Thursday, 6 February 2014

A walk through Završje

In a previous post, I wrote about the charming hilltop town of Oprtalj. Just a short – and very scenic – drive from here over the hills is another picturesque Istrian ghost-town of times past… Završje. 


This little town perched on a hillside at an elevation of 240 metres, has a long and varied history similar to many other Istrian towns and villages, having been ruled by the Romans, the Habsburgs, the Venetians, Italian counts, and Napolean for a short time, before coming under Habsburg rule again during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and then becoming part of Italy, Yugoslavia, and today Croatia.



The Austrians had built a narrow-gauged railway line which ran from Poreč to Trieste, called the Paranzana railway. It opened in 1902 and had 35 stations with one here in Završje, putting the town on this important commercial route. Today the station no longer stands and apparently when the railway stopped running in 1935, it had been completely dismantled and shipped off to Africa, never to arrive because the ship had sunk on the way!



During the period under Austria and Italy, the town had a post office, school, two shops, an oil mill and other trade shops. Once the railway stopped running, Završje (its Italian name is Piemonte) was no longer an important thoroughfare and its decline began. Today there are only 40 inhabitants living here and most of the town’s houses are abandoned.


More recently, Završje has been the beneficiary of an EU restoration project. Information boards provide some interesting background information in Croatian, Italian and English on the town’s history and its architectural highlights. This is how I learned that the town used to be fortified by a double ring of walls, and that the south gate dates back to the 12th century. Also, the main church’s 15th century silver chalice is on exhibit in the Louvre Museum, Paris.



This little quiet and scenic gem of a town is definitely worth a stop on the spectacular drive from Oprtalj to Grožnjan. 

17 comments:

  1. Ohh such a sweet place. I love when moss or leaves grow over rocks, it's so romantic!

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    1. Thanks for coming back and linking up to #SundayTraveler

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  2. Oh, I love Zavrsje. It looks so mystic with all those houses full of creeping ivy-covered walls. I always wonder how the life can gradually disappear from some places. By the size of the village, the number of churches, you can see it used to be important village back in the times.

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  3. Such a gorgeous old town! There are so many places to discover in Croatia x

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  4. What a cute town! Looks like a beautiful place to take a leisurely walk. Lovely pics, looks like Croatia is my next country to go see with all these posts about beautiful places there!

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  5. What a scenic town, I love walking and photographing places like this and just getting lost, thanks for sharing this. Hope that you can also share this post and link up with us for Travel Photo Mondays the link is up for the whole week so do join us.

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  6. Looks so beautiful! I've never heard of the place before but it looks so lovely, like you would have it all to yourself :)

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  7. Ohhh I love places like this--they make for some gorgeous photos! Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler :)

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  8. How beautiful! 'Charming' is definitely right. I love the cobblestones, even though they wouldn't be much fun to walk on all the time.

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  9. Thanks everyone for joining me on this walk through Završje. I'll be featuring other Istrian towns and villages so do watch this window!

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  10. Love these old and worn looking views - they tell us about the history! Thanks for taking us on tour with you:)

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  11. Thank you for visiting my blog and introducing me to Istria! These charming stone homes remind me so much of little villages in the French countryside...

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  12. Thanks for coming by my window Catherine. I love your beautiful blog.

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  13. There are no people in your photos. Are these towns deserted, or did you photograph at a time when they are inside? Istria is Beautiful :)

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  14. I think I came across one person while I was there, Jan! Apparently there are about 40 inhabitants here. Thanks for stopping by my window :-)

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  15. Looks like a charming little quaint town. I've never heard of this place before. Some of the streets look a little steep to climb.

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  16. very pretty village, some of those houses would look gorgeous a bit of life is restored back into them

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