Tinjan has always been a border area town. In the time of the Romans Attinianum protected the borders of Poreč's ager (from Latin: state owned land for public use) from the poorly Romanized peninsular inland and it also monitored the route towards Tarsatica. During MiddleAges it became one of the pillars of Majnard Črnogradski's properties in Pazin and along with the Pazin castle got by means of a wedding liaison under the rule of the Gorica earls. It was for them that Tinjan fortress safeguarded the often attacked west borderline towards the Aquileia patriarch's properties. In the same way from 1374 till the Napoleonic rule it protected its new owners , the imperial family Habsburg, from the fervent borderline of the Pazin county towards the Venetian properties. Despite being itself a borderline Tinjan has never been a solitary fortress but on the other hand since 1587 it has proclaimed itself –a town.
Today Tinjan is a place that proudly preserves its history and tradition whether it relates to the symbols of the area – stone dry walls and pools, Istrian traditional tools (kosiri and rankuni), folklore and architectural heritage, folk tales or legends, or relating to superior gastronomic specialities such as Istrian smoked ham (pršut). The tradition of the production of superb smoked ham is nowadays in Tinjan area preserved by numerous registered smoked ham manufactories and in 2006 Tinjan proclaimed itself the Municipality of Istrian smoked ham.
Another significant tradition of this region is the blacksmith trade with the wide known kosir (a miniature version of sickle always carried by the locals), so that during the festivities of St. Simon's Day in Tinjan there is the traditionally held festival of kosir and other blacksmith's craftworks where all the blacksmiths from Istra gather.
You can best get to know Tinjan if you set off from the lookout above Draga (Creek). 1 at the county ruler's table around which in the past county rulers and judged used to sit. Nearby the table, following the path that leads down to the valley, there is the statue of St. John Nepomuk, patron of floods and confessionalist of queens, the poor, and bridge constructors. The lookout offers a compelling view over the valley across the nearby Kringa, while you can spot houses at Sv. Petar u Šumi (St. Peter in the Woods) and Ježenj on the other side of Draga. In the past it was the spot where a river flew all the way to the sea coast and to the Gulf of Lim.
The old stone paved street leads you from this point to Geto. 2 Once here stood a bridge on the very entrance to the castle.
If you turn right through the vault in the middle of the street you will pass through the oldest part of the town along the houses which demonstrate carved symbols of their owners: blacksmiths, Austrian military captains, where the house Depiera attracts special attention. 3 It dates back to 1670 with arcades, a cistern, and a high protruding chimney. Further along the street you can find the old Tinjan school Casamara,4 next to which is a monument dedicated to its most notable pupil, later Istrian and Triestine bishop Jura Dobrila (1812-1882) born in the nearby Ježenj. 5 The parish church of St. Simon and St. Jude Thaddeus 6 from XVIII century is an interesting example of late baroque in Istra.
7 The church separate bell-tower, 28 metre high, differs from the majority of Istrian bell-towers by its crown-top which gives remarkable imprint of the Tinjan skyline.
Taking another street on your way back to the outlook underneath ladonja (Celtis australis) you also pass by the stunning rustic stone vault, 8 along with the monument dedicated to the people of Tinjan who lost their lives in World War II, until you finally reach Điđi tavern. In the neighbouring house the renowned linguist and lexicographer Josip Voltić (1750-1825), the author of the three lingual Ričoslovnik (dictionary) published in 1803 in Vienna, was born.
The Romanesque church of St. Cross,10 built at the end of the XIII century can be seen a bit further from the village centre on the road to Poreč and next to it there is the Calvary (Golghota) of Tinjan from 189.
In one of the houses in the historic center of Tinjan, a rich collection of objects related to the life od Tinjan is placed. The collection of thousands of objects related to the life and work of past generations of Tinjan`s territory was collectes and finally donated to theis fellow citizens in 2013 by Enriko Depiera.
The collection is open to the public by appointment; tel: +385 91 572 2438.
On every step of the Tinjan region you will meet ancient drywalls and dry stone field huts (kažuni). The remarkable trait of Istrian kažuni is the fact that they are not always circular-shaped but can be quadrangular or even buried underground at the field boundary. Typical architecture of stone houses with a balcony (baladur) is particularly well preserved in smaller villages, while the high-bounded courtyards and monumental fences are a distinctive feature of the Municipality's southern part.