Motovun

 

 

Motovun (Italian: Montona), a village and municipality in Croatia, in the County of Istria. The best preserved is the medieval Istrian fortress, which developed on top of a steep hill. In prehistoric times, Illyrian and Celtic tribes built their fortifications on the site of today's Motovun. Its name is also of Celtic origin, and is derived from the word Montona, meaning town on the mountain.

 

History

The history of Motovun begins before Roman times, when they built their settlement Sekusi, a Celtic tribe.

Motovun consists of three parts of the city. At the very top is the oldest part, below it is "Podgrađe", and the newer part of "Gradiciol" descends down the slope. The town has preserved its medieval appearance to this day.

Motovun's defense consisted of two rings of walls. The inner ring around the oldest part of the city dates from the 13th and 14th centuries. The inner gates of the city lead through it. Around Podgrađe was the second ring of the city walls, which is entered through the outer city gate from the 15th century. There is a lapidary in them today. Between the two gates is the outer town square. In the square, next to the inner door, is the town lodge from the 17th century, a beautiful lookout point to the surroundings.

The central square of Andrea Antia is named after the Renaissance composer and music printer, born in Motovun in the second half of the 15th century. On the square is the baroque church of St. Stjepana, built in 1614 on the site of an older church. Next to the church is a bell tower-tower from the 13th century, with jagged parapets, when the first church was built and on whose foundations the present one was built. Little is known that in the same place in late antiquity was an early Christian basilica, even larger than today's church of St. Stephen.

Opposite the church is the Communal Palace, built in the 12th century, and expanded and restored in the 16th and 17th centuries. Below the square is a large cistern that supplied water to Motovun. The ascent of 1052 stairs leads to the top of Motovun, which makes it the longest staircase in Croatia.

The Parenzana railway passed through Motovun, which gave the place a good connection with Poreč in the west and with Slovenia and Italy in the north. The station is preserved and is located at the foot of the hill on which the old part of town is located, just before entering the so-called Motovun tunnel.


Monuments and landmarks
Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary "of the Gates": Built in 1520. The name of the church is associated with a painting with the image of the Mother of God kept on a marble altar, built almost in the middle of the church. According to legend, the Virgin Mary appeared on a tree that was exactly where the altar is located today.

Polesini Palace: It was built by the family of the Marquis of Polesini, dates from the 16th century, and today it is a hotel. Opposite the building is the neck of a cistern from 1322, with a carved lion of St. Marko, the oldest lion in the stone after the one in Koper.

City Gate: In the Renaissance style, it is adorned with the coats of arms of patrician families. The openings in the parapet have been preserved to this day, which were used to throw oil, hot tar, stones and other materials at the enemies who were attacking the city.

Church of St. Cyprian: It is not dated, but it was certainly reconstructed in 1855 by the vow of the inhabitants of Motovun, which followed the cholera epidemic.

City Lodge: On the lower square there is a lodge, built in 1331. Today, the square is named after Josef Ressel, the inventor of the propeller who spent part of his life in Motovun.