An Istrian fairytale
At some point in our childhood, we’ve all dreamed about what it would be like to live in a castle surrounded by a moat and guarded by a fire-breathing dragon. While these bedtime stories filled our young imaginations, as adults we’ve come to appreciate the true history behind these fortified structures that dot our earth, and even Istria!
One important castle in Istrian history is located on a cliff in the tiny town of Momjan, near the border of Croatia and Slovenia. Today, it is difficult to comprehend just how much power and influence the fortress once symbolized. However, the castle is in the process of being reconstructed, which will take place over the course of several phases. Built in 1234, it has been mentioned that the Momjan Castle was ruled by Dominus Wosalcus de Mimilano up until 1548 when the castle was purchased by the knight, Simone Rota from Bergamo, for 5,500 golden coins. Rota then reconstructed the fortress into a trapezoidal shape, renovating the living rooms and constructing the chapel of Saint Stephen as well as put in a new stone bridge. For the next 300 years, the Rota family inhabited the castle, which is oftentimes referred to as the Rota Castle, although it is not its official name. Today, only one of the fortress’ four towers still hovers over the Dragonja Valley, serving as a reminder of the town’s rich history.
Aside from being famous for its medieval castle, the town of Momjan is also known as the Kingdom of Moscato Wines! Sweeten up your visit to the region by stopping at one of the numerous excellent wineries such as Kozlovic, Kabola, Sinkovic and Prelac after wandering around the castle grounds.