City of Pazin

Proud city of Pazin was established in some ancient and turbulent times. Built on the top of steep cliffs over a deep and powerful cave, it has always been the subject of many tales and legends. From rich dukes, Venetian commanders, mighty emperors to great literary names like Dante Alighieri and Jules Verne, it has always been an inspirational space worth visiting. Its pride is the most preserved castle in Istria, a massive construction that used to be the seat of rulers over the Austrian part of Istria which nowadays operates as a museum. Beneath it plunges the river Pazinčica. The famous Pazin Cave still keeps its secrets and with its impressive lakes presents a challenge for speleologists while the entire area abounds in beautiful natural works of art like waterfalls, rivulets and indented relief.

The city of Pazin covers the area of 136,54 square kilometers, and according to 2011 Census it has 8.638 inhabitants. It consists of 18 settlements: Beram, Bertoši, Brajkovići, Butoniga, Grdoselo, Heki, Ježenj, Kašćerga, Kršikla, Lindar, Lovrin, Pazin, Trviž, Vela Traba, Zabrežani, Zamask, Zamaski Dol and Zarečje. To its inhabitants and visitors Pazin offers beautiful nature, a wealth of historical and cultural sites, extraordinary eno and gastro offer of traditional food, quality wines and homemade spirits. Pazin and its surroundings present opportunities for a diverse and active vacation. Due to features of natural sites, those more prone to sports activities and adventurism will find a wealth of interesting activities: unique conditions of the terrain for mountain or recreational biking, large number of walking and hiking trails, speleological adventure in Pazin Cave, a zip-line over the opening of Pazin Cave and fresh water fishing.

Pazin is mentioned officially for the first time in 983 as the so called Pazin Castle (Castrum Pisinum). Behind the walls of the castle, developed a small town which later grew into the settlement called Pazin. In the upcoming centuries, Pazin became the centre of the Pazin County, also called Grafschaft Mitterburg, Contea di Pisino, and in 1374 it came under the rule of the Austrian house of Habsburg. In the 15th century, the town started to develop outside of the walls. The Venetian army attacked Pazin several times, but only managed to take it once, in 1508, when the entire County fell in less than 5 days.

The Habsburgs managed to retrieve lost areas in the spring of next year, and then managed to successfully defend the city from Venetians in 1510. War conflicts were accompanied by an epidemic of plague, and in a large fire in 1584, 180 buildings burned in Pazin. In 1615, another Austro-Venetian war started, which led to Stari Pazin being heavily damaged in fierce attacks in 1616. This war took place until 1619.

In the year 1797, the Venetian Republic fell under the Napoleon’s ruling, and his army quickly took over Istria. The French stayed in Istria until 1813 when they were replaced by the Austrians. In 1825, Istria became a unified administrative unit called the Istrian County with its seat in Pazin. In the second half of the 19th century, Pazin became one of the centres of Croatian cultural revival, so a Reading house, Croatian gymnasium and People’s home were founded. All these institutions were abolished when, after the World War I, Pazin was occupied and annexed by Italy. After its capitulation in 1943, Pazin was taken by the partisans and in September of that year it was annexed to “the homeland Croatia”. In 1991, after Croatia declared its independence, Pazin became the administrative centre of the Istrian County.

Pazin is the center of operation of the sport fisheries association Pazinčica specialized in sports and recreational fishing. This association was established in 1972 and today counts 70 members who fish in the River Pazinčica, the River Mirna and their streams and ponds in Cerovlje.

The streams near Pazin are the home of the protected species of crayfish. It is not allowed to catch crayfish. Unfortunately they suffer from the annual droughts. Given that the lower stretches of the stream are prone to drying during the summer and since this is the area where the greatest concentrations of crayfish can be found, they are dying off due to the lack of water.