Vampires, witches, giants, infamous pirates and bloody battles – discover the places of the most chilling Istrian legends!
The millennia-old Istrian history is filled with mysterious legends. Here we have selected those that freeze the blood in your veins.
1. The Vampire Jure Grando
The legend of Jure Grando, the first European vampire, originates in Kringa, a village near Tinjan
Jure Grando died in 1656 and was buried on a local cemetery. Not long after the funeral, the deceased started to appear before the villagers, knocking on their doors. Every house that Grando visited would afterwards suffer a great misfortune – death of one of the occupants.
Grando terrorized the village as many as 16 years before villagers finally decided to do something about it. One day the pastor Miho Radetić gathered nine strong villagers and led them to the cemetery to dig out Jure’s corpse and stab it with a hawthorn stake.
Bearing torches and crucifixes in their hands, the villagers came to the grave, opened it and were flabbergasted. They were greeted by the deceased’s flushed face adorned with an eerie smile.
The nine men ran for their lives. Later they returned to the cemetery, accompanied by a priest who prayed over the vampire’s corpse. The villagers tried to drive the hawthorn stake into Grando’s chest to no avail. Finally one of the villagers decapitated him with an axe. From that moment on Jure Grando never again frightened the villagers in Kringa.
2. Captain Morgan
The legend has it that an infamous pirate, Captain Henry Morgan, fleeing from the English, hid his treasure in an ancient Istrian castle, Dvigrad. Morgan was the terror of the Caribbean, and he accumulated his vast treasure by plundering ships near the coasts of Cuba, Cartagena and Granada.
For a reason that is not known, he fell out of favour with the English, and they decided to arrest him. Morgan was an experienced seaman and did not want to relinquish his treasure easily, so he decided to hide it. He sailed into the Lim Canal and then embarked on a search for the ideal place to hide the treasure, and found it in the ruins of the abandoned Dvigrad Castle.
Discover Dvigrad and other centuries-old Istrian castles!
3. Mare the Witch from Svetvinčenat
Long ago, in year 1632, the herbalist from Svetvinčenat Mara Radolovich was accused by her fellow villagers of being a witch and making a deal with the devil.
Although only yesterday she healed them with her herbs, she was sentenced to burn at the stake in the court of the Grimani-Morosini Castle. Another version of the legend says that Mara was sentenced because she was the secret lover of a rich nobleman. Their affair ought not to be made public, so the ill-fated Mara was burned at the stake.
Visit The house of Mara the Witch in Svetvinčenat, a place where legends come alive with the help of state-of-the-art technology.
Full article HERE.