Besides the top notch Muscat wine, this little village near Buje is widely known for its fort – the Momjan castle. It dates back to the 13th century, and was built by the Devin family. Although Istria is abundant with these kinds of stone buildings, this old castle offers one of the most beautiful views of the northwestern coast of Istria and of the estuary of the river Mirna. It is this view which compels me to visit this small town at least once each year. All that is now left to visit of the ancient castle with a hanging bridge, are the remains of the wall, towers, a portal with an arch and two magnificent stone half columns.
The Dajla castle was also built in the 13th century, and the Sabini family was responsible for it. They wanted to make it the center of a great estate, but it ended up abandoned. Its went through a restoration in 1736, when it was bought by the Grisoni family from Kopar. They also built a promenade of cypress tree which stretches all the way to the sea. The scent of cypresses and the sounds of the close by sea inspire me for meditation every time I get close to the place.
Aside from reputably being the smallest city in the world, Hum is a fortified settlement. There is an interesting city gate with twelve medallions, representing the months of the year. In addition to this, Hum also has preserved city walls as well as two small churches painted with beautiful frescoes. At Humska konoba, I take the time to drink a glass of biska, the local mistletoe brandy made from an ancient druid recipe.
And last but not least – Grožnjan! This well-known music and art center is, in fact, a fortified settlement. It has been inhabited since Roman times, although it was mentioned only in the 12th century in historical documents. A part of the town’s walls has been preserved as well as one of the two 15th-century city gates. In addition to the remains of a medieval fortress, Grožanj in the summertime is worth a visit for its rich music program and its art studios and galleries. While there, you should not miss to taste the local wine.