PAZIN is a town of long and rich tradition. It is situated in the very centre of Istrian peninsula, only 30 km away from well-known tourist centres. The intensity of life here is pretty much the same in winter and summer, with the monthly exception of every first Tuesday, when a flood of curious buyers from all over the Istria runs into the town to visit the traditional Pazin Market.
The Castle of Pazin is the biggest and the best-preserved medieval fortress in Istria. It was first mentioned in written documents in 983. Since that time, the Castle and the growing civil area that surrounded it have been given as present, conquered and sacked, destroyed, rebuilt and sub-leased many times. It has changed owners, managers and names.
It was under the dominion of Patriarchate of Aquileia, and then under the County of Gorizia. The whole Middle Istrian area, then called Graftschhaft Mitterburg, Contea di Pisino or the County of Pazin was being governed within the safety of its masonry. Since 1374, the whole County had been a private property of the Austrian house of Habsburgs. Today, the Ethnographic Museum of Istria and the Museum of Pazin are located there, and their exhibitions are held.
Under the walls of the Castle, in the hatch of the Cave of Pazin, the Stream of Pazinčica ends its flow above the ground, continuing underground southwards. About a hundred meters under the town level, the underground stream creates two lakes connected by a siphon.
When there are periods of profuse rains, the hole of the cave cannot swallow all the incoming water, so a real lake is then formed in the canyon, sometimes even 2 km long. Such floods were registered in 1883, 1896, 1930, 1934, 1935, 1961, 1964,1974, 1993, 2002 (two times), 2008 and 2009. The greatest of all ever known was the one from 1896, when the water lacked only 30m to reach the walls of the castle.
Originally built in 1266, it was rebuilt in 15th and 18th centuries. Especially interesting is its web-like (or star-shaped) presbytery with a fresco cycle painted around 1460.
Those frescoes belong to the highlight of late Gothic Art in Istria. The same way of vault shaping has been used later, in some other Istrian churches, including the one by the Franciscan monastery. Gaetano Callido made the church organ in 1780. In 1705, a 45 m high bell-tower was added to the church.