SummerIsHere Representative offices UK & Ireland Hum – the smallest town in the world  
Hum – the smallest town in the world
Hum, with its 17 inhabitants, is the smallest town in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records. It is located in the heart of Istria in the Municipality of Buzet. It is 14 kilometres away from the town of Buzet and can be reached by car, excursion buses, and many come on foot so they can better view the interesting sights and natural beauties.

The most interesting way to get to it is certainly through the Glagolitic Alley („Aleja Glagoljaša“), a road between Roč and Hum, along which great stone monuments are located in the surrounding fields, each representing a letter of the Glagolitic alphabet. It begins with the column of the Chakavian Council, erected in 1977, and ends with the Hum town gates. Hum, namely, was one of the most well-known centres of Glagolism since the 11th century. The Glagolitic alphabet was used here as late as the early 20th century, and even today it is present in the wider surroundings of the town on old Glagolitic monuments and contemporary memorials.

Hum has formed into what it looks today in the middle ages, in the 11th century, when on the remains of an older fortification the Hum castle was built, and next to it the first series of houses of the future town. Then, Istria was part of the great Frankish Empire. Earl Ulrich I rebuilt and constructed new castles in the border areas of his empire at the time, including this one in Hum. In 1102, Ulrich II conferred Hum and some other castles to the Aquileian Patriarch. The charter mentions the „castrum Cholm“ (according to the old Croatian form Hlm) which is the first time Hulm was mentioned in writing in its long history. With this act begins the history of Hulm as a fort.

Up to the 17th century, Hulm is mentioned as a „castrum“ in historical notes, which means fort, and today it represents a town-monument and one of the rare well-preserved examples of urban development exclusively within the walls of medieval city walls. Since its conception until today, almost nothing was built outside the Hum walls, the town has remained within the bounds determined in the early medieval times.

Hum harbours preserved fresco murals painted in the second half of the 12th century when the town belonged to the Aquileian Patriarchy, which most probably commissioned them to be made. Their author is unknown, but his work is testimony that he was a superior fresco painter and an artist of great talent. The Hum fresco murals are a unique work of art that can not be compared to anything in Istria and wider. They are painted in the spirit of the western Romanesque, but under the influence of Byzantine painting. In the Romanesque chapel of St Jerolimus at the Hum cemetery, ancient wall paintings of high quality are partly preserved.

Istrian County Tourist Board

Town of Buzet Tourist Board

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