Croatia Travel

Visiting Groznjan, Croatia: What to See & Do in the City of Artists

Groznjan Croatia is a must-see destination for those who want to discover the treasures of Istria hilltop towns.

At an elevation of 260 meters above sea level, this picturesque town is situated on the plateau above the river Mirna, surrounded by at least 20 other neighboring villages and the Adriatic sea in Novigrad and Umag.

Located on a magical white soil (bijele zemlja) feeds many vineyards and olive groves. Particularly is famous for its indigenous olives that grow in this area , called ‘Istarska Belica’ .

Olives grown on terraces and the hillsides that surround this ancient village.The olives have adapted to the local climate and the olive oil that is produced offers a unique aroma and taste.

Groznjan Croatia On The Map

Groznjan is located 15 km inland in northwest of Istria peninsula, 8 km southeast of Buje, and 26 km northeast of Porec.

Groznjan is only 18 Km from Novigrad and 28 Km from Porec. It is the only Croatian settlement to have an ethnic Italian majority. Its Italian name is Grisignana.

The best way to visit this hill town is by renting a car and driving there as the nearest stop on the regular bus route between Buzet and Buje is about three kilometers away, in Bijele Zemlje.

The Town of Artists

In 1955 the almost deserted village became part of the municipality of Buje and over the next few years many of old properties were renovated. In 1965 many of the properties were given to artists from Croatia and Slovenia who began renovating the buildings and revived the town.

It soon became known as the ‘Town of Artists’ and when in 1965 International Cultural Center of Jeunesses Musicales decided to open a summer training program for musicians, Groznjan renaissance started in full bloom.

Groznjan has become a home to numerous national and international artists. In this small town, there are over 40 ateliers. There is also the city art gallery with works by artists from around the world, and even the well known Imaginary Film Academy found its home here.

In the summer, all Groznjan streets become a stage on which renowned jazz and classical musicians alternate. By walking around the town one can directly and actively experience the art.

Almost 15 years Groznjan Croatia hosts the traditional International Jazz Festival that takes place every year from July 12 till July 30, where participate best jazz musicians from Croatia and abroad.

Under the name, Jazz is Back this International jazz festival with the world’s best jazz musicians takes place in the picturesque atmosphere of the town.

Groznjan Croatia Things to see and do

The Groznjan has a very rich history. It was inhabited in prehistoric times and many traces testify that it was very active in trading during the Roman Empire.

Its name was first time mentioned in written documents in 1102 under the name of Piemonte. From the 13th to the mid-14th century, Groznjan belonged to the Pietrapelosa family and in the mid-14th century it fell under Venetian rule.

In the Venetian period numerous churches and palaces were built, some of them are still present in the town. Here are some town important sights to be visited:

  • Groznjan Croatia – parts of the medieval walls and city gates from the 15th century, Renaissance loggia from the 6th century and a beautiful baroque Spinotti palace from the 18th century.
  • The small Churches of St. Rocco and St.Martin, built in the 16th century.
  • The city Gallery Fonticus – with numerous works of art from local and foreign artists.
  • The heraldic collection of Groznjan – contains more than 150 relief emblems, mainly of Istria and Croatian cities.

Where to stay?

In Groznjan there are no hotels but you can find many hotels on the sea around Novigrad that is only 15 km from Groznjan.

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