Trail marked with number 711
Length: 11,8 km
Altitude: 385 m
Highest point: 462 m
Lowest point: 201 m
Duration: 3:00 h
The hiking trail from Pazin to Beram via the Gortan hill, with the return to Pazin via the Santarija plateau and the Pazin Roof waterfall. Hiking trail is marked with the 711 signs. The first part of the trail, before the turning to Santarija, is marked with red and white markings. The biggest part of the trail is in the shade and it follows gravel roads and forest paths.
We set out on the Pazin - Beram - Pazin trail from the Pazin Tourist board office where one can get all the necessary information material about the trail and about Beram, we pass along the Pazin Castle, cross the bridge over the Pazin cave, go along the former Pazinka factory complex, after which we take the road and climb up to the Gortan hill. Right after the Gortan hill, the trail turns left onto a field path (sign 711), which takes us along meadows and the forest edge, to finally descent towards Beram down a forest path, where we come out onto the asphalt between Beram (left) and the church of St. Mary of the Rocks (right). Before you proceed with the trail, you can seek some refreshment at the "Vela Vrata" tavern in Beram or in the Baćac family wine-cellar. In order to visit the church of St. Mary of the Rocks (the Dance of the Dead fresco from 1474), we’ll contact the Šestan family at house number 38. We move away from the church and continue the trail along the gravel road, which at first gently and later more steeply ascends to the Findrle hill. Here, several climbing routes intersect so we need to be cautious at each of many forest crossings, until at one of them the sign 711 guides us left, off the marked climbing route. From here on, there are no more red and white climbing markings, only the 711 signs at the crossings. The trail follows the drive, partly paved with stones and leading downhill to Pazin. Upon reaching the broad macadam, we turn left and shortly after we turn right onto the tractor path, which gets more and more narrow until it eventually comes out at the Pazin Roof waterfall, where we cross the brook and soon arrive to Pazin.
The monastery of St. Micheal was mentioned on this hill as early as 1177. In the 14th century it was already deserted and given to the local noblemen. The Istrian Book of Boundaries states that the deconsecrated monastery served as a refuge to Drmitor, the bishop of Pićan,during the fruitless years in Pićan, which is why it is possible that this particular monastery was the one where Dante Alighieri stayed during his visit to Istria. The view of the Pazin cave spreading from the Gortan hill is equivalent to the Dante’ description of entering Hell: a gentle valley through which flows a rivulet that reaches a vertical rock where it sinks to the ground. In the 15th century the hill was named the Kršan hill, after its owner Andrija Kršanski, who was the Captain of Pazin and Trieste. In the first half of the 17th century it was inhabited by their heirs, the nobles Tolzay, who did a fundamental reconstruction of the chapel. They were succeeded by the families Cavalieri, Calligarich, Weissenhaus,and finally Camus, who possessed the estate until 1945. Today, the biggest part of this historical and agricultural complex is used by AZRRI (Agency for Rural Development of Istria). AZRRI created the Education and Gastronomic centre of Istria in one part of the complex, while an agricultural complex was added north of the present-day settlement, where a basic herd of the Istrian ox boškarin , on whose protection AZRRI has been working for years, is going to be accommodated.
Beram is one of the oldest continuously populated settlements in Istria. Explorations of the prehistoric necropolis on the south slopes of Beram have shown with certainty that during the iron age a settlement already existed here. A conical hill above a fertile valley was an ideal place for a hill-fort type settlement, surrounded by a simple rough wall following the terrain configuration. Over the ruins of these walls, Roman forts and medieval castles were later built. A radial street pattern founded in some ancient times has been preserved in Beram untill today. Explorations of the Beram necropolis were the first real archaeological research in Istria and they provided an ample amount of material that clarified not only the prehistoric era of Beram, but of the entire Istria. The Beram castle played an important role as a fort at the second line of defense of the Pazin County, but due to that it also often suffered attacks and destruction. Beram was also one of the most important centres of medieval Glagolitic literacy. Students („žakans“) from most parts of Istria would come to study with Beram Glagolitic priests. They left testimonies of it written in Glagolitic script on the margines of Beram liturgic books, or carved with a sharp object into fresco-painted walls of the little church of St. Mary „na Škriljinah“ (of the Rocks). This small church, situated 1 km to the northeast from Beram, within itself holds one of the most valuable acomplishments of Istrian medieval painting, made by master Vincent of Kastav, known as „Dance of the Dead“. >>> more
The Church St. Mary of the Rocks, which is 1 km away from Beram, on it`s walls has the frescoes which is the most valuable accomplishment of Istrian medieval painting. The frescoes, which cover all the walls of the interior, were made by Master Vincent from Kastav. The most of the space is dedicated to representing the scenes from Jesus and Mary`s life because the frescoes were ordered by Beram brotherhood. But the most famous fresco is The dance of the death - it is illustrated how kings, cardinals, even the Pope dance, telling us that we are all equal in the presence of death. In 18th century the church was expanded and renovated, and that`s the reason why some of the frescoes are damaged or distroyed. Then, all the frescoes were repainted and hidden. In 1913, the frescoes were revealed and restaurated.
Pazinski krov or the Pazin Roof is the smallest of the two similar waterfalls on the River Pazinčica. At dry times of the year there is usually no water in the pond beneath the waterfall, but let’s not get disappointed by that. For a change, from the dry pond under the waterfall we have the opportunity to look well at the remains of the mill that used to be right beneath the waterfall. A watermill Fotzlapum (=under the waterfall?) is mentioned in the Urbarium of the Principality of Pazin back in 1498, when it belonged to certain Gregor Prechenstain, while later it was in the possession of the Rapicio noble family. The mill was partially cut into the rock and it reclined on it, while wheat used to be brought in and flour carried away from its upper part, where there are wooden steps today which we climb to get out of the canyon. If the lake is dry, we can see the remains of all the four walls of the former mill, while the lake bottom is full of manually processed stone which was used in the construction of the mill. On one stone, which is usually below the water surface, we will spot the carved fields of the ancient board game "the mill" which the millers obviously made their time pass quicker. Two mill stones have been recently pulled out from the lake and placed near the steps, so that they can be visible all year round, while a few bigger pieces of carved stone, which belonged to the mill, have been used to fix the crossing over the brook.