Brilliant Museums in Istria You Should Visit This Summer


Want to shop indigenous signature souvenirs, broaden your knowledge Istrian culture or get involved with the local community? We have three excellent museums for you! 

Showcasing the culture of local communities in Istria, these museums bring you into direct contact with Istrian way of life. Learn all about local crafts, culinary traditions, beliefs and customs.

Ecomuseum in Vodnjan – Experience the traditional Istrian lifestyle

Istrian de Dignan Association

This Ecomuseum is traditional Istrian life in a nutshell – or rather in a refurbished old stone house at the main square in Vodnjan. Ecomuseum Istrian de Dignan is not just a museum, it’s a project with the aim develop culture, agriculture and tourism through solidarity and collaboration of locals of Vodnjan community. The whole project is divided in three houses across the small town of Vodnjan:

House of Tradition – “Museum of the local culture”, (main square Vodnjan) where you can experience traditional Istrian lifestyle in one place: the permanent exhibition of the museum consists of objects and tools of traditional Istrian use that locals voluntarily gave from their own private collections.

Didactic farm – “Museum of rural culture” (Vodnjan’s Elementary school garden). The Didactic farm is actually the local Elementary’ s school garden where association members and volunteers grow and cultivate autochthonous varieties of fruit and vegetables, with the aim of teaching school kids the value of good local grown food. Besides cultivating fruit and vegetables, the association takes care of autochthonous Istrian donkeys, goats and Istrian ox – Boškarin.

Ecolab – “Museum of local products“, where the association runs the factory of eco products.

The project Ecomuseum started in 2014th with a simple aim to nurture and preserve Istrian tradition across all its aspects – from urban identity to agriculture, and to contribute to sustainable development of the local community. Recently recognized as the best practice of innovative territorial development at European level, the Ecomusem project will be presented this June in the European parliament in Brussels by the members of  its association, Istrian de Dignan.

House of Frescos in Draguć – Learn all about Frescos in Istria

Historical and Maritime Museum in Istria

Istrian Frescos are a great cultural phenomenon of the region. On such a small territory, there are more than one hundred localities with preserved fresco paintings and / or fragments. Where to learn about them in one place? House of Frescos in Draguć. Functioning as an experience center, you can learn all about great cultural heritage of frescos through ”innovative and dynamic multimedia interactions, multilingual photographic monographs, brochures and other educational-promotional materials.”

Learn all about more than 100 fresco localities in the Houses of Frescos in Draguć in this multimedia museum!

The House of Frescos is originally a combined project of the Istrian Region and the Cerovlje Municipality whose members recognized the importance of mural painting in Istria, a specific phenomenon of cultural heritage. The aim of the project was the revitalization of the Istrian interior through the development of sustainable cultural tourism, creation of innovative approaches to the reinterpretation of cultural heritage.

Jure Grando museum – A local legend turned into a European story

Tinjan Municipal Tourism Board

According to the story, 400 year ago the vampire Jure Grando has done much evil to the locals of his village Kringa, and especially to his widow Ivana. He was referred to as a štrigun, a local word for vampire, or warlock. After his widow Ivana  reached for help and went to the priest, nine brave men decided to confront Jure and end his malice.

The museum of Jure Grando was founded by the Tinjan Municipal Tourist Board, as a unique tourist attraction preserving a story with Istrian mythology elements. You will notice the museum by the façade painting around the front door. The first part of the museum interior consists of a small souvenir shop with handicrafts from local Tinjan producers. The narrow door lead to a darkened labyrinth where the story of the great Jure Grando is unveiled, which is the central museum area. In addition to the museum, you can have a Vampire Cocktail in the Vampire Café near the museum or enjoy a bloody real Vampire Menu konoba Danieli.

The story of Jure Grando is not just a legend; the proof is the memorial plate that proudly stands at the old school in Kringa. The memorial plate reveals the names of nine men who participated in the exhumation and decapitation of Jure Grando, carried out at the cemetery of St. Peter and Paul in Kringa in 1672! (For those who are faint-hearted we do not recommend a visit to the actual tombstone of Jure Grando, and yes, it still exists in the graveyard.) 

tragic beauty

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Author: Annamaria Gržetić
Founded in 2015, our focus is on contributing to sustainable tourism development in the region of Istria, Croatia, through the work we do. Therefore we are keen on building a travel community to connect travelers with locals of Istria. Off The Beaten Path is a movement that embraces tourism development in a respectful manner while encouraging locals and travelers to involve themselves in a much meaningful way. 
Want to work with us, be featured in our interview or simply have a story to tell? Reach us:
A. Coane 6, 52210 Rovinj
+385 91 600 4278

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