The Heart of Istria

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.

>>> more about history of Pazin

The Castle of Pazin

Pazin’s Castle (983.) is the largest and best-preserved medieval fortress in Istria. It has been mentioned in written documents since 983 and from that period on, together with the settlement that slowly enlarged around it, Pazin’s Castle was repeatedly endowed, conquered and sacked, destroyed, rebuilt and granted to tenants. It has also had a number of different owners and managers and changed its name as well. 

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.


Pazin abyss

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.

Part of the Abyss can be visited by a short walk (500m) along the footpath that runs on the southern side. If you are an adrenaline addict, you can enter the abyss accompanied by experienced speleologists and explore the underground world in an exciting Speleo Adventureor fly over it on a Zip Line.

>>> ZipLine Pazinska jama

>>> Cave adventure Pazinska jama

The parochial church of St. Nicholas

Originally built in 1266, it was rebuilt in 15th and 18th centuries. St. Nicholas Parish Church presbytery displays a unique gothic groin vault with a series of late-gothic frescoes 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 built next to the church.

For visit contact Parish office Pazin +385 (0)52 622 198

The Franciscan Monastery

The Franciscan Monastery - The monastery and the church of the Visitation of the Holy Virgin originate from the  middle of the 15th century. The Church is adorned with a late gothic presbytery on the model of St. Nicholas’ Church. During the past centuries, the Franciscans held the pharmacy and the hospital in the monastery.
A public school was there from 1781 to 1834, and a grammar school with classes in German from 1836 to 1873. Rim is the greatest holiday celebrated by the Pazin Franciscans. The Church has given a privilege to Franciscan order - everyone who visits the church of the Virgin of Angels in Assisi on August 2 gets an absolution of sins. That custom spread to many Franciscan churches including the one in Pazin.

Spomen dom The Memorial centre

The Memorial Centre of Union and Freedom has been built as a memorial to September 1943, when it was decided in Pazin, that Istria will join the rest of Croatia. It is a multifunctional building, which nowadays is the convergence point of cultural and social life, with a library, exhibiting places, concert and cinema halls and the adjoining contents managed by Public open university.
Also, in building are caffe bar and discoteque.

State Archives

State Archives in Pazin is one of the richest archives in Croatia by its archival material, and by its notarial legacy. It leaves even some big archives behind.
The Royal State Grammar School -  the first grammar school in Istria with classes in Croatian operated here from 1899 to 1919.

Bishop`s Seminary

One of the most noticeable buildings in town is the building of former Catholic Seminary in Juraj Dobrila Street. The building was built by the Student Support Society for Istria before the World War I and its purpose was to be pupil's home.
The institution Fabio Filzi has taken this for a place since 1936 and all the armies used it in the World War II. Catholic Seminary has operated here since 1945 and another school - The Pazin College - a grammar boarding school (Pazinski kolegij - klasična gimnazija) and one of the first private grammar schools in Croatia since 1993.

The Stream of Pazin - Pazinčica

The Stream of Pazin, or the Pazincica, originates from three smaller streams: Lipa, Rakov and Borut Stream, and enters the hollow of Pazin from the North. As the terrain is Karst, the stream flow forms many bigger and smaller cascades, waterfalls and lakes, some suitable for a summer swimm.
Pazinski krov and Zarecki krov are among the most interesting structures. The valley of Pazin Stream, together with the Pazin Cave where the stream sinks into subterranean passages, is an attractive natural area for a number of nature lovers as cyclists, climbers, walkers and anglers. During the past, water flow was used for mill running, and their remains can still be seen along the banks.

Legend of the origin of the Pazin abyss

In the ancient times, Istria was populated by giants, too. They were led by the tallest and strongest among them, who was high as a mountain and his name was Ban Dragonja. After he created Dragonja and Mirna river, Ban Dragonja took his plough and reached the walls of the castle in Pazin. There, the wife of the Pazin captain saw him from her high window and started to laugh at him. She mocked him, if he had perhaps grown old that his furrow seemd so shallow and crooked.
Ban Dragonja was insulted and grew angry, so he raised his plough to his shoulder and sent his oxen back home. Water filled up the unfinished furrow and flooded the Pazin Basin. Waters rose almost to the top of the castle walls and threatened to flood and drown the whole town. The people of Pazin were scared and they begged with a song. Ban Dragonja heard their plea. His giant foot struck the ground at the bottom of the castle of Pazin. The earth cracked and trembled, and an enormous cave opened to swallow the flood. Even today, here stands Pazinčica, a crooked river that vanishes into Pazin Cave.

Explore the surroundings

Take some of winding paths or roads, indulge in enjoying the beauties of nature, study the rich historical and cultural heritage and discover which stories hide places:

Central Istria A - Z

Grad Pazin Općina Cerovlje Općina Gračišće Općina Karojba Općina Lupoglav Općina Pićan Općina Sveti Lovreč Općina Sveti Petar u Šumi Općina Tinjan

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