I love maps. Every day, I look at various maps on the Internet and try to discover new things and learn something interesting about the places that I like. While looking at the map of Istria, the westernmost Croatian county, you will find that Pazin is located in the very center of the peninsula and the county of Istria. And if you look a little better, you will see that Vladimir Nazor, the famous Croatian writer, was right when he called Pazin "a heart in the heart of Istria" since the precise position resembles the heart's position in the human body. Not only because of its location, but also because of its historical importance, this small town is the heart and the administrative center of Istria. Let's see what the real heart and the capital of Istria looks like.
Pazin is today a place where about 9000 inhabitants live and represent the administrative center of Istria ("the capital" of the Istrian county). Pazin is connected to Pula, a larger and more developed city, as well as with the other towns of Istria, and the rest of Croatia and Slovenia. The town is located on a big rock atop the famous Pazin Cave. In Pazin, there are two high schools and several sports clubs. The town hosts the festival of fantasy and science fiction - Istracon, as well as the Days of Jules Verne, as many believe that this famous writer was inspired by the Pazin Cave while writing some of his works.
The town of Pazin was first mentioned in the 10th century when the construction of the Pazin Castle began. The building of the Pazin Castle got its full shape and glow in the 19th century. Through the history of the castle, a story about the city itself can be told. Namely, the castle started construction in the 10th century when it was in the hands of the Poreč Diocese. Its walls, up to three meters thick at some places, testify that it was a fortification designed to protect the settlement from the enemy. Later, through the centuries, the owners of the castle changed - Venetians, Italians, Habsburgs, French... And the owner was changed almost every few years, accordingly. Moreover, the town of Pazin was the center of the earldom and the place of contact with the powerful Venetian Republic. Today, in the premises of the castle are the City Museum and the Ethnographic Museum of Istria. Both are the extremely important cultural institutions, not only for Pazin but for the entire island of Istria and Croatia.
Pazin is surrounded by incredible nature, and the Pazin Cave is a unique place that has been explored by many speleologists. This cave was created by the Pazinčica River that goes under the ground and at the length of about 270 meters. If you love extreme sports, there is a zipline above the cave, and the beautiful views are guaranteed, apart from the solid dose of the adrenaline.
While you are in Istria, Pazin will be easy to reach from every other city. If you are looking at the beauty of Istria from one of the popular viewpoints, or if you go to the wild Učka, or if you visit Pula and its spectacular Arena, or decide to go to Rijeka, Pazin should be one of the stops on your road map. Pazin is the capital and the real heart of Istria, and when you visit it, this magic town will be part of your heart too.
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