Buzet – Pinguente: “Preserved most of its medieval town structure”
BUZET – HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
Like many other Istrian towns also Buzet has been populated since prehistoric times. It is probably among the oldest settlements in continental Istria. Antique geographer Tolomeo named it Piquentoi. It is assumed that the name has the Celtic origin Pinquent. During the Roman period the settlement was called Pinguentum and was a municipality characterized with large autonomy. It was the most important fortress in the Mirna valley for both Romans and Venetians.
The legend about Croatian name Buzet tells us that current Croatian name could have derived from the world “bos” or “bus” that means “barefoot”. The legend is about a child who survived the plague and played barefoot with other children who started to call him “bus”.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, Longobardian ruled over Buzet in the 6th century and later on, in the 7th and 8th century, the town was ruled by the Byzantine Empire.
Significant necropolises of a number of civilisations have been found in the vicinity of the town: a Longobardian graveyard from the beginning of the 7th century on Brezac hill, the largest Byzantium necropolis in Istria from the 7th the 8th century on the Mejica high ground.
In Fontane a Roman necropolis and other objects from 2nd century BC were found. Other objects from 6th until 8th century were found in Goricica and Mala Vrata. Near the northern town walls an old Croatian burial site from the 9th and the 10th century was discovered.
At the end of the 8th century Carolingian kings occupied Buzet. Later on it was ruled by the German family Weimar-Orlamunde and in 1102 the town was donated by Marquis of Istria, Ulrich II to the Aquileia Patriarchs. At that time Buzet was called Castrum Pinguent. In another document from 1064 it was called Puviendo. After the fall of the Aquileia Patriarchs, in 1421, Venice ruled over Buzet. After the destruction of the Raspor castle in 1511, Buzet became the centre of the military administration of Pasenatico, an important part of the Venetian Istria. Buzet was involved in the war with Austria in 1616 and later on was it ruled in peace until the fall of Venice in 1797.
After the fall of Venice, Buzet was part of the Austrian Empire and for a short period was under Napoleon’s rule. From 1815 it was again part of the Austrian Empire that later on evolved into the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and it was part of the Monarchy until the end of the First World War After the First World War Buzet was part of Italy, and after the Second World War became part of Yugoslavia (Croatia).
During the Italian Fascist period in Istria many Istrian families suffered from the regime or had to leave Istria. Fascism in Istria applied various repressive measures mostly towards Slav populations and this created the Antifascist Movement. The Second World War was a very painful experience for the Istrian population and many innocent Istrians, both Slav and Latin, died during that war.
After the second World War Buzet became part of Yugoslavia (Croatia). There were three agreements between Yugoslavia and Italy which established that Istria would become a part of Yugoslavia: Paris Agreement of 1947, London Memorandum of 1954 and the Osimo Agreement reached in 1975. In the first decade after the Second World War many Istrians, especially those living in towns and villages that for centuries were part of the Venice Republic, decided to leave Istria.
In 1991 with the fall of Yugoslavia and the founding of the Republic of Croatia, the internal republic boundaries were recognised as the state boundaries and Buzet is today part of Croatia.
In 2013 Buzet became part of the European Union. You can not change the past but you can try to learn from it. The main aim of the European Union founders was to build a system that could avoid future wars and future refugees in Europe as I explain in COSMOPOLITE.