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Hum, Roc, Kotli

Hum – Roc – Kotli

Once upon a time, when  fairies, magic and dragons ruled the earth, giants gathered stones and built towns on beautiful green hills. People came to live in the towns while the giants escaped into the dense woods where they still hide today… This is one of the legends about the magical history of Istria. Her magic is present today: sleepy stone villages on emerald hills wake up covered by veils of fog and the gentle tenderness of the sun’s hot rays.

More about Hum – Roc – Kotli

Hum, the smallest city in the world, home to the medicinal mistletoe grappa (whose secret recipes were brought by powerful Druids 2000 years ago) today stands proudly on a hill above the source of the Mirna river. Hum is only one hundred meters long and thirty meters wide. With its eternal citadel, narrow streets and quiet churches, walls, 600-year-old stone Glagolitic graffiti and a still-alive tradition of choosing the prefect on the stone table, Hum is a portal to another ancient time of proud people and their turbulent lives.

Roč, old Ruz, weaves stories through the stone gates, walls and their five towers, Glagolitic stone inscriptions, thousand–year-old sites, Roman villas, amazing churches and their frescoes. All is told with the lively spirit of accordions called “Triestina”. This is the home of one of the most beautiful and oldest books written in the Glagolitic alphabet and of Roč’s alphabet book which is over 800 years old. In its vicinity there is the Glagolitic Alley, a road that goes along 10 stone sculptures and leads to the eternal Hum and its door, where the Glagolitic alphabet was used until the early 20th century.

Around the ruins of the cities of Beli and ČrniGrad, built on dark and black stone, seekers of lost treasures can still be found. In the wonderful Kotli, with the fresh falls of the Mirna River, quietly spend time near the old water mill and a small round pond.
This is the territory of truffles, grappa with herbs, fragrant local cuisine, of the peace that lives in untouched nature and sleepy stone towns; it is home to magic, ancient treasures and timelessness.


The territory has been inhabited since the Neolithic Age, the numerous findings of ruins and ceramics is proof of this. The Histri inhabited villages until the arrival of the ancient Celts in 400 BC and were soon non-violently assimilated. The Celts brought their language, art, architecture and religion. Today some toponyms still have Celtic names. The Romans came here and defeated the local population by the end of the 1st century BC, settled about 15,000 Latins, and built and rebuilt villages and roads. The territory experienced a real boom in the Middle Ages. At that time the city was under Frankish rule. The Slavs came in the 8th century, bringing their language and customs. The city of Roč was first mentioned in the mid 11th century as Ruz, while the ancient cities Črni and BeliGrad were built in the early 11th century on the ruins of ancient castles. Hum was first mentioned in the 12th century, although the village dates back to prehistoric times. On the old ruins of a castle, an early Christian settlement was built, and the construction of the famous castle was completed in the 11th century. From the 12th century on, the Patriarchs of Aquileia ruled this territory and built most of the churches and restored the walls. This territory is known as the “guardian” of the Glagolitic alphabet. In fact, in the 14th century the Missal of Prince Novak was created. This is the template of the first Croatian printed book, written only 28 years after the first printed book in the world, the Guttenberg Bible. In that period a great number of Glagolitic graffiti and today’s recognizable architecture were created. At the beginning of the 15th century, because of the conflict with Venice, a considerable number of villages were destroyed. In the 16th century the inhabitants of Hum began to choose the prefect, vice prefect and the superiors among themselves. Hum and the surrounding villages were heavily damaged in the early 17th century during the Uskoks Ear. Napoleon’s army came here in the 18th century and was soon replaced by the rule of the Habsburgs, which lasted until the First World War. After that the territory came under Italian rule, and went through a difficult and arduous period. From 1943 to 1945, the area was ruled by the Nazis and then was liberated and annexed to Yugoslavia. Since 1991, the territory has been an integral part of the Croatian Republic.


Hum – The 11th century castle, the city walls, the double copper doors with a calendar and welcome messages,  the prefect’s stone table and chairs, the medieval stone architecture and the Glagolitic graffiti

Hum, the Chapel of St. Jerolim – A Romanesque building from the 12th century with Glagolitic inscriptions and invaluable and unique frescoes

Hum, mistletoe grappa – Authentic Istrian brandy with mistletoe and other medicinal herbs, prepared according to a 2000-year-old recipe

Glagolitic Alley – A monumental 7-km-long Glagolitic road that leads from Roč to Hum, with 10 monuments dedicated to the Glagolitic alphabet

Roč – The medieval walls with 5 towers, the two city gates, Roman stone monuments, the Venetian cannon, Glagolitic inscriptions and architecture from the 16th century

Roč, the church – The Church of St. Anthony from the 12th century with Roč’s Glagolitic alphabet, the Church of St. Rocco with frescoes and graffiti from the 14th century and the 15th century church of St. Bartolo with an early-Baroque bell tower

Kotli – An old village with preserved yards, porches, volts, and an old water mill, through which the river Mirna flows creating beautiful waterfalls and sharp recesses in the stones, forming a series of beautiful round pools

The Cities of Črni and Beli Grad – The ruins of the two fortified towns from the 11th century, one built on black and the other on white stone


Z armoniku v Roč, Roč – International Meeting of Diatonic Accordions 09.05.

Hum Day and Election of the Prefect for a Year-long mandate – Centuries-old traditions and festivities on the occasion of the election of the prefect of Hum – 12.06.

Hang Gliding Championship, Buzet – A seven-day competition of the best Croatian pilots – 20.06.-26.06.

Festival of Istrian Grappa, Hum – Tastings and a selection of the best grappas – 31.10.

Truffle Weekend, Buzet 
– The exhibition and sale of truffles and other local gastronomic and cultural products – 06.11.-07.11.