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Cultural sights

Zambratija


These parts were certainly most inviting even in prehistoric times. Indeed, on the nearby hill of Romanija there was an age-old citadel, unfortunately destroyed in a later period while constructing a water basin. The spot was ideal for such a settlement because it dominates the sea in Zambratija area and much of the land.

In Roman times human life moved towards the coast. Near the harbour there are extant remains of several buildings dating back to that period, belonging perhaps to warehouses to be connected with the unloading of goods. These remains have been very well preserved in higher parts. The nicely cut out stone blocks have been used to build walls. Among the evidence of ancient times found so far, there is a nice example placed on the southern side of the little church at Zambratija. It is a sepulchral stele from the lst century A.D., brought to light during excavation work at the local infrastructure in 1986. We learn from its inscription that it was ordered by Teidius Donatus and Teidia Zosima for their late son. Apart from various decorations, this sepulchral slab contains also three faces in relief, damaged, unfortunately.

This place, once a small fishermen's village, has grown into one of the best-known tourist resorts in the area. Indeed, numerous are the new family houses and holiday cottages.

The name itself is believed to derive from Zuanne Bratti, one of the past owners of the feud. He may have attached greater importance to the place after the danger from invasions had vanished and the castle of Sipar had become inconvenient for daily life. In 1552 the whole feud passed from the Bratti family, residing in Koper, to counts Rota of Momjan, who then held it for several centuries to come. The existence of the aforementioned feud is also confirmed by the inscription on the church seaward facade, which mentions the Virgin Mary as phoeudi tutelarium (patroness of the feud). We are also given the year of the reconstruction - 1752.

Nowadays, the small shrine is dedicated to St Mary Magdalene and belongs to the parish of Umag. The building itself is of an interesting shape, insofar as it has a semicircular apse. The surface of its seaward side is in bear stone, well-worked, while the rest of the church is mortared. Characteristic are the three spires on top. On the opposite side, above the apse, there is a bell within a frame of stone. Originally one entered the church through the door facing the sea, but in the 1960s a second door was opened, facing the south. The interior of the church is simple. The only present altar contains a painting showing Crucifixion, with the Virgin Mary and St John on either side, and the saint patroness at the foot of the Cross. The walls are lined with other important paintings.

There used to be plenty of processions in Istria, and the parishes within the area of Umag were no exception. To Zambratija came processions of believers from the parishes of Umag and Savudrija. They would meet here two days before Ascension Day, to bless the surrounding fields.


Abandoned Stone Quarries

Vrsar-Orsera

House of frescos

Central Istria

Norther Tower

Poreč-Parenzo

Town loggia in Labin

Labin-Rabac

Grimani-Morosini Castle

Svetvinčenat
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