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Art and culture

Grožnjan’s secular and religious buildings

Grožnjan is a protected cultural monument. Its secular buildings tell a story of different rulers, and what its residents needed to survive and defend the town, while religious ones keep alive the memory of liturgical acts and rituals.

Secular monuments

  • MEDIEVAL WALLS – They were built for defence purposes, and renovated in 1360 and 1367. The last renovation took place in 1446, when fears about the Turkish threat began to build up.

  • KAŠTEL – It was first mentioned in 1102, and in 1359 it became the seat of town mayors and captains of Sveti Lovreč. It has retained much of its 19thcentury structure, and today houses a concert hall and the office of the International Cultural Centre of the Jeunesses Musicales Croatia.

  • TOWN LOGGIA WITH GRANARY – The Renaissance town loggia was first mentioned in the 14th century. The present building dates from 1597. Its ground floor used to house a court and a prison, with a granary on the first floor. Today it is home to the Fonticus town gallery.

  • TOWN GATE – Of the two town gates from the 15th and 16th century, only the Main Gate has been preserved. It used to have a drawbridge, and is decorated with the coats of arms of Venetian governors. The small one to the west has not been preserved, and today there is a popular lookout and a Venetian pillar with the municipal flag in its place.

  • SPINOTTI-MORTEANI PALACE – This palace, owned by the town’s notaries and landlords, was built in the Baroque-Classicist style in 1681. Today it houses a wine shop.

  • CLERK’S OFFICE – It was built in 1492 to accommodate municipal notaries. Baroque decorations are still visible on the upper part of the building.

  • BLACKSMITHS’ WORKSHOP – It is probably the oldest building in town, which was rented to blacksmiths. The year inscribed on the lintel is 1466.

  • CORNER PALACE – This is a Renaissance palace from 1567, with the first floor in Gothic style.

Religious monuments

  • PARISH CHURCH OF ST VITUS, MODESTUS AND CRESCENTIA – It was first mentioned in 1310. Today’s building dates from the 1748-1770 period. It houses a miraculous altar, declared as such by Pope Pius VII in 1800, Girardi’s organ (1846), choir benches (1711) and a central altar motif painted by Ermenegildo de Troya in 1914. The 36-metre tall detached bell tower dates from 1603-1682.

  • CHURCH OF ST COSMAS AND DAMIAN – It lies on a small square outside the town walls. According to the inscription above its entrance, it was built in 1554. Its internal wall decorations in modernist style are the work of painter Ivan Lovrenčić (1988-1989).

  • CHURCH OF ST NICHOLAS – It was built in the 19th century and is located by the town cemetery.

  • CHAPEL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT – It was erected in 1598, and reconstructed in 1790 and 1925. It is nestled by the cemetery, near the Church of St Nicholas.

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