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AT THE WATERFRONT, IN THE SQUARE, ALONG THE BEACHES:
THINGS TO SEE IN FAŽANA AND VALBANDON
From Fažana to Valbandon and back – all along the waterfront – and also to Pineta: this is an ideal setting for a lovely walk accompanied by the sound of waves and the soft whisper of Fažana’s calm sea. In Fažana you must peek into the labyrinth of small squares and streets, hear the rhythm of everyday life blending with the sweet smells from the kitchen. While the small boats rock gently along the two piers, while the fishermen are weaving their fishing nets or putting another coat of paint on their overturned boats, the smell of grilled fish, seafood risotto and clinking sound of glasses on tables mixes with the seagull’s cry that has within reach of the harbor caught sight of the glittering sea.
With a view of Brijuni, hinterland covered with Mediterranean vegetation, sandbank reaching into the sea, Fažana invites you for the first morning espresso, afternoon refreshment and evening glass of wine...
The silence of the parish church of SS. Cosmas and Damian invites us to contemplation and mental concentration in this monument of stone dating from the 15th century, built in the Gothic style with a characteristic Gothic doorway and lunette. In the lunette is a much more recent work presenting the figures of saints-physicians, Cosmas and Damian, the two patron saints of Fažana. On the main altar with the tabernacle we can see the altar pala presenting all saints and Christ in glory. Another interesting sight is the altar with a painting of St. Andrew and St. Margaret, as well as an altar presenting the saints-physicians. Especially valuable works of art are the Gothic crucifix from the 16th century and "The Last Supper" painted by Zorzi Ventura. The church organ dates from 1858, whereas the bell tower is 27 meters high. It is said that this church stands at the lowest height above sea level in Istria: only one meter above sea level. Viewed from the sea it too resembles one of the boats in Fažana’s harbor...
The first archival materials from Fažana’s parish date from 1638. Among the other sacral monuments, an especially interesting sight is the small church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel from the 14th century, with a Gothic statue of the Holy Virgin, as well as remains of frescoes testifying the works to the 15th century. The small church of St. John the Apostle (16th century) at the local cemetery and the church of St. Eliseus "in the field" (6th century) are also representative sights worth visiting.
A visit to nearby Valbandon with its small harbor, a walk "over the bridge", reveals a true oasis by the sea, a unique seaside setting far from the swarming crowds. It seems as though everything here is created for walking and relaxing. This small bay was once famous for its mussel beds and in Antiquity it was the site of the production of purple dye from purpura shellfish.
In Pula’s antiphonary from the 12th century are verses that according to the interpretation of Dr. Dragutin Nežić, the late Poreč-Pula bishop, read: "He built the shelter as a inhabitant of Fažana. There he instructed many as a good teacher..." This refers to St. Florian, to whom one of the local churches is dedicated. In addition to different information it is said that St. Florian arrived here in the 7th century after returning from the Holy Land as a bishop from the area of Treviso in northern Italy. Today the holy relics of this saint are kept in the Cathedral of Pula, and several chapels throughout Istria are dedicated to St. Florian. The old toponym of the bay Sors Florianum in Valbandon, as well as the later one - Fioran - honor this saint.