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Art and culture

Top 5 legendary people from Motovun

Motovun has produced many famous people. It is where Mario Andretti, Formula 1 World Champion and one of the auto racing’s biggest icons, spent his childhood, and where a music printing pioneer Andrea Antico was born. Josef Ressel, the inventor of the ship’s propeller, and Croatia’s great artist Miroslav Šutej both lived and created in Motovun.
Mario Andretti
Mario Andretti was born on 28 February 1940 in Motovun. In 1948 he moved to Italy, and in 1964 received the U.S. citizenship. The icon won the CART Champ Car Championships in 1965, 1966, 1969 and 1984, before winning the Indianapolis 500 in 1969, and the Formula 1 World Championship in 1978, on board Lotus Ford. At the age of 53 he took the win in Phoenix and became the oldest winner of the Indy Car race. Mario Andretti was one of the greatest and most versatile racers of all times, as attested by his numerous titles.
Andrea Antico da Montona
Andrea Antico, a publisher, music printer and composer to which Motovun’s main square owes its name, was born in this town in 1480. He spent much of his life in Rome and Venice, tackling a variety of fields. Antico is one of the pioneers of music printing, and historians consider him the oldest known composer in today’s Slavic lands. As his editions preserved a number of pieces written by famous European composers, Antico was one of the most eminent music printers of his era.
Josef Ressel  
Josef Ressel was born in 1793 in the Czech Republic and died in 1857 in Ljubljana. This forester and inventor lived and worked in Motovun from 1835 to 1843. The lower square overlooking the Motovun Forest was named after him. Ressel worked as a forest warden, overlooking the supply of wood for the Austrian Navy ships, and gained fame after inventing the steamship propeller, one of the thirty technical inventions he left behind. It was in his honour that the Motovun Film Festival made the propeller its registered trademark.
Vladimir Nazor
Although Nazor visited Motovun only once, as a tourist, his allegorical tale about the good-natured giant ‘Veli Jože’ made the town famous. Published in 1908, the story whose plot revolves around Motovun and its surroundings became so popular that even today it stands for the symbol of the town, and every year a festival is held there in its honour.
Miroslav Šutej
Miroslav Šutej is one of Croatia’s greatest visual artists of the second half of the 20th century. He worked and spent holidays in his house in Motovun. In 1990, Šutej designed the Republic of Croatia’s coat of arms and flag precisely in Motovun, and later the first official uniform for the national football team, which became one of the country’s most distinctive brands. The artist also designed the national currency banknotes, placing the old town of Motovun on the back of the HRK 10 banknote.
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