While we are approaching Pazin, taking the road that goes north-east through the valley of the Pazinčica rivulet, we will spot the bell tower of Lindar at the hilltop ahead of us, peeping out from the dense forest as if it was watching us. We should recall the scene again, once we visit this prehistoric site. Such a prominent position of the guard must have been one of the main reasons for the construction of Lindar, which was once a fort girdled by strong walls and towers. The fort used to protect the entrance to Pazin Castle, from which it is only 2.5 km away. This is the reason why antiquity scholars claim that a prehistoric settlement must have existed on this particular site. Yet, no solid physical evidence has been found up to the present day , apart from a pottery fragment and a piece of an iron object from the neighbouring hilltop, where today the cemetery of Lindar is.
It was from the Lindar lookout where defenders observed numerous tumultuous events that unfolded in the valley beneath them. They witnessed the count of Krk ,Ivan Frankopan together with his soldiers, devastate Cerovlje and Zarečje in 1463,after which he heads towards Pazin Castle but eventually, instead of attacking it, he moves towards the not so well-protected Kašćerga and Sovinjak. They also monitored moves and breakout attempts from the Turks, who in 1501 encamped in the close proximity to Lindar, along the today’s road to Velanov brijeg. With deep anxiety they watched the intervention of Captain Lazarić at dawn of 4th September 1813, when together with only 47 soldiers and helped by a lot of pheasants, whose role was to make noise, he attacked the French army beneath Lindar and forced it to flee to Pazin, which brought the whole Istria back under the Austrian rule. It is said that the women of Lindar contributed to the stratagem of the Captain too, by positioning their spindles in a way that these protrude from the walls, thus suggesting that the fort was well-defended.
But, another face of Lindar existed as well. It was the one devoted to fertile land, of which the illustration from the work of baron Valvasor (Glory of the Duchy of Karniola) is suggestive, depicting that every single plot of the land surrounding the fort was cultivated. Although Lindar was only 7th most populated settlement in the County of Pazin, it was ranked second best regarding its economic power, right behind the nearby Gračišće. Even Prospero Petronio took notice of it in his work: „The land produces big amounts of excellent wines, while numerous fields abound in grains and forage’’.
The church of St. Catherine was built in 1392, and was used as a parish church until 1860. It is the most famous cultural monument of Lindar due to its specific and unique fresco of the "Living Cross’’ found in the interior of the church. The fresco was painted in 1409, as testified by the Glagolitic inscription on the painting, and it depicts the allegorical representation of the Crucifixion scene, where the arms of the cross transform into four lifelike hands. The recent restorations have discovered the remains of frescoes present on the walls of the sanctuary as well, and these represent the scene of the Kiss of Judas. There is a bellcote without bells on the façade of this little church, while in front of it there is the attached porch with Gothic-style profiled bordering lines. The ancient, carved high altar dates back to 1770, while the altarpiece is from the 17th century.
You can experience the fresco to the fullest if you take along the description and interpretation published back in 1951 by Branko Fučić, Ph.D. "Among numerous medieval monuments of wall painting in Istria, an almost unknown work on the wall of the chapel of St. Catherine at Lindar draws special attention to itself. By both its painting characteristics and its content, it is unique in the heritage of our cultural and artistic history. Although the central figure in the painting represents the crucified Jesus Christ, it does not depict the Crucifixion the way we usually see it in paintings in our churches. Here at Lindar, the Crucifixion is not presented as a historical event on Mount Calvary, where at the moment of Christ’s death you can see the Virgin, St. John, women, Jews and soldiers beneath the cross...>>> more
The church of St. Sebastian is situated on a little square, along the street that leads from the church of St. Catherine to the parish church of St. Mohor and Fortunato. Ivan Jedrejčić, a resident of Lindar, commissioned the construction of the church in 1559, as it is testified by the bilingual and two-script inscription (Latin and Glagolitic) built into its façade. The inscription is partly damaged, i.e. worn out from the ropes that were pulled in order to start the bells. In the interior of the church you can spot a small wooden altar, with a Baroque style altarpiece, behind which lurks a mural with a partial depiction of St. Paul. The muscular forearm, the use of the drapery clinging tight to the body, along with the characteristic colourism, reveal the signature moves of Master Dominic. Until 50 years ago, right next to the church, there used to be the town loggia from the 17th century. The loggia had three arcades but was destructed because of its deteriorated condition. Today, we can still see the paving, which clearly reveals its past position. It was here where, for centuries, the judges and prefects of Lindar used to meet and publicly make decisions.
The plateau where today stands the parish church of St. Mohor and Fortunato is actually the space that was once occupied by the former Lindar Castle, or as the people at Lindar call it- Fortezza. A deep ditch, which used to be filled up with water if that was necessary, existed in front of the Castle. The remains of the Castle are, as a matter of fact, still visible today: we will notice solid walls and towers if we carefully approach to the border of the plateau and look down. On the left, on the former northwest round tower of the Castle, which is nowadays turned into a lookout, our attention is drawn to the old bronze cannon pointing into the valley. It is said that it belongs to the time of Napoleon, but it dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries, and it was placed here after the celebration of the construction of the new Lindar bell tower in 1906.
On that occasion the cannon had to be fired to magnify the celebration but, since it had been loaded unprofessionally, parts of the cannon scattered throughout the Lindar surroundings. If we take a walk around the church, we will see the remains of another round tower in the northeast. The remains of a four-angled tower and a part of the town walls can be seen only if, at the point where today is the kids’ playground, we peep over the fence of the yard. A huge millstone is placed at the same spot, reminding us of another activity the population of Lindar engaged in for centuries. It was the activity of milling wheat in water mills that were located on the Big creek underneath Lindar and on the Pazinčica rivulet.
The parish church of St. Mohor and Fortunato is located on the furthest north border of the village, within the premises of the former Castel. It was constructed on the spot of an older church, while its restoration and extension took place in 1860, during which the materials from two other, older Lindar churches were used. The church is three nave, it has five altars from the 18th and the 19th centuries, numerous paintings and sculptures, and a stoup from 1604.The bell tower in front of the church, which is 30m high, was built in 1906.
The church of St. Martin is located at Lindar cemetery, some 800 metres west of the village. It was built in the 14th century in the Romanesque style, and was until recently covered with stone slates. It has a bellcote on the top of the façade, but neither this bellcote has a bell. Its interior is very simple. There is a gravestone inscription of priest Matušić in the floor, dating back to 1588 and written in Glagolitic script. Another interesting trait is a tombstone without any inscription, carved in alto-relievo and featuring a two-headed eagle. It might represent the coat of arms of the noble Flangini family, who were the owners of the Pazin County from 1644 to 1660 and occasionally resided in Lindar, where they had a summer house.
At Lindar, the Glagolotic script, which is the oldest Slavic script, had been used from time immemorial. Apart from the original Glagolitic inscriptions carved in stones in the churches of St. Martin, St. Sebastian, and St. Mohor and Fortunato, there were also graffiti on the frescoes in the church of St. Catherine. The registers of Lindar were written in Glagolitic script from their introduction in 1590 until 1667, while in the 15the century, a Glagolitic priest Petar Fraščić was active in Lindar. He bequeathed to us one, and so far the only known commented Glagolitic psalter, which he wrote in 1463 for "priest Matija of Kubed", and described with these words: «This is written by priest Petar of a sinful last name Fraščić, to whom soil is a mother, homeland a brother, and sins are his opulence...» «... I wrote this while sitting, at Lindar, and in the same year when across Istria there were scarcity of wheat, and much of famine that I here was hungry as well...».
Today, this Glagolitic manuscript is kept at the Austrian National Library in Vienna.
(>>> Psalterum Vindobonense).
Right near the church of St. Catherine, there is an unusual building which has a battlement on its top. Because of this, the building stands out from afar in the panorama of Lindar. At the entrance to the yard there is a monumental arch, while high on the façade there is a visible rustic stone relievo featuring the lion of St. Mark, the symbol of Venice. The villa once belonged to the renowned family Baxa, who had originated from Lindar. It was built in the 19th century by the admiral and doctor Romano Baxa, a former warship commander, and later a longtime physician of the Navy. His son Carlo also began a successful military career (1875 – 1951) in the Hungarian hussars, and was also a famous horse rider and the president of a horse society. However, he abandoned his military career and withdrew to Lindar, to his parents’ villa, where he devoted himself to farming and the growing of table grapes. It was here where he completed his never published but often quoted work on Istrian coats of arm.