Vodnjan is a city in Istria, about 10 km north from Pula with 6 thousand residents. Four places belong to the city of Vodnjan: Gajana, Galizana, Peroj and Vodnjan.
Vodnjan was founded in the footsteps of the prehistoric castle in the form of concentric circles in the technique of dry wall construction, which exists in this region since ancient times. The area is known for many Kazuns (small stone houses on agricultural land), built in the drywall technique, which marked the property. These are witnesses of a millennium in which the inhabitants worked in agriculture, particularly in the production of olive oil and wine as a basis for their own well-being.
The old Romans after they defeated the Histri, the natives, populated this area. In the 2nd century B.C. Vodnjan got to keep the Attinivs and the city was known as Vicus Anninianum which originated the name Adignani, Dignano. The first written reference of Vodnjan was in 1194 in a verdict where Poponis de Adignanis mentioned was. After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the life in Vodnjan continued under the Ostrogoths and the Byzantine Empire. The first destruction of Vodnjan happened in 751, the Langobards and the Avars attacked the city. The time of feudalism lasted during the reign of Karl the Great. Because of the wish to achieve at least limited autonomy, Vodnjan decided it would be more profitable to submit to the Venetians. Under their reign, they remained until the collapse pf the Serenissima in 1797. After the fall of Venice, Vodnjan was again annexed to Pula, during the rule of the Austrians. In the period from 1805 to 1813 a transit time occurred with the reign of Napoleon and from 1814 till 1918 was Vodnjan again under the Austrian Empire.
One of the most impressive buildings in Vodnjan, but also in whole Istria, is the church of Saint Blaz. Pilgrims from all over the world visit this church. The church was built after the model of the church of Saint Peter in Venice and the project was 13000 golden ducats worth. The people donated the church to Vodnjan and the building of it lasted for 10 years. Besides the relic of the Saint Blaz there are 370 other relics of 250 saints kept in the church. The thorn from Jesus` crown, a piece of the veil of Mary, a particle of Jesus` cross, but the special attention is drawn by the totally preserved body parts of numerous saints. The parts and even the whole bodies are neither embalmed nor hermetically closed which represents a mystery to the scientists.
Thanks to the rich history which traces we can find from the antic times, suitable climate and the natural beauties in a perfect combination of the green interior of Istria and the blue coast of the Adriatic Sea, Vodnjan and the surroundings will delight you with its charm and cultural heritage, as well as the diverse range of activities. Find yourselves ideas for an unforgettable vacation, either an active one or with the family, a vacation during the hottest summer months or a calm vacation in spring or autumn.