Great things to do in Novigrad...
Located in a Baroque building commissioned by the local Rigo nobility in the late 1700s, this complex was restored in 1994. Now one of Istria’s most important independent galleries, it has a fast-moving programme of challenging, contemporary exhibitions throughout the year.
Istria’s first purpose-built museum is a first-class example of how to successfully site modern glass-cube architecture within the context of an old town. Designed by award-winning architectural duo Rendić and Turato, the Lapidarium was built to house Novigrad’s small but impressive collection of archeological remains – mostly Romanesque stonework from medieval Istrian churches, although there is the odd Roman-era piece here as well. The Romanesque pieces are stunning, featuring delicately carved intertwining patterns, familiar Christian symbols, and an array of animals and mythical beasts.
Around the corner from the city harbour, Gallerion is dedicated to the Austro-Hungarian presence in the Adriatic 1815-1918, history from a non-Croatian point of view. The two-storey display is filled with explanations of battles, model ships, uniforms and weapons. The well-crafted exhibits attempt to outline the area’s nautical tradition in as objective a way as a town on the sea can. The curator is an expert and adroit in multiple languages.
A 15 minute drive from Novigrad and famous for discovering more than 1,400 minor planets over the last decade, Višnjan is one of the world’s most prolific astronomical discovery sites. In 2009 the Višnjan team opened a brand-new observatory in the nearby village of Tican, housing a one-metre telescope. The Višnjan Observatory is also actively involved in educational projects, run by students and volunteers, organising workshops and seminars.