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Svetvincenat, Istria

A town on the Pula - Pazin road was the possession of the Patriarchs of Aquileia who gave it to a Pula family, the Sergijas (Castropola). In 1330, in a battle between the Patriarch Pagan and Count Ivan Henrik, the patriarchal army sacked Svetvincenat. After that the town passed into the hands of the Porec Bishop who, in 1389, handed it over to the Venetian Morossini family. In the war between Venice and the Emperor Charles V the Venetians held Svetvincenat and it remained the possession of the Morossinis.

Later there were conflicts between Venice, the Morossinis and the Bishops of Porec. Svetvincenat shared the fate of other Istrian towns under the Venetians, until the fall of their empire.

The Church of St.Vincent (Sveti Vincenat), which stands in the cemetery, was once an abbey. It is a single-naved Romanesque church with three enclosed apses. The walls are decorated with three layers of frescoes: all that remains of the oldest layer are faded traces of pigment; the second layer was painted over all the church's walls by Ognobenus from Treviso at the end of the 13th century. In terms of its encyclopaedic, hagiographic and theological plan, the Romanesque cycle of 13th century frescoes in this church is the most comprehensive in Istria. Ognobenus was greatly influenced by Byzantine art and theology. The third, newest layer of frescoes belongs to a period of Italian influence in the second half of the 14th and the first half of the 15th century. These are part of the renovated church.

The Church of St. Catherine (Sveta Katarina) at the entrance to the town is a simple 15th century Gothic building with a lancet vault in the apse; its vestibule was added in the 18th century. The church is built of dressed stone and it contains 15th century frescoes. The Gothic Church of St. Anthony (Sveti Antun) is a rectangular shaped building. The Parish Church of the Annunciation (Navjestenje Marijino) dates from the 16th century. It has a coffered ceiling and a beautiful altar from 1555. Particularly noteworthy amongst the church treasures is a carved 16th century wooden door near the sacristy and two paintings on canvas, an altarpiece in the style of Palma the Younger: The Madonna and the Saints and G. Porte, known as Salvijati The Annunciation. The interior was restored in the 19th century. The most beautiful example of secular architecture in Svetvincenat is the fortified seat of the Counts, the so-called Palazzo Grimani, which previously belonged to the Morossini family (from 1331 to the middle of the 17th century), and was rebuilt in 1589. It is a four-sided tower with a strong base, corner towers and a simple facade. The town loggia dates from the 18th century. The town also has some Renaissance private homes.
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