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Draguc and Istarske toplice, Istria


This is a medieval settlement in the hilly part of central Istria. It is situated on a hillside over a deep valley and the houses are arranged to the left and right of the only street. The facades of the houses, both one-storey and those on two floors, are linked together in a picturesque whole. The street, the only thoroughfare, leads to a broad square where stand the parish church and bell tower. The outer walls of the inner town centre used to serve for defence, while the houses along the street acted as reinforcement.

The Venetians fortified the town against the Turks, but also from the attacks of the Uskoks of Senj who had advanced as far as Draguc, for this town played a significant role in the defence of Venetian Istria. Before the entrance to the town, by the road side, on what is now a graveyard, stands the Church of St. Elisaus (Sveti Elizej). This is a Romanesque single-naved building with a covered apse. Inside the church there are some Romanesque frescoes by a local artist from the end of the 13th or the beginning of the 14th century. Outside the town, above the Draga valley, stands the votive Church of St. Rocco (Sveti Rok), which is a single-naved church, in the shape of a parallelogram, with lancet vaulting. It was built in the 16th century and the portico in front of the church was built in 1565. Inside the church there are some frescoes by the local Istrian master, Anton of Padova (who was born in the village of Kascerg, near Padova, in central Istria). In 1529 he painted all the walls and the ceiling, using Renaissance forms and transforming them into folk motifs. In 1537 he subsequently painted the altarpiece. His name is to be found in a Glagolitic inscription over the church doors, but he signed his altarpiece in the Latin script and language. Especially impressive amongst his paintings are Imago Pietatis, The Flight into Egypt and The Adoration of the Magi.

Istarske toplice (The Istrian Spa)

This has been a spa-town since Roman times. The sulphur and radio-active baths are the best known in central Europe, but they must be used under supervision. The temperature of the water in the pools is between 30 and 35 degrees centigrade. These baths are especially beneficial in the treatment of the following ailments: chronic rheumatism, vertebral injuries, sciatica, lumbago, chronic respiratory infections, postaccident or post-operative treatment, dandruff, eczema, acne, gynaecological problems, sterility and hormonal imbalance.
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