Motovun – Montona: “Municipal loggia from 17th century leaves the impression of being a belvedere“
The new gates tower houses several stone sculptures, Lions of St. Mark and Noble families coat of arms. It is particular the Lion of St. Mark that is very similar to the stone sculpture with the same motif that you can see in Draguc.
Once you pass the gates and enter the town you will be in the downside square or “piaza de soto”. On the left side there is the back façade of the former Municipal palace or Podesta' palace built in 1256. This palace was later on restructured several times in: 1334, 1448 and 1659.
On this left side there are also the castle gates with several coat of arms placed on the façade above it.
In front of the castle gates there is the Municipal loggia from 17th century. Loggia is located on the place where loggia existed already in 1331 and leaves the impression of being a belvedere. There is a beautiful view towards western part of Istria and Mirna valley.
If you take a look towards the new gates tower you will note another gates that leads towards the upper town of Motovun.
Before entering the castle area I would advise you to visit the second main street that leads you towards the southern part of Motovun. It is a suburb of Motovun that dates back into 15th century and was fortified at that time. This street is today named Joakima Rakovca.
The first old building that you will see is the Church of St. Ciprian that dates back into 15th century.
In front of it there is the Rector’s house from 1622. It is a recently restructured façade in strong red colour with a beautiful doorway with two coat of arms and an stone inscription above it.
On the same side of the street you will note another house with coat of arms on the façade and this was Donato family house.
On the left side of the street, with the street number 41, there is Basilisco's family house built in 1761.
At the end of the street you will find the Gothic gate named Blessed Virgin Mary gate.
The name of this gate derive from the Church of St. John the Baptist or Virgin Mary of the Gates from 1520 that is located just outside the gate. In Vladimir Gortan street that continues after Joakima Rakovca there is another doorway that you may want to see, it is particular because represents a stone sculpture of the young man with a French cap.
To visit the oldest part of Motovun you need to go back towards the castle gates that are located in front of the Municipal loggia. Once you pass the old Gothic castle gates take the direction towards left that will lead you to the upside square.
The Parish Church that you see on your right side is dedicated to St. Stephan and was built in 1614. The spacious, one naved Parish Church is a fine example of Palladian architecture. The Romanic-Gothic bell tower is particular and dates back into the 13th century.
On your left side there is the Municipal palace and former Podesta’ palace. This is probably the largest secular building in Istria from that period.
On the square, in front of Basilisco’s house there is also an old well that dates back into the 15th century. If you look back towards the castle gates you will see a stone coat of arms and a Lion of St. Mark with a closed book above it.