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Barban is a small town located in the southern part of eastern Istria. The population of the town is approximately 3000 people. Even Barban is small, it is quite popular with the horse tournament placed in this town each year. Would you like to discover more about it?  Let’s go!

Main photo by Ki Ka

Barban Town Travel Guide

History of Barban

Barban, as other Istrian small towns and villages were inhabited with the different tribes, which belonged to the ruled empire.The site of a Bronze Age prehistoric hill fort, human remains have been found on the site that dates back approximately 3,400-4,000 years back.

The name Barban appears for the first time in the document dated 740 A.D. During Romanian period, it was named as Barbianum, Barbanum or Praedium Barbi. By another source, the town was named vicus Parpanus from 1150. In 1209 Barban became part of the Aquileia Patriarchs dominions in Istria. Pazin feudal lords were controlling the town during the middle ages, they were fortifying the town so parts of them can still be seen now. 

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Photo by Suzana Pinjuh

In the second half of the 13th century, the town was inhabited by a small colony of Dalmatians from Finodol. The town was possessed by Habsburg after the death of Albert IV, Count of Pazin and then was taken over by the Venice Republic. In the 16th century, the town was given to Loredan family from Venice as a heritable possession.

Barban was part of the Austrian Empire after Venice fall in 1797 and for a short period of time was under Napoleon domination. After the First World War and fall of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Barban was part of Italy and after the Second World War became part of Yugoslavia. After Yugoslavia collapsed, Barbar referred to Croatia till nowadays. 

City Sights of Barban 

From the Church of St. Anthony the Abbot you can start your sightseeing journey to Barban. This church refers to the 14th century and keeps both frescoes paintings and some Glagolitic inscriptions.  

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Photo by Adem Mulalić

The most renowned historical person of Barban is a canon Pietro Stankovich, the author of the book 'Biographies of distinguished Istrians' where he immortalized 478 Istrian leading figures.

The most interesting building in Barban is the building and in part is the Parish Church of St. Nicholas with a 25 meters high bell tower. The church was built on the place of older Romanesque church. You can find several interesting artworks like the altar paintings made by the student of Palma il Giovane, a stone baptismal font, a Gothic holder from the 15th century and the wooden statue of St. Nicholas there.

The Loredan palace has an inscription with the year 1536, which means the year when Loredan family bought it. Some other sources tell us that the palace was probably completed in 1606 through the adaptation of the eastern part of the fortress.

Today Barban is well known for its knightly game Trka na prstenac (the race for the ring), the feast of wine and the fig festival. Church of St. Jacob the Apostle is located in Barban from the 15th century. Also, this church also hosts interesting frescoes paintings.

Accommodation and Transport in Barban

Barban has a good traffic connection, it can be accessed easily. As the town is not far from Pula, about 20 minutes, you can arrive in Pula by plane and get to Barban by car or bus. You can reach your destination with the local transportation, taxi or a rent-a-car in nearby towns as well. 

For accommodation, you have a variety of choices as private rooms and apartments.

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Photo by Suzana Pinjuh

What to do in Barban?

If you are wondering what to do in this small town. We have several offerings for you in Barban. 

First of all, each summer Knights horse race “Trka na prstenac” attracts to Barban many tourists and those who love cultural and historical heritage. You may find out about Istrian customs, culture and gastronomy during the games. 

If you want to have an unforgettable adventure in Barban, you may experience numerous activities like horse riding, safari, adrenaline day and much more with professional event organizer Istra Adventure. Must visit place in the town is the Galavani park, it is a fantastic place to visit for games and challenges. Perfect choice having a day away from the beach.

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Photo by Ki Ka

Barban visitors can also enjoy riding sports and hunting tourism as the surroundings, including the woods and valley of the Rasa River, are full of birds and games. As any Istrian town, Barban offers delicious food and homemade wines, so gastronomic visitors will be satisfied here too. 

Barban is a great destination point for feeling unique Istrian atmosphere and energy. 

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