Rich traces of cultures
At times, diverting from the usual routes leads us to hidden oases of beauty and peace. In the hinterland of Labin, surrounded by the Raša River Canyon, its noble fortresses and country estates, one such oasis is called Sveta Nedelja. This is an area of about twenty settlements that is slightly outside the mainstream, but which has a rich history and a number of natural beauties.
Its location along the Raša River has meant that this area has been on the border of various administrations and authorities for centuries. The same story was also the case at the time of the ancient, pre-Roman tribes of Histria and Liburnia. Later, under the Istrian Demarcation, it is mentioned that the border of three communities, Šumber, Labin and Plomin, was once located on the corner of Nedešćina at the church of the Holy Trinity.
Rich traces of different cultures have been left on the fertile land - from the patriarchs of Aquileia and Venice, to Napoleon's France and the Italian administration in more recent history. After World War II, Sveta Nedelja became part of the Labin administration. Today, along with Kršan, Raša and Pićan, it is one of 4 independent municipalities surrounding the City of Labin.
Together with the rest of the Labin area, the life of the locals has always been marked by a blacksmith tradition. A mineshaft was once located in Štrmac, but it was closed in 1955. Today Štrmac is recognisable for its water tower, visible from all over Labin, the remains of its 1970s industrial zone project.
All the secrets of the turbulent history of this region could be told only by a number of small churches, Our Lady of the Snows from Šumber or the castles in Sv. Martin, Šumber or Dubrova.
The latter was given a new lease of life back in 1970 when the Mediterranean Symposium of Sculptors began in the park of the baroque Dubrova castle, which initiated the transformation of this region into an oasis of sculpture. This is how the Dubrova Sculpture Park over 40 hectares was created, which contains 95 sculptures by famous Croatian and world artists, from Raul Goldoni and Dušan Džamonja to Marija Ujević and Joost Barbiers. Famous Croatian artists, among whom Edo Murtić and Julije Knifer, shaped the White Road in the park containing sixteen 25-metre long art-space sections. Dubrova Park is open throughout the year for all art and nature enthusiasts.
And when you wish to see Sveta Nedelja’s autumn face and meet the area through the eyes of local inhabitants, your best option would be to join in the celebrations to mark the Municipality Day, on the day of "šesnajs otobra" (16th October).