The charming town of Buje is set between the rivers Mirna and Dragonja, the Adriatic Sea and the hills of Gornja Bujština. At first look a typical Istrian town, with age-old houses arranged high across the hill, it reveals an interesting triangle-shaped town plan that hides countless myths and secrets, and invites the visitor to unforgettable adventures. Buje is probably best known for its ancient monumental bell tower and a view that extends to several different regions and even states. Yet, you needn’t look so far to discover the impressive town surroundings whose scenery will leave you breathless…
Magical terraces and hills
In the particularly varied and colorful scenery around Buje, vineyards and olive groves are its most striking element. Due to the singular step terraces, a special configuration of the ground, an agreeable climate and exposure to plenty of sun, this area has proven to be a veritable paradise when it comes to wine and olive growing. All these factors have been brought together to produce local products of unique tastes: from olive oil and wine, cheese and prosciutto, to truffles. My first visit to Buje could not have ended without a tasting of the delicatessen that one can never get enough of, and that make returning to the town and the region such joy and a trip worth taking.
In a region famous for fantastic wines and indigenous sorts, among which the Momjan Muscat and the Buje Merlot have special prestige, the Bujština area manages to hold a distinguished position. Some of its wine cellars date back to the beginning of the 20th century, and it is also the home to several of the most highly praised Istrian wine brands, such as Kozlović i Kabola. Exploring the wine roads around Buje is one of the main local attractions and a unique pleasure – especially on sunny days, guaranteed to make your trip worthwhile, whether you are a gourmet or just a curious visitor. The local wine makers will be happy to host you and exchange a few words, describing their considerable experience in the production of this divine drink. Of course, the compulsory tasting and appetizing snacks are certain to follow. A mouthwatering trip by all accounts!
From ancient times up until today
Strolling down the streets of Buje, you will quickly notice the impressive old houses and the typical Venetian architecture which point to the rich history of the place. In the historical town core you will find the ruins of a castle and defense fortifications, a palace and the famous bell towers. The main one belongs to the parish Church of St. Servolo dating back to the 16th century, whose interior reveals some even older sculptures and works of art. The town used to be surrounded by fortifications which were first destroyed in Medieval times, and then rebuilt in the 15th and 17th century. Their historical authority is impossible to ignore, even in a relaxed walk around the town.
The surrounding area of Buje is no less historically interesting. Roaming around the roads of Bujština, I came across the Momjan castle, a monument dating far back into the 13th century. It was built on a cliff, whose contours it follows, and the access to it once used to be protected by a bridge. Scattered in the surrounding areas are also numerous antique archeological sites, which prove that even in ancient times Bujština was already an important agricultural center.
Wandering around the town itself, I came across numerous other places worth visiting – such as the impressive ethnographic collection, old houses and castles, reliefs and monuments. Interestingly enough, Buje is also home to the famous electronic equipment factory called Digitron, which has lended the calculator its popular colloquial name in Croatian – digitron.
Around Bujština on a bike
Buje and its surrounding villages organize and participate in many interesting events throughout the year; from wine and olive oil festivals, restaurant days of local specialties, all the way to sporting, mainly cycling events. Speaking of cycling, that is one color of this place I am still to experience. My next visit to Buje is sure to be – on a bike! Due to the fortunate overlapping of cycling routes and wine roads, the area around this unique town provides an equally unique experience of touring on two wheels, made even more exciting by the wealth of tastes from the tame wine cellars and agrotourist destinations!