Marčana and surrounding settlements

MARČANA

Marčana is located north of Pula, at the intersection of the Pula-Labin and Vodnjan-Krnica roads. It is the administrative seat of the Municipality of the same name and the office of the Tourist Board. The inhabitants are engaged in traditional agriculture and tourism, and some of them work in other service activities.

Historical sources bear witness to the dense population of these areas in Antiquity and to the stormy past. Marčani is mentioned for the first time in written sources in 1243 in the act of Pula’s oath of allegiance to the Venetians (Andreas de Marzana and Joanes de Marzana). Namely, at that time Marčana belonged to the Pula area, and then in 1331 it came under the rule of the Republic of Venice. Since during the 15th century plague epidemics raged through this area on several occasions, Marčana and its surroundings were almost left without inhabitants. During the 16th century, the Republic of Venice systematically settled the area with refugees fleeing from Greece and Dalmatia before the Ottomans.

The town center is dominated by the three-nave parish church of St. Peter and Paul from the 15th century with a 25-meter bell tower from 1846. In Marčana there is also the medieval church of St. of Anton Padova, extended at the end of the 16th century and consecrated in 1709.

MUTVORAN

On the road that leads from Marčana to Duga Uvala, it turns towards Mutvoran – a settlement with a small number of inhabitants, whose glorious past is reminded by the remains of prehistoric and medieval castle walls, such as the parish church of St. Mary Magdalene with extremely valuable artistic equipment (wedding wreath and altar) and a bestiary displayed in the lodge in front of the entrance to the village.

Mutvoran was built on the site of a former Bronze Age and Iron Age castle settlement, from which two rows of concentric ramparts are visible today. Individual monuments indicate the life of the settlement from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. Mutvoran is mentioned in many medieval debates about borders (1150. Castrum Monsmarianus, 1325. in the division of Istria when Motmorani et al.). Since 1331, it was under the administration of the Republic of Venice, whose construction activity is the most visible today. After the Uskok wars and the great plague in 1631, the settlement slowly lost its importance.

Today, efforts are being made to preserve the cultural and historical value of Mutvoran with interpretive walks that pass on lines from the famous history to future generations.

RAKALJ & STARI RAKALJ

Throughout history, Rakalj is known for its potters who made pots by mixing soil – clay and quartz stone. They baked the pots in pottery kilns and sold them all over Istria on monkey carts. They traded according to the saying “Mira na miru, na viru” – which in today’s modern times would mean “Clean account, long love”.

During 14th and 15th century Rakalj was property of the Goricas and then of the Habsburgs, and after the war of the Cambrian League, it belonged to the Republic of Venice. In 1536 they sold Rakalj at auction as a fief to the Venetian family Loredan, which ruled them until the middle of the 19th century. This is evidenced by the Loredan Palace in the center of Rakalj, where the school is located today.

The settlement is decorated with the parish church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the 15th century. On the way to Krnica there is the ruin of the church of St. Theodore.   North of Rakalj is the Gomila hill, where a prehistoric fortress has been confirmed.

Rakalj is the birthplace of the famous Istrian writer and economist Mijo Mirković, better known by his pseudonym Mate Balota. In his birth house, a memorial ethnographic collection has been arranged that shows his life path and represents his literary oeuvre, Istrian heritage and pottery tradition.

Old Rakalj is located east of today’s settlement, on a hill above Cape Sv. Nicholas in the Raša Bay. It is a former prehistoric fortress, an ancient fortress and a medieval castle. The first mention of the castle dates from 1288 (Castell Novo), and the settlement dates from 1312 (Castellare de Rachir). In the floor plan of Old Rakalj today you can recognize the ruins of the castle, the towers of the defensive walls, the guardhouse and the church of St. Agnes from the 15th century, which still exists and is a favorite wedding location with a magnificent view of the Raša Bay and the Kvarner islands.

Rakalj is known for its beautiful coast, sweet-smelling slopes and heavenly beaches. Bicycle paths and the Stjepan Hauser footpath pass through Rakalj.

KRNICA I KRNIČKI PORAT

Krnica is located on a hill above the sea, surrounded by beautiful forests, pastures and vineyards. The place was inhabited in prehistoric and Roman times. In Roman times, the Via Flanatica, the road that led from Pula to Liburnia, passed there. The Romans built several buildings nearby, including a fort whose main task was to monitor the road. After various epidemics in the 16th century, the village was founded by the population who fled Dalmatia from the area of ​​Zadar and named it Sveta Marija Krnička, and then later Krnica. The Port of Krnica, or as locals call it – Krnički Porat, is its coastal extension.

In Krnica, there’s a beautiful building of the parish church of St. Rocco from 1631 with baroque elements. It is an ideal place for a vacation: in spring you can pick wild asparagus, aromatic and medicinal herbs, and in fall you can collect mushrooms, pick grapes, olives, enjoy the scenery, or simply just walk and cycle, discovering puddles with dragonflies.

Krnički Porat or Luka Krnica is a sea cove at the foot of Krnica, deeply indented into the land and well protected from the south and storms, and at the same time a small fishing village with wooden boats, nets and stone houses. There, at sunrise, you can meet fishing boats surrounded by a flock of seagulls and buy freshly caught fish.

An asphalt road from Krnica leads through a pine forest to Luka Krnica (2.5 km). During the 20th century, it was the exit of Krnica and the surrounding villages to the sea and a connection to the world. There was once a station of Austro-Hungarian gendarmes, and later of Italian finance, during the Kingdom of Italy, because merchant ships from all over the northern Adriatic docked here in search of a safe haven and exchanged goods and catches.

Today, Krnički Porat is home to fishing boats, and in summer also to tourist vessels. It is a favorite summer picnic spot and bathing area of ​​the surrounding villages. Beautiful rocky beaches are located on the northern part of the coast, which can be reached by a short walk of only a few minutes along the white road. At the end of the road, there are several houses and a small pit with pebbles, benches and shade for those who arrive first. It is definitely worth seeing the biodiversity of the marine world, starting from the marked snorkeling location, and going wherever the magic takes you. In Krnica and the Port of Krnica there is a rich offer of outdoor activities, from organized boat trips, diving to renting sups, kayaks and bicycles for an active exploration of the destination.

KAVRAN

Kavran is located on a plateau 150 meters above sea level, above the bays of Budava and Vinjola. It was already inhabited in prehistoric times (Neolithic boulders on Vela Gromača), and the area was also attractive in ancient times due to its location and Kvarner view. In the Middle Ages, it belonged to the Mutvoran castle, that is, to the bishop of Pula, and it was almost abandoned after the plague and wars in the 16th century. The settlement was repopulated in the 17th and 18th centuries by refugees from Dalmatia and Boka Kotorska.

In the village, the church of St. Jerome from the 18th century, a single-nave church with a side chapel and sacristy and 3 stone altars. There is a bell tower on the front of the church, and the church circle is entered through a stone archway. There is a well next to the church.

Kavran offers a beautiful view of the sea and rocky beaches of dreams with a designated snorkeling location in Školjić cove for exploring marine biodiversity, a pet friendly beach at Punta Sika, swimming, walking and relaxing by the Kašalver pond and numerous forest paths woven with dry stone walls.