Motovun is a town full of cultural landmarks from many different ruling periods.


The name Motovun is of a Celtic origin and comes from the word Montona which literally means ‘a town on the hill’.

The Acropolis shaped settlement has taken form on the top of a hill. During Ancient times, the Illyrian and Celtic tribes made their fortresses on the exact same spot where Motovun is located.

Historical and cultural heritage

Motovun is the most well preserved medieval fortress on the Istrian Peninsula and the entire region is the most touristically developed region of Croatia.

In Ancient days, the Illyrian and Celtic tribes built their fortresses on the exact same spot where Motovun lies today. The acropolis shaped settlement has formed on the top of the hill.

The name Motovun is of a Celtic origin and comes from the word Montona which literally means ‘a town on the hill’.

Many different rulers have reigned Motovun over a long line of centuries. In the second half of the 13th century, Motovun falls under Venetian ruling and remains such for the five following centuries. For Venice, Motovun was a strategically important site and as such, it began to take a distinct appearance and form in which we find it today.

After the fall of Venetian Republic in 1797, Austria and Italy have mutually exchanged the ruling over Motovun up until the end of World War II.

Just to mention some interesting time line facts about Motovun: in 1331 Motovun gets its first town physician and pharmacy, in 1819 the cadaster, in 1826 the post office, in 1852 the agricultural fruit society. The first telegraph appears in 1877 and the town gets its first photographer in 1898 while the phone line was introduced in 1922. The first radio played its tunes in 1925 and the electricity was introduced as early as 1928. Soon after, the truffles were discovered in the area in 1929. The plumbing was built in 1938 and the first television find its way into town in 1957. Last but not least, Motovun Film Festival debuts in 1999.

Motovun Film Festival

The idea of the Motovun Film Festival was that of a small niche festival. However, it hasn’t taken long for the festival to gain in popularity and grow suddenly.

During the first year, the festival was visited by 7000 people and the number grows to 40000 people in the peak years of the festival.

This is why there was a sudden need for a camp site which would be in function only during the days in which the festival takes place. Because of the variety of visitors, mainly of a younger age, the festival is often referred to as the ‘Film Woodstock’.

The projections take place in two closed and two open theatres and go on non stop from 10 am until dawn of the following day.

Aside from the film projections, the program abounds in concerts and various dance shows in the old town centre squares and alleys. During the film festival days Motovun, otherwise a true oasis of peace, comes to life and stays awake 24 hours a day

Motovun Film Festival is a festival with a soul!

Land of wine and truffles

Around Motovun there are many vineyards in which famous Istrian grape vines are grown: Teran and Malvasia.

The Motovun vineyards have given birth to the best Croatia wines.

Malvasia, which is brought to ripe in big oak barrels, takes credit for "BENVENUTI MALVAZIJA ANNO DOMINI”, a wine that won the best Croatian Wine trophy and a golden medal at the IWC in London, a solid confirmation of the excellency of the wine.

The Motovun area soil has proven itself to be excellent for the production of "BENVENUTI TERAN” as well, also a platinum medal winner at the DWWA in London

The wine is acquired with a rigorous selection, the grapes being picked at the very last moment and the wine held in barrels and bottles until ripe to perfection.

Besides vineyards, in the miles long valley of the River Mirna, the Motovun forest lies, a habitat of the famous subterranean truffles. In summer and early autumn the black truffle breed grows, while late autumn and winter is the white truffle season.

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