Dear users,
Zones and numbers of all trails have been modified. Due to these modifications, possible differences in trail numbers may occur between the web site, maps and field labels. The adjustment period will run all through 2019 so we kindly ask for your patience and understanding. For correct information plese refer to our website where old trail numbers are listed as well to avoid confusion.

262 (ex 62) OPRTALJ - SV.IVAN

The medieval town of Oprtalj is situated on a hill from where the traffic in the valley of the river Mirna was overlooked and the hilly area between rivers Mirna and Dragonja defended. During its long history, the town changed many rulers, which influenced its special appearance. Today, Oprtalj is a protected monument of culture, and the first thing the visitors who come to Oprtalj notice is a huge arched loggia which offers a magnificent view towards a former Parenzana station and the surrounding area. The town loggia was a place of gathering of the town dwellers and it served as a shelter for travellers at the time when the town gates would be closed. It also served as a court room: there was a confinement area, which is today a tasting room, where visitors can taste the autochthonous Istrian products. In the confinement area, right under the loggia, defendants waited for their verdicts or transfer to prison establishment to serve the sentence. The town loggia of Oprtalj today hosts a little lapidarium (a place where stone monuments and fragments of archaeological interest are exhibited) with stone monuments from the town and local area. There is another site which is very typical for Oprtalj – a cypress alley which adorns the town entrance from the direction of the cemetery. The trail begins right next to the cemetery. Before setting off along the trail, pay attention to a small 15th century church of St. Mary (crkva sv. Marije) with valuable frescos of four old masters: Cleriginus III from Koper, famous Šareni Majstor (Colourful Master) and another two anonymous painters.

The trail leads from across the church of St. Mary about 500-600 meters downhill through the shrub on the north side of the road; it runs to open fields and starts to climb up towards the town and the church of St. Lucia (crkva sv. Lucije). The church was built at the beginning of the 17th century and its main characteristic is lopica, a roofed loggia in the front, which is typical for Istria. The spacious lopica is an ideal extension of the area for congregants.     

Leaving the church behind, the trail continues through the fields in the direction west, and after two kilometres it reaches a gravel road to the village of Sveti Ivan. Keeping the same direction, the trail slowly descends for another kilometre through fields and farmland, and right after the fourth kilometre, it reaches its lowest point (236 meters) and turns sharp southwards. From this point, the trail ascends gradually through the woods, except for a single very short descent, until a little village of Vižintini vrh – the highest point of this trail (at 403 meters above the sea level, after 6.3 kilometres of the trail). 

Outside the village, in a secluded position, there is a church of St. Leonard (crkva sv. Leonarda) built in the late 19th century on the site of the old church whose walls are integrated with the walls of the today’s church. The bell tower of the church is typical for Istria in the form of a distaff with a single bell. From this point on, for almost another three kilometres, the trail follows the gravel road downhill to Oprtalj and the starting point of the route. The road runs through the farmland and olive groves offering beautiful vistas of the surrounding area and the valley which was the route of the old narrow gauge railway track Parenzana.


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