Vodnjan Things to Do

  • The front facade of the church and its bell tower.
    The front facade of the church and its...
    by Jerelis
  • Dresscode required.
    Dresscode required.
    by Jerelis
  • Inside the church.
    Inside the church.
    by Jerelis

Most Recent Things to Do in Vodnjan

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    Church of St. Blaise – Bodies of Saints.

    by Jerelis Written Aug 19, 2015

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    This place is a walhalla for relics lovers and persons with an affection for morbid atmospheres. We find relics to be completely fascinating, but this place takes the cake. The church houses half a dozen bodies of saints from the 1300-1700s ... that have mysteriously remained intact and have not decomposed. You can view them and listen to a short description of the saints while you observe. No pictures, unfortunately. We were the only people in our tour.

    The tour contains a collection of some 370 relics (the body parts of saints), mainly bones, though one glass reliquary is said to contain the tongue of St. Mary of Egypt. The treasury also exhibits other religious paraphernalia like the 14th-century polyptych of Blessed Leon Bembo, painted by Paolo Veneziano in 1321. Hidden by thick velvet curtains, you’ll find the infamous Vodnjan mummies. There are six in all, saints dressed in period clothing and displayed in dimly lit glass-fronted cases. We had approximately 10 minutes to view the mummies, accompanied by a recorded explanation (in English) about what you are looking at, with some historical background and details about the lives and deaths of the deceased. Note that when visiting churches in Croatia, you should be appropriately dressed — no bare shoulders or bare legs, for men or women, and no hats, either.

    Truly beautiful! Having a look at the beautiful church. Inside the church. Leaving the beautiful Church of St. Blaise.
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    Church of St. Blaise – Lighting a candle.

    by Jerelis Written Aug 19, 2015

    During our visit to Vodnjan we were quite early when we first arrived at the Church of St. Blaise we were already allowed to enter it. A huge advantage of our early arrival was the fact that there were absolutely no tourists at all. Whenever we visit a church the kids always want to burn a candle, it has become a bit of a tradition. The sight of burning votive candles - real or electronic - is common in most Catholic cathedrals. The candles are usually placed before statues of saints or at shrines. But how did this tradition get its start?

    According to A Handbook of Catholic Sacramentals, by Ann Ball, the practice of lighting candles in order to obtain some favor probably has its origins in the custom of burning lights at the tombs of the martyrs in the catacombs. The lights burned as a sign of solidarity with Christians still on earth. Because the lights continually burned as a silent vigil, they became known as vigil lights. Vigil Lights (from the Latin vigilia, which means "waiting" or "watching") are traditionally accompanied by prayers of attention or waiting. Another common type of candle offering is the votive light. Such an offering is indicative of seeking some favor from the Lord or the saint before which the votive is placed. So for us lighting a candle is a way of extending our prayer and showing solidarity with the person on whose behalf our prayer is offered.

    Lighting a candle in the church. The beautiful altar. Walking our way around in the church. Amazing interior of the church.
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    Church of St. Blaise – Largest church of Istria.

    by Jerelis Written Aug 19, 2015

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    We ended up in Vodnjan by accident. At one day we wanted to visit the city of Pula, but we heared that there was a huge traffic jam towards the city. Therefore we decided to just drive around in the area and via this way we ended up in Vodnjan. We parked the car just outside the city centre and walked up the hill. The first square we arrived at was the Trg Sveti Blaža with its beautiful Church of St. Blaise.

    You’ll find the 18th-century St. Blaise Church in the heart of Vodnjan’s old town, on the main square. On the site of the present-day parish church once stood a basilica, most probably from the 11th century, that was pulled down in 1760. The new church was modelled after the Venetian church of San Pietro. It is the largest church in Istria and its bell tower is said to be the tallest. Entrance to the church itself is free, but there is a charge to see its main attractions, the treasury of sacral art and the mummies. We had our mind set on the mummies, but first had a look in the church itself, which is definitely worth a visit indeed.

    Entering the St. Blaise Church of Vodnjan. The front facade of the church and its bell tower. Dresscode required. Stained glasses in the church. Inside the church.
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    Writing

    by JLBG Updated Jun 18, 2005

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    I tried to decipher this carving but could not achieve it. What I have read :
    1488 TALI ME DOMADA COME STO CHE MA...
    It seems to be written in the local istro rumanian dialect and should refer to the building of this house.

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    Carved window

    by JLBG Updated Nov 22, 2004

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    A little further, a Romanesque style carved window is standing. Is it really Romanesque, or has it been built later in the Romanesque style, I do not know, as I have not read anything on any Romanesque building in Vodjnan.

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    A well

    by JLBG Updated Nov 22, 2004

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    In the yard behind the Venetian gothic palace, the well looks ready to be used. However, I suppose that, just like everywhere else, it is actually not in use anymore and that the inhabitants prefer to use tap water ! Who would prefer to draw water out the well by hand power instead of turning the tap on the sink ?

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    Venetian gothic palace

    by JLBG Updated Nov 22, 2004

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    An inhabited Venetian gothic palace with a twinned gothic window. In the inside yard, mason are working (a cement mixer appears under the vaulted doorway). Once renovated, it will be even more magnificent !

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    Ulica Castello

    by JLBG Updated Nov 22, 2004

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    Further to Narodni trg, ulica Castello becomes even narrower than in its first part and a little section of it is a pedestrian only zone. At the other end, Ulica Castello opens on the ''piazza del Duomo'', where stand both the campanile and the cathedral.

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    The town hall

    by JLBG Updated Nov 22, 2004

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    The town hall stands on Narodni Trg / Piazza del Popolo (People's square). A full picture has been given in the introduction section. On this close-up the interesting wooden balcony and the three windows with ribbed vault are better seen.

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    Saint Blaise or chief gardener ?

    by JLBG Updated Nov 22, 2004

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    The statue of Saint Blaise, on top of the cathedral looked a bit strange. I shot this close up and discovered that it was holding a rake ! I suppose that a mischievous but vertigo free soul, climbed on top of the roof to put this rake as a bet and that nobody else dared climb to take it off.

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    Saint Blaise

    by JLBG Updated Nov 22, 2004

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    The Saint Blaise (Sveti Blaz) cathedral is very large : it can receive up to 1,000 persons in its nave. It was built by the Venetians following the model of the cathedral San Pietro in Castello in Venice.

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    The campanile

    by JLBG Updated Nov 22, 2004

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    The campanile of Saint Blaise (Sveti Blaz) is very high. It is said that it was possible to communicate by signs with Venice. I am afraid that now, because of global air pollution, it cannot be true anymore !

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    Ulica Castello

    by JLBG Updated Aug 29, 2004

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    Ulica Castello, castle street, is lined with ancient houses. Some are in good condition, other need some repairs and other are presently being repaired. We saw a truck that took rumbles away. It was a few centimeters less wide than the street !

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    No tourist !

    by JLBG Updated Aug 29, 2004

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    The main street in the old town has a very smooth pavement that can be very slippery when wet. This part of the street is not pedestrian only (see road sign) though narrow. Fortunately, there is not often a car that passes.

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Vodnjan Things to Do

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