Groznjan: The Idyllic Artist Village in Istria
Groznjan is a municipality in Croatia and one of the small medieval jewels hiding in the hinterland of Istria. Also well-known as the artist village, countless artists have settled here and run studios, exhibitions, manufactures and small boutiques. Among the most important attractions to visit in Groznjan are the romantic alleys of the medieval old town, where rustic cafés and fantastic konobas invite enjoying and linger. Also the surroundings of Groznjan are really picturesque and offer countless enchanting surprises to explore. But what are the best travel tips for Groznjan and which places should not be missed?
In this travel guide, we give you all the essential information about a visit to Groznjan in Croatia. Besides that, we will share plenty of travel tips, which will help you with your travel planning.
General Information about Groznjan
The village Groznjan is situated on a 230-meter-high hill in the picturesque Mirna Valley and is only 25–30 minutes away from the larger seaside resorts Umag, Novigrad and Porec. This romantic little town, known in Istria as an artists’ village, has just 164 inhabitants. Countless artists have settled here since the 1960s, and more than 20 galleries and studios are said to be on display here.
The history of Groznjan goes back to the Middle Ages. The first records date back to 1102, when the village was owned by the Patriarchs of Aquileia. Later, from 1358, the town was under the rule of the Venetian Republic and developed into a military base. After the decline of the Venetian era, the city fell into insignificance.
Today’s appearance of Groznjan is due to the artist and sculptor Aleksandar Rukavina, who, together with other artists, has ensured the preservation and restoration of the buildings.
Best Things to Do in Groznjan
When you visit Groznjan you can expect plenty of attractions and some really lovely highlights. Here you will find an overview of the most beautiful things to do and places to see in the small town at a glance:
The Old Town of Groznjan
The most important attraction of Groznjan is the historical old town, which for many visitors is even one of the most beautiful in the Istrian hinterland. Here you can still stroll through really romantic, winding stone alleys and enjoy the unique charm of the ancient stone houses. A magical backdrop that takes you on a journey back in time to the Middle Ages. At every corner, there are great photo spots and small attractions to discover. Also beautiful are the many hidden places decorated with flowers, which give this village an extra portion of charm.
There are also many small stores that sell excellent olive oil, fresh truffles and delicious truffle products. Another highlight is the rustic konobas. Especially in the old town, but also in the nearer surroundings, there are some of these typical Croatian restaurants, which offer delicious Istrian dishes, good home cooked meals and excellent wines.
Catholic parish church Sveti Vida
The most beautiful church in the village is the Catholic Baroque parish church of Sveti Vida, also known as Župna crkva Sveti Vida, Modesta i Krešencije. It was built in 1770, on the same spot where a church from the 14th century had been located before. The 36-meter-high bell tower from 1721, which is even a little older than the church, is also worth seeing. If possible, you should also visit the interior, where you can admire beautiful decorations and interesting paintings of some well-known artists.
Galleries, Art and Hidden Places
During a walk through the village you will find, besides the countless beautiful stone houses, many fascinating galleries and small artfully decorated boutiques. A large part of the 164 inhabitants are artists who create and sell their works in the village. Perfect for those who love shopping as well as sightseeing and are interested in regional art and handmade products.
Groznjan also organizes numerous music events throughout the year. These include the international jazz festival “Jazz is back” and the summer academy “Jeunesses Musicales”.
Another important sight of Groznjan is the town loggia from 1597, which today houses the Fonticus Gallery, where various national and international artworks are exhibited. Just around the corner of the loggia is the old town gate from the 15th century, where you can spot the coats of arms of the Venetian town administrators on the outside.
Where to Stay in Groznjan
Although the village is really tiny, Groznjan has really lovely accommodations. Perfect if you want to spend a few romantic days in the hinterland of Istria. These are mainly privately run vacation apartments or B&Bs. If you are looking for a recommendable accommodation, then we can give you these tips for a wonderful stay in Groznjan…It’s worth a look!
- Vacation Apartment: The Apartments Smile is really popular accommodation in Groznjan. Only a few steps away from the old town and with free parking, it’s in the perfect location.
- Vacation Home: The beautifully renovated La Boutique is located directly in the historic old town and impresses with its beautiful interior.
- Vacation Apartment: The Apartmani Damiani is a great and very clean vacation apartment with a beautiful view of Groznjan and a nice terrace to relax.
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