the Observatory in Višnjan became one of the most productive world observatory of all the times and started equipping the new and modern observatory on a new location in Tićan. Above discovering new astral events the astronomic association invests huge efforts in the education of youth.Since many years the international „Višnjan school of astronomy” is organized and the observatory became one of 19 centres of the world network for youth education (Network of excellence). Some of the members of the Astronomy association of Višnjan today are working on NASA projects. A curiosity is that in Višnjan is positioned in association with the German „European fireball network”, the camera no.77 which tapes meteors since many years.

 

BAREDINE CAVE

The Baredine Cave has been known and visited since ancient times, while first documented explorations can be traced back to the beginning of the last century, when speleologists from Trieste explored it to the depth of 80 meters.
Bardeine Cave is the first speleological object and a geomorphological natural preserve in Istria evaluated for tourist visitations.

Besides visiting the cave, visitors can enjoy various additional facilities, such as a training ground for speleo climbing, geomorphological pillar, events and much more!

In an area that served as an intersection for communication and roads ever since, besides the Baredine cave as a natural monument, you can also visit an exhibition devoted to agriculture. It shows various items and machines closely linked to the history of this area and its people.
The first part of the exhibition is a permanent exhibition of about fifty historic tractors and agricultural machines called “Tractor story”. An old Fordson tractor from 1923, the first tractor in our village, might evoke feelings of nostalgia as well as a Diesel-engine with a heated head, which was used to run a mill in Poreč up until recently. It also includes numerous documents and photos of this time.
In the exclusive area of the Konobon-Gallery the story you can learn more about the story of the Mediterranean trilogy- bread, wine and olive oil, all present in this are from the period of Antiquity, the medieval period until the present moment.

 

Biking višnjan

(THE TRAIL OF THE STARS) Višnjan – Markovac – Jadruhi – Baškoti – Prhati – Rapavel- Radovani – Bačva

Perhaps you didn’t know that here in Višnjan you can also find an astronomical observatory which is, according to its astronomical detections, ranked between the 5 most important observatories in the world? Over 1400 small planets of the solar system have been detected by a telescope in this observatory. Therefore, get your bicycle ready at the starting point in Višnjan and go for an exciting ride. You can also visit the neo-classicist Parish church of St Kvirik and St Julita from the 19th century with an imposing belfry and admire its two beautiful altarpieces, a work by the master Zorzi Ventura. At the beginning of the main street in Višnjan you will find the medieval church of St Anthony the abbot with Glagolitic inscriptions from the year 1550 and precious remains of frescoes by Dominic from Udine.

On your way back along a plateau 3 km south of Višnjan you will pass through a small village called Bačva (a barrel). Thinking about the inspiring name of this charming village refresh yourself with a glass of excellent wine.

Technical description:
Time: (1:15′-1:30′)
Long: 24,5 km
Start: Višnjan
End: Bačva/ Višnjan
Highest point: 331 m
Asphalt: 16.7 km
Macadam: 7.8 km
Difficulty: soft

OTHER TRAILS:
-THE TRAIL OF ST.MICHAEL UNDER GROUND
-SVETI MAURO TRAIL
-THE 15th STAGE OF THE 87th GIRO D’ITALIA: POREČ

 

 

PARENZANA

The beautifully Parenzana was recently revitalized thanks to the financial support of the EU. It is a former railway line which was abolished back in 1935. The narrow gauge railway has been cleared of vegetation and debris, and the bridges have been reconstructed and cleaned. Security fences have also been put in place.

The importance of this route is that it connects three countries – Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. The reconstruction project has been named “Parenzana-The Route of Health and Friendship.”

It was officially declared as a bike path, however, is also suitable for walking.

The trail passes through the beautiful landscapes of old villages, picturesque towns, below to the beautiful valleys with rivers and forests, and then above to the hillsides. It also meanders through the vineyards and olive groves, of which the Istrians are excellent producers.

The railroad once went all the way to Porec and spanned 60 km but has now been rebuilt and moved from the Slovenian border to Vižinada.

The railway line once connected the span of what was then called the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During the history of the railway line it was used for the purpose of trading goods and, in particular the shipment of quality products from Istria to the imperial and royal palaces.

Because of the high demand for Istrian wine and the transportation of it to the imperial and royal palaces, the railway line was known to be called the ‘railroad wines’. However, in addition to this, the railroad also connected 33 towns and villages along the way.

After World War II the region was ceded to Italy, but the commercial and economic crisis in 1935 led to the extinction of the railway and to its dismantling.

(Source: parenzana.net)