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Višnjan – Festival of summer solstice
In the night in which according to myths and legends the worlds of the real and the unreal, and fairies and elfs meet, on the summer solstice (the 21 June), the festival AstroFest is traditionally held in Višnjan celebrating the shortest night of the year.

On that date, for a long row of years already in this small Istrian place, on the hill near the world famous astronomical observatory of Višnjan, fans of sky and stars and amateur astronomers meet in order to wait together for the sunrise singing, talking, socializing and attending lectures the whole night long. With the whole-night-programme of music and performing arts, starting with the good-by to the last rays of sun in the evening and ending with the greeting to the first sun rays in the morning with hypnotic beating of drums, AstroFest represents a unique event attracting great attention of fans of the sky, stars and the spiritual new age music.

In the beginnings, it was a closed-type-event, conducted in the yard of a Višnjan astronomic society member, where summer solstice was celebrated.  From the beginning of time, people have celebrated the sun, the symbol of life and because of it the summer solstice is a holiday in many cultures of the north hemisphere. As this day is celebrated in the world in many ways, Višnjan wanted to create a unique event in many features different from all the others.

Beside astronomy, the municipality of Višnjan is also famous for production of high-quality wines, olive oil, honey, grape, herb (biska) and honey (medica) brandy, herb teas and souvenirs, so they decided to connect all these attributes of Višnjan creating a unique event where the visitors will be offered astronomic-scientific, culture, but also a gastronomic-oenological experience.

The astronomic observatory of Višnjan was established in 1976 by young enthusiasts-amateurs, and it is situated in the centre of the village. It has become a public observatory in 1993, and in 2005 it became an astronomic institute. By 2005, the observatory registered almost 750 discoveries of asteroids and according to these data it is one of the twelve most productive observatories in the world. Three comets were discovered from Višnjan, and two of them were given family names of persons discovering them.

Višnjan lies in the west part of Istria, in the area being bordered by the river Mirna in the north and Limski fjord in the south. It is easy to reach by the Istria-Y-road, and it is connected with the City of Poreč with a 12 km long regional road.

Tourist Association of the Istra County.
www.istra.hr

Tourist Association of the Municipality of Višnjan
www.istria-visnjan.com

Astrofestival
www.astrofestival.com
 
 

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