The stone castle Grimani, the best preserved castle on the peninsula of Istria and the largest Svetvinčenat building, stretches over almost the entire north side of Placa. The castle used to be the destination for tradesmen, soldiers, aristocracy guests and travel writers, and today it attracts curious passer-bys and tourists.
The first fortress was built in the early 13th century, but the stormy war years resulted in destruction quite often, which implied the reconstruction and the change in the castle’s appearance. Apart from the appearance, it also changed its owners. After bishops and families Castropola and Morosini, the ownership over the castle was gained by the Grimani di San Lucas, patrician Venetian family.
Its present appearance the castle took in 1589 when Marino Grimani renovated the burnt castle according to the design made by Venetian architects Scamozzi and Campagne. The castle is today one of the most beautiful Venetian buildings of that time in Istria and one of the most important fortresses of the Venetian military. On its three corners there are three towers, and the fourth is the palace for gentlemen and a flat for the captain. From these towers all four entrances to the town were controlled. The towers are connected with fortress walls which also have a supporting wall at the bottom, and from the inside it is a balcony throughout its length from which the guards observed through loop-holes.
On the gate, apart from the drawbridge, there was also a big railing used for the descent. Above the entrance there is the castle’s coat of arms, which is the present coat of arms of Svetvinčenat and coat of arms of family Grimani di San Luca. The castle had a large yard, an apartment for the town steward, a warehouse for payments in kind and ammunition, rooms for 200 musketeers and lancers and a very safe prison – under the ground. In the 19th century the Grimani family made the castle over the bishops, and they gave it to the municipality early last century. In the World War II the castle was burnt one more time.