A picturesque medieval village acropolis in Istria, in the southern part of eastern Istria, 218 inhabitants, located above the Rasa river valley, on the road Pula – Labin – Rijeka, 27 km from Pula and 18 km from the Istrian Motorway.
The center of the Municipality of Barban, which has access to the Rasa Bay, covers an area of 100 km2 and has a population of 2715. Besides Barban, in the beautiful greenery of Barban are located some 73 villages and hamlets.
Barban toponym is from the ancient existance, it’s a sectional placename, and gets its name from the Roman family Parpanus. But the archaeological evidence of ancient settlement weren’t founded.
The first written historical data that mentioned Barban are from the year of 734. The document in which Pope Gregory III ordered Callisto, the Patriarch of Aquileia to return the city Patriarch Anton he’s islands Centenario and Morsiano, mentions the monastery of St. Marija of Barban. (Pietro Kandler, CDI, I, 38, str. 83.)
An important historical document is the one from February 10th 1199, in which it is mentioned the conflict of Pula commune and Barban. It states that the prefect Pribislav from Barban in the presence of earl Hengelpart reached an agreement with Podesta Rugeri from Pula, and he pledged to give Pula commune a quarter, to prosecute criminals and to be subjected to the Pula court. (Bernardo Benussi, Pula’s history in light of the municipal institution until 1918, Local Copies “Žakan Juri”, Pula, 2002)
During the Middle Ages Barban was a feudatory of Patriarchate of Aquileia, which was managed by the Earls of Gorica. After the death of the last Earl Albert IV, Barban goes into Habsburg hands. Barban surrendered to Venice in 1516. Venetians gave Barban at the auction, and with the agreement from December 23th 1535, Barban and Rakalj were sold to the famous Venetian family Loredans for 14760 coins.
Ambushers devastated him in 1610 and 1612. Mercury Glagolitic tradition (graffiti, signs, liturgy, institution of prefects, Istrian divorce) shows distinctly Croatian ethnic characteristics, although at the end of Venetian reign assimilation processes had occured under the influence of the Italian language and culture.
In 1805 in the war with France, Austria ceded the Venetian part of Istria that annexed to the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy. After the French were defeat in 1815, with the decision of the Vienna Congress Istria was assigned to Austria, under whose rule lasted until the end of World War 1st in 1918.
Barban has a lot of monuments and attractions: 4 Churches (parish church of St. Nikola – was built in 1701, in Baroque, instead of the old, smaller church in less Romanesque style; the church of St. Jakova the Apostle; St. Antun the Great; the Church of Mother Mary of the Valley); the remains of the city walls: Large front door (Western, built in 1718), then the Small door (eastern, built 1720) with a beautiful segment of defensive walls (built 1555); city tower with extremely wide walls, which confirms that Barban was a well established town in the Middle Ages; Glagolitic inscriptions in the church of St. Antun and Glagolitic graffiti at St. Jakov church; antique inscriptions from the 1st century AD, the porch (the clock tower was destroyed in 1944) as part of the old square and Loredan Palace (built in 1606); frescoes from the 15th century in the church of St. Jakov the Apostle (work of master Ivan from Kastav) stone baptistery; Gothic Custody of the 15th century (the work of artist Dominik from Koper) and a wooden statue of St. Nikola parish church; images on altars in the church of St. Nikola were made by the students of Palma Junior (1544-1628), student Ticianov; frescoes on the interior walls and a pointed out of ceiling from the beginning of the 15th century church of St. Antun, etc
Well preserved buildings from the Baroque and Gothic, frescoes and Glagolitic inscriptions, churches, palaces, city walls and game of the knights the Race of the Ring, make Barban extremely attractive destination for those interested in cultural and historical heritage.