The Pietrapelosa Castle

Pietrapelosa, the castle above the Mirna River, has never been completely destroyed. Its name literally means a hairy fortress. The Chapel of St. Magdalene has also been preserved.


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The Pietrapelosa Castle is located amidst dense vegetation on an elevation between Buzet and Livade. It was often called only Castle or Kostel. This overpowering name, which literally means a hairy, affluent fortress, entirely justifies not only its position, but the reputation of its owners, as well. The location on the cliff above the Mirna as well as the Bračana river, which used to be navigable in the past, was important for controlling the river and land traffic, and also for defending feudal lands. The first document of the Castle dates back to the 10th c. when Patriarch Rodoald offered it as a gift to the Poreč church. In the 13th century, it was reigned by the German knightly family whose surname stems form it: de Pietrapelosa. Venice took the castle in the 15th century, having first sent its renowned general Taddea d´Estea, and then turning it over to nobleman Nicola Gravisi, whose family retained its ownership of the castle until 1869. As all later conquerors-destroyers passed it by, the castle has never been completely ruined. The edifice consists of a residential building, the court chapel of St. Mary Magdalene from the 12 c., and the main polygonaly shaped tower. The castle is encircled by walls. Only the west side residential part built on the cliff has no walls. The walls and the main tower have been preserved to their original height of three to four floors. The stone plate with a hole in the middle (latrina) – a predecessor of today's toilet, has been preserved on the west wall, built above the cliff. The toilet in that time was a symbol of an enviable level of comfort and hygiene. The rich history of the castle included the atonement for numerous betrayals, the property was lost for gambling debts, there was love and cheating, while at the foot of the Castle, the life of peasants went on the usual way: hardworking and toilsome life, with many sufferings and living through the fates of their lords. What reminds us of this today, almost ominously, are its remains, the ruins on the cliff near Buzet.