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184 Main Collins Street West Victoria 807



Sometimes it is not easy to follow the traces of Pićan in historical sources due to its numerous names. The origin of the name Petina is sometimes attributed to the assumption that the Diocese of Pićan was the fifth in the world where the word pet (five) contains a Celtic root.

Pićan was definitely settled in early prehistoric times. The oldest parts of the fortified hilltop town of the tribe of Histri were located on the Calvary Hill, north of the modern town. After that the town was probably settled by the Celtic tribe of the Secusa. In Roman times, probably on the same strategically important location, there was a military stronghold and the settlement Petina.

Some authors linked the town of Pićan to the name Pucinium, mentioned by Pliny and Ptolemy as the name of a fortification in central Istria, famous for its excellent wine even in the Roman Court. Livia, wife of the Emperor Augustus, believed that her longevity was attributed to the fact that she would drink only this wine. The only visible evidence of the Roman presence is the inscription on the stone incorporated in the doorpost of the house facing the bell tower. The inscription mentions a Lucius Caonalius of the family Pupinia that can be found in various other places in Istria (Kringa, Pula, Poreč, Koper, Trieste).
At the time of the Byzantine rule Pićan was the administrative centre of central Istria. From the Late Antiquity to the end of the 18th century, Pićan was the seat of the Diocese of Pićan, one of the oldest, but also smallest in the Christian world.


The park in front of the entrance to Pićan, just like the neighbouring town of Gračišće or in Tinjan hosts the sculpture of St. John Nepomucene (9), a Czech saint, patron of queens, bridges, secrets of the confessional and patron against floods, built in 1714. Sometime in the past, Pićan probably had a drawbridge at the entrance into the town. Not far there is the Monument to the residents of Pićan who died in the 2nd World War (10). Just below the park there is the Church of Saint Roch (11), patron against plague where the foundation stone was laid by the Bishop Gašpar Bobek (1631-1634) during one of the most severe plague epidemics. The old part of the town is entered through the monumental Town Gate (1) dating from the 14th century, renovated in 1613 at the time of the Bishop Antonio Zara (1601 -1621).