A weekend in Viškovo

If you find yourself in the centre of Viškovo, you will be captivated by the sight of the Church of St Matthew, which was built in 1862 on the site of a former chapel. It was consecrated in 1865, which is attested to by the memorial plaque on its front façade. The altar painting of St. Matthew, patron saint of Viškovo, was the work of local painter Ivan Baštijan. Close to the church, there is a 250-year-old šterna water well commemorating the occasion when, during one of her journeys, the Empress Maria Theresa stopped at the spot known locally as Pogled and saw the Adriatic Sea for the first time. She ordered a well to be built there, which is today still called Cesarska, meaning ‘Imperial’. Continuing through the centre of Viškovo, you will reach a park with sculptures of Halubajski zvončari bell ringers.

A bit further lies the village of Ronjgi, located on a hill offering a view of Mount Učka and the sea. This is the birthplace of Ivan MatetićRonjgov, who first interpreted the Istrian scale. His birth house today features a memorial collection dedicated to the composer’s legacy, and the Ronjgi Restaurant, which offers local specialities and a wide range of Mediterranean cuisine in an authentic ambience. The gentle landscape of the surroundings arouses curiosity, invites you to enjoy its green spaces, and inspires you to engage in recreational activities. Explore the area at your own pace with HALUbike, a simple system for renting and using bikes in the Municipality of Viškovo.

Every village in Viškovo has at least one water well, locally known as šterna, which were once sources of life for the local people, and today remind us of times gone by and the way of life in the past. Since people needed water on a daily basis, the well became the main meeting place for both young and old. People would go there to meet, exchange information and have a good time together. Adults would often warn children not to look over the edge of šterne because Malik, a dwarf that dwelled in caves, pits and wells, could pull them inside. A local legend has it that there is a Malik in every pit, guarding his gold.

By walking along the centuries-old paths and trails that connect seemingly remote locations, you will notice winding dry-stone walls, locally known as gromače. The simplicity and durability of these dry-stone walls are a metaphor for life in this area. Covered in moss, they still preserve the memory of how they were created. They follow the area’s relief, take us along ancient paths and former borders, and tell the story of days gone by characterised by hard work and persistence.

On your way through the village of Brnasi, you will notice the traditional architecture of this area. The Srok House and the Širola-Sušanj House are typical examples of the local architectural heritage. A typical architectural element is tornica, a semi-circular extension of the kitchen with a fireplace and chimney, a place where the family would gather to eat and warm themselves in winter.

One of the deepest and largest depressions in Halubje is located south of the village of Kapiti. The depression was named Kapitov Dol, and the kalić in it is called Kapitovac. Thanks to its location and size, it was an inexhaustible source of water, which is why during the heat of summer people from distant villages would come here. They carried the water from the kalić on their backs in a wooden container called brenta. This was a gathering place, a source of the social life of the local people.

Next to the village of Milohni, a forest path surrounded by dry-stone walls leads to a walled pond encircled by deciduous trees. The wonderful unspoilt natural scenery filled with bird song is a perfect oasis of peace, ideal for taking a break from your everyday life.

After a day of exploring, reward yourself with traditional dishes, meat and fish specialities, and selected desserts in the area’s numerous restaurants, konoba-style taverns and pastry shops. Take a break in the nearby cafés to enjoy a cup of delicious creamy coffee.

If you like fish and seafood, you’ll love the Konoba Maretina tavern with a long tradition of preparing fresh fish dishes in an authentic ambience. For a good barbecue and top-quality meat dishes, visit the Nono Frane, Ronjgi and J-I-S-T restaurants. Round off your gourmet experience with a tasty dessert in the Torteria, Zvončarnica and Nora pastry shops, which will delight you with freshly baked homemade cakes every day.

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