1 - INTRODUCTION
Welcome to the Morosini-Grimani castle! You are located in a Renaissance fort that for several centuries served as the administrative center of the estate in its vicinity but was also a safe haven for its inhabitants and the inhabitants of the surrounding settlement. The owners of this fort, after whom it was named, were members of some of the most notable Venetian families at that time, and the castle itself housed captains, who were representatives of the owners with various administrative, judicial, and military powers. The castle was built at the very end of the Middle Ages and its architecture is an indication of the coming period, bearing in mind that its construction preceded and probably set in motion the construction of the planned Renaissance settlement in the area.
However, the settlement and the castle have a much longer history dating back to the times when this estate was governed by various church and secular nobles. The earliest mention of the settlement dates back to the year 1178, when the bull of Pope Alexander III confirmed the right of ownership over the property to the Bishop of Poreč-Parenzo. However, the probable first mention of the edifice that used to exist here dates back to 1264, when the estate was governed by the Aquileian patriarchs and their vassals from the noble family de Castropola. The tyrants of Pula, in Italian Pola, governed the large estate in the southern part of the Istrian peninsula, but their domus, i.e., the family house that was most likely the economic center of this part of the estate, was in Svetvinčenat. Research conducted on this structure shows that the oldest edifice was of the same size as the later palace, but its walls were much narrower and therefore they can only be seen from the inside. It was a one-story edifice with a gabled roof. The embrasures visible on the south wall of the edifice were in fact the original door and windows of the domus. On that wall you can also see a large walled door. Furthermore, research has shown that the ground floor of the edifice served as a smithy, as is visible from the countless lumps of slag, the waste from the process of melting iron, and traces of burning covering almost the entire floor of the then edifice.
Along the south wall there are several interesting objects. The iron bombard is worthy of special mention as one of the oldest examples of the weapon, the use of which began to spread rapidly across the European continent in the 15th century. Its age is indicated by the specific method and material used in its forging.
In addition to the bombard, you can also see the silver denarius of the Aquileian Patriarch Philippe II of Alençon from the 1440s, discovered in the castle itself, the ceramic utensils from the same period, but also the slag remnants.
Below the staircase you can see the quality workmanship of the late gothic capital that also depicts the Morosini family coat of arms. The family came in possession of the Svetvincenat estate due to the family ties to de Castropola family that left no heir. It was a great turning point for the settlement itself that led to many changes and fundamentally altered the way the estate functioned.
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