Dvigrad Castle Ruins

Kanfanar, Croatia

Dvigrad was originally two towns, Moncastello and Castel Parentino. Dvigrad was first mentioned in 879, when it fell under the rule of the Patriarch of Aquileia. However, it had existed long before it as a part of the Roman province settlement. Its name speaks originally of two towns. Today's ruins are the remains of the northern town of Moncastello, while the other one, Castel Parentino, was abandoned in the 10th century.

Dvigrad fell under the rule of the Counts of Gorizia, it was destroyed by the Genoese fighting against the new owners, the Venice. Many lives and towns were lost in this war, which mainly took place in Istria. It is most likely that Parentino was abandoned at that time, and Montecastello was solely renovated. Following more than a century of peace, the second half of the 16th century was marked by a continuous conflict between Venice and Austria. This is the time of the plague epidemics, followed by the malaria.

In 1630, inhabitants had left the town and moved to Kanfanar. Only the poorest family remained in Dvigrad. It was noted that in 1650, the Bishop blessed only three families in Dvigrad. Some twenty years later, the Church of St. Sophia was also abandoned and the time has taken its toll. Current remains represent a well preserved, typical medieval town castle. It is encircled by the two rings of town walls connected by the town gate, of which there are three just as many as its defensive towers. The Church of St. Sophia still dominates the town. It is located on the highest point of town, on the same location from the Early Christian times. It current fascinating three-nave form was built in the 13th century. In front of this Romanesque style edifice there is the main town square and the town palace. Military quarters were located in the town's western part, while the craftsmen inhabited its southwest. The remaining, rather a large area, was occupied by houses for regular citizens.



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Dvigrad, Kanfanar, Croatia
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Founded: 9th century AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Croatia


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jack Dewar (14 months ago)
Pretty well preserved castle with many buildings and streets. The castle is on a hill making some great photo opportunities. The only downside is that some areas are harder to get to for some people.
D. Joe Szabo (15 months ago)
Ruins of a medieval fortress slowly sinking into the forest. Well maintained paths, an easy walk from the parking lot. Charming place.
László Megyeri (15 months ago)
The largest city ruins in central europe. The remains of a white cathedral rules the complex. In the woods you can walk around the ruins of countless buildings and city walls. On several places you can explore the ever changing footprint of the buildings as they were built upon each other in different ages.
Philipp von Both (15 months ago)
A real treat. Free of charge with free parking is what any family man likes. But that's not all. This is a real treasure to explore at your leisure. And if you are exhausted and de-hydrated, there is a little cafe just to the side
Nocturnia Lunae (2 years ago)
The ruin of an old medieval castle town that was abandoned due to the plague, Dvigrad is a wonderful example of how nature reclaims Human settlements. Nowadays the creeping ivy and thorns have been largely cleaned up, and the crumbling structures stabilized, making it a wonderful site to visit. Furthermore entrance is not charged, so you may walk around a medieval town at your leisure, without needing tour guides or tickets. There is also a fast food place at the parking before the entrance, however it was closed during our visit and so I cannot comment on it.
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