We had hoped that over Christmas we’d be beavering away, updating our websites and that we’d jump into the new year with a whole new look. Well, you know how these things go – a road trip back to England, much catching up with family and friends, and far too much excellent food and wine – and things website wise haven’t quite gone quite to plan. Yet. But, we’re now back in Istria and it’s full steam ahead – but until all is ready to go, we’re still blogging about our favourite things here…

So, jump back to the beginning of December and we decided to explore a track, off the road down the mountain from Oprtalj to Livade. We’ve been seeing a bit of action recently on this track – new signs, trucks, evidence of the road being improved so guessed there was something interesting at the end of it, or that it might actually lead somewhere. And, wow, it certainly did! To an abandoned village, where there are most definitely signs of new life emerging.

Electricity connections are in evidence, as are water connections and a couple of the properties have clearly had work done on them recently. One house has a completely new red tiled roof, and another seems to have had new windows fitted fairly recently. But, and it’s a big but, the village is a long way from being habitable. So, on the day, we explored, we had the village completely to ourselves…

Abandoned village in Istria, Croatia

Abandoned village in Istria, Croatia

Abandoned village in Istria, Croatia

The houses aren’t roped off. There are no health and safety signs. So, being very, very, very careful you can get to see them very close-up. Floors – where they still exist – are very precarious – but it was just too tempting not to get inside and take some photos. If nothing is done to restore these properties, in the not too distant future, they won’t be standing anymore, and so it feels important, in a very small way, to get a record of them. Now.

Abandoned village in Istria, Croatia

And, when you do get close up, you see the faded paintwork. You can only imagine how vibrant the blue must have been when this house was alive and full of people.

Abandoned village in Istria, Croatia

Abandoned village, Istria, Croatia

The houses in the village are huge. They must have been lived in by wealthy people – people who could afford to build halfway up a mountain with vistas across the Istrian valleys, up to Motovun and away to the Adriatic. People who then left. Or were forced to leave…

Abandoned village, Istria, Croatia

One of the houses was a little safer than others, to get inside. The floors were mostly in place and something caught my eye, so I couldn’t resist a sneak peek…

Abandoned village, Istria, Croatia

Just look at that elaborate paintwork and frescoes! Astonishingly well preserved given the state of the building. It was amazing actually being inside and looking up, down and all around. The ceiling was beautifully painted with delicate patterns and with an almost intact ceiling rose – although I couldn’t get a decent enough photo of this, as the floorboards in the centre of the room looked a lot more precarious.

So, my hunt is on to find out about this abandoned village. You’d think it wouldn’t be too hard given that some kind of renovation work has started, but it’s not marked on any local maps and google maps doesn’t throw up any obvious clues. I will find out about its history but if anyone reading, knows anything about this abandoned village, I’d love to know.