The small town of Pazin in central Istria, Croatia, is probably best known for its castle (kastel) and steep gorge with a sinkhole at the bottom (Pazinska jama, the ‘Pazin Abyss’) – both of which which feature in Jules Verne’s novel Mathias Sandorf, published in 1885. Though ‘best known’ is something of a relative description: comparatively (meaning very) few visitors to Croatia venture into the Istrian interior, and those who do tend to head for Motovun – and even fewer spend time in Pazin – which is a shame in both cases because inland Istria is a fascinating area, dotted with old hilltowns and village churches with little-known medieval frescoes, and some of the best food you are likely to eat anywhere in Croatia (this is truffle country). In any case in Jules Verne’s novel the main character is imprisoned in the kastel, but makes a daring escape down the walls and into the gorge, disappearing into the sinkhole and emerging, many kilometres later, in the Limski Kanal, a steep-sided rocky inlet on the Istrian coast.
My most recent visit coincided with TradInEtno, a traditional music festival with performances in the castle and (as photographed here) on the town square, which had a nice and suitably festive atmosphere.
A group of musicians (from Croatia, Sweden, Belgium, the UK and elsewhere) performing in the street as part of the TradInEtno traditional music festival in Pazin, Istria
Old man listening to a band playing in the street during the TradInEtno festival in Pazin
And here’s one of the kastel
More information on Pazin, including accommodation (I can personally recommend Apartments Laura) can be found on the Central Istrian Tourist Board’s website www.tzpazin.hr.
Photos © Rudolf Abraham. No unauthorized use.