351 – Bike route Curiositas Histriae
Welcome to the track Curiositas Histriae that will make you discover the rich collection of curiosities of the istrian south! We start from Mutily, today a very known Istrian southernmost seaside resort – Medulin. To begin, you can visit the Parish church of St Agnes from the 19th century, listen to different concerts of classical music which take place there and ride along the narrow streets of Medulin.
Following fresh fragrance of the pinewood you will reach a nearby magnificent 2 km long sandy beach and another attraction, an archaeological site with remains of a Roman villa situated at the bay of the peninsula called Vizula, that once hosted Helena and Crisp, wife and son of the Roman king Constantine. If you continue further along the track, through Šišan and Valtura, you’ll reach Kavran, and shortly after that Loborika, a place which name seems originates from a certain Laberius, owner of a Roman property. Sited along the roman road that once was connecting Pula and Liburnia, the so called Viae Flanaticae, the next town which you are going to meet is Marčana. Many times heavily affected by pest and poverty epidemics, the place was almost led to extinction. With the intention to repopulate it, several times in the 16th century the Venetians brought there Greek and afterward Dalmatian families giving to Marčana a new life.
If you continue further, you’ll get to the wonderful Vodnjan. It is a town that vaunts its multiculturalism, mu,erous churches and imperious palaces, out of which worth paying attention is the gothic palace of the count Bettica and numerous stone effigies on the of building’s façades – in its largest Parish church, that of St Blaise, it offers many surprises. Indeed, the monumental baroque church, built in 1761 on the remains of a pre-Roman one, is an authentic treasury, including from 1984 a special collection of ecclesiastical art with many precious pieces. Amongst the various exhibits, surely have to be mentioned the widely known mummies of Vodnjan.
For those interested to the mummified bodies from Vodnjan, there are few intriguing facts: whereas not being embalmed, the decomposed bodies of the Saints Leone Bembo, Giovanni Olini and St Nicolosa Bursa represent an authentic scientific mistery, and the body of St Nicolosa, the Benedictine nun deceased in Venice in 1512 is considered the best preserved mummy Europe wide! After the story that the bioenergetics have found a bioenergetics’ radiation originary from the body of the woman saint within 32 meters, and it is interesting the fact that in the surroundings have been evidenced 50 miraculous recoveries!
If you have enough of the Vodnjan’s miracles for one day, ride further towards Fažana, called Vasianum after the ancient amphorae’s a various containers factory. Fažana has always been and authentic fishermen village which life pulses in the little harbour that today has imposed as a stage of some of the most important cultural and artistic events. Which city is situated on seven hills, has a magnificent Amphitheatre and is not Rome? You are, indeed, in front of Pula, the largest city in Istria. We suggest visiting it at moderate pace, with a lot of patience and with your eyes wide open. Visiting Pula in one go is not a simple venture, therefore, prepare yourself carefully and remember: Pula is an enchantress with thousand appearances which has been casting spell on its visitors for centuries. Many of them who have once passed under the Sergius’ Triumphal Arch (from the end of the 1st century B.C. and the beginning of the 1st century A.D.), or walked through its famous Arena, a Roman amphitheatre (from the 1st century B.C.) usually long to come back forever. Therefore, it is not surprising at all that many legends of the city still live on and tell us how the city was founded by the Colchidians who, after chasing Jason and the Golden Fleece, settled down here and did not want to return to their homeland, and that Dante Allighieri and Richard the Lion Heart in person walked along its streets and admired its beauty.
Pula is a fascinating city in the true sense of the word with its rich antique heritage which on every step reminds us of the saying of Cassiodorus that Roman patricians used to live here “like Gods”. If you have a look at its Austro-Hungarian heritage, beautiful and worth of respect, and if you consider the fact that in the 19th century (in 1848) Pula was the chief military port of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy where, among others, the famous James Joyce settled for a while, you will realize that you are beginning to penetrate deeply under the tissue of long and glorious history of the city which has always vaunted its spirit of European cosmopolitism.
And finally, when you are tired from exploring the largest Istrian town, ride again towards south and discover the small villages Pomer, Premantura and Cape Kamenjak, where there are even 22 species of orchids. Stop briefly in one of the numerous bays and fill your lungs with the incisive fragrances of the aromatic Mediterranean plants, and ride towards Medulin, from where your adventure has begun.
- The splendour of the ancient Mutila: the luxury Roman villa on the peninsula of Vizula nearby Medulin
- Medulin ? the touristic paradise: from the sandy beaches, the campsites and hotels, until the divine sounds of St Agnes
- The Flanatica road ? from Pula until Liburnia; Loborika, Marčana
- The miraculous mummies of Vodnjan ? the treasury in the cathedral of St Blaise
- The village of boats and amphorae?s: Fažana,
- Following the traces of Roman gladiators: the Roman Amphitheatre, the Sergius? Triumphal Arch, the Temple of Augustus and The Little Roman Theatre,
- Following the traces of Franz Joseph in 1891: the Austro-Hungarian heritage of Pula
- The fishermen villages: Premantura and Pomer
- The 22 orchids of the Istrian south: the protected natural park of Cape Kamenjak