May 7, 2015

1568 CROATIA (Istria) - City of Motovun (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)

Located in central Istria, on an elevation that dominates over the valley of the Mirna River, Motovun is in nowadays only a village with 531 inhabitants, but it was a medieval town that grew up on the site of an ancient city called Kastelijer. On the inner walls are several coats-of-arms of different Motovun ruling families and two gravestones of Roman inhabitants (dating from the 1st century). In the 10th and 11th centuries it belonged to the Bishop of Poreč, but from 1278 it was taken over by Venice and surrounded by solid walls which are still intact today. All three parts of the town are connected by a system of fortifications containing elements of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance styles, being a typical example of Venetian colonial architecture.

On the other side of the river Mirna is the famous Motovun forest, comprised mostly of the brown oak (Quercus robur), so one of the city's functions was the supervision and organisation of wood exploitation for the needs of Venetian shipbuilding. The forests could be fully visually controlled from the fortress as well as the navigation route along the Mirna River leading to the Adriatic Sea. At the entrance to the city centre there is an external square where three streets intersect. A municipal loggia from the 16th century is located at the very edge of the square. The loggia was built as a belvedere from which the Mirna river valley could be viewed.

The eastern façade of the external square is occupied by a large municipal palace whose walls are adorned with the remains of Romanesque double windows from the 13 th century. In the centre of the town is a spacious main square with a city bell-tower - with a jagged parapet of RomanesqueGothic features from the 13 th and 14 th centuries on the top. The parish church of St. Stephen is a large early baroque structure in the late Palladian style. Stone statues by the Venetian sculptor Francesco Bonazzo and a painting of the Last Supper attributed to Stephano Celestio are in the church. The church ceiling was painted by Guiseppe Bernardino Bisson. The elaborate rostrum is a valuable piece of Venetian baroque wood carving.

About the stamps

The first stamp was issued to mark the anniversary of the 60 years since the foundation of the Croatian Diabetes Union.

The second stamp is part of the series Croatian Ethnographic heritage, about which I wrote here.

Motovun - Wikipedia
City of Motovun - UNESCO official website

Sender: Dragan Buškulić (direct swap)
Sent from Krk (Primorje-Gorski Kotar / Croatia), on 22.07.2014

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