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Art and culture

Saint Martin’s Tower

The defender of the NorthWest

In northwestern Istria, among the plush greenery, rolling hills, endless vineyards, dense oak forests and sweet Mediterranean herbs, lies a territory rich not only in vegetation, but in history. Buje, formerly known as the “Guard of Istria" due to its strategic position located 270 meters above sea level, dates back to the Bronze Age, marked by its overflowing stone structures and remnants of stone houses.
One of its most prominent structures, the Tower of Saint Martin, can be seen proudly towering over the town, keeping a watchful eye over its citizens and ensuring the safety of the entire region. Built in the 15th century by the Venetians, the pentagon-shaped fort was part of the defense system “Castrum Bulleis.” In the 18th century, the tower had lost its primary function of protection and was converted into a residence for noble families and by 1955, the tower was abandoned and began to collapse. Although many of the other towers in the area have been destroyed, Saint Martin’s Tower was salvaged and reconstructed, standing tall over the small town of Buje today.
This incredible historical landmark was renovated in 2015 and now serves as a venue for the occasional art exhibit open to both locals and visitors. In addition to admiring art in a medieval tower, visitors of Buje can also enjoy one of the many local wine producers in the area, delectable cuisine at traditional Istrian taverns, or take home authentic souvenirs such as locally made honey or freshly pressed olive oil!
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