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Završje – A pearl of the Istrian inland

01 January 2012

Located in the north of the Istrian peninsula, between Oprtalj and Grožnjan, on a 240 m high hill is Završje, a picturesque small town which was in the past surrounded by double walls. They are still partly visible and had two gates, of which only one is still recognizable today.

Above them is the ancient coat of arms of the Contarini family that ruled this feud for three centuries.

A small stone paved streed leads to an elevation with an ancient church of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a bell tower. The church has a round apse and a portal with a pointed arch with the year 1879, when it was last reconstructed. It was built in the 16th century and renovated in 1634, after which only two altars remained, as opposed to the previous four. It had silver lighters and candle holders from the 18th century and a magnificent cup with sparkling medalions from 1476. The church sold it at the end of the 18th century and it ended up in the Rotschild collection, which is today located in the Louvre. The Gothic monstrance originates from 1849, and shows the Virgin Mary, St. John the Evangelist and Christ coming out of his tomb. 

Next to the church there is a 22 m high Romanic bell tower, located at the highest point of the high hill. The bell tower which was occupied by guards and watchmen in the past is specific by the fact that it does not end with a pyramid, but with a flat roof from which arise sharp bastions. 

An equisite view stretched from the top towards the horizon so the enemy could not come near the town without being noticed. The bell tower leans 40 cm to the north and because of that it was named the Leaning tower. It has seven wall chaplets and near the top, just under the guard house, there is a bell room.

Built in front of the north gate of Završje was the large church of St. John and Paul, a new parish church which was renovated in 1792. It has a rounded apse, five altars and is richly decorated. The altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary was donated to the church in 1972 by nobleman Besenghi. Towards the valley, before the preserved gates, there is a church from 1556 dedicated to St. Rok, and about a kilometre to the north, a cemetary with the church of St.Andrew.

The pre Roman object that have been discovered as well as the Roman tombs and signs are the Proof that Završje was inhabited many centuries ago. Supposed traces of the first consul road that ran through the inland of Istria have also been found. 

Along it, a tomb stone, on which various historical figures are named, was discovered in 1885.
The ancient name of the medieval town is held in the Italian form – Piemonte. It was known under this name since 1102, when the Istrian marquise Ulrich II gave it to the Patriarch of Aquileia
Today, the ancient core of Završje is a protected urban entirety, noted in the register of Croatia`s cultural goods. 

The Tourist Board of Istria County
www.istra.com

The Tourist Board of the Grožnjan Borough
www.istria-groznjan.com
 
 
 

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