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Motovun – a town with thousand stairs
Home Featured Motovun – a town with thousand stairs

Motovun is a town in the north of Istria, for which, except local people, no one knew, until recently in the summer of 1999. when famous film director Rajko Grlić has decided to make a film festival in this small, attractive town. The idea was that the concept of the festival must be the opposite from that which has better known, the Pula Film Festival, without red carpet, without conservative form, but with independent productions, low-budget movies and projects starting late at night under the open sky, and continuing on after-parties with well known DJs until early morning hours.

From that moment the Motovun has become the Balkans “Sunset Fest” and in a big style has come very fast to, above all, a film map, as well as on the tourist map. The Motovun is not only visited by movie funs, who every July for 5 days come in this town, but by tourists from the region too attracted with its natural beauty and a perfect location. Situated on a hill with its narrow streets, so typical for the Istrian towns and overlooking the green Istian parts, the Motovun has become a magnet for enthusiasts who want new adventures.


Motovun, because of its location, carries also epithet of the best-guarded fortresses of medieval Istra. The town consists of three parts: at the top is the oldest part, below the “Podgrađe”, and the newer part, down the slope, the locals call “Gradiciol”. To come down from the top to the “Gradicola” there are two ways: round, flat-trodden way, or down the thousand stairs (scales). The square in the center of Motovun is the Square of Andrea Antia, and it is named after the famous Renaissance composer and printer, born in the Motovun in the second half of the 15th century.

This beautiful medieval Istrian town, at 20 km from the sea, near the towns Buzet and Pazin, looks a little bit unreal, situated on a top of the hill, surrounded by green forests, through which is constantly windy, carrying with it the smell of salt from the Adriatic Sea.

Written by: Aleksandar Devetak

Special tourist attractions are the “forgotten” Istrian towns Hum – The smallest town in the world, Groznjan – ”The town of artists”, Opartlj, Buje, Motovun

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