duration: 1 or 2 days location: Vodnjan - Galižana

Pilgrimage to eight churches in Vodnjan

Follow in the footsteps of history, culture and Christianity in the heart of Istria. Make a pilgrimage to the churches in Vodnjan and surrounding area. Visit churches rich in sacral heritage and rest your soul and body in a natural setting. 

The tour of the churches ends at the parish church of St. Blaise. Near the church you will find restaurants and shops to rest and have something to eat or drink.

After touring Vodnjan you can also visit neighbouring settlements with several important and interesting churches like the church of St.Fosca and tour the churches in Galižani (parish church of St. Roch, church of St. Justa and Concetta – church of the Immaculate Conception Blessed Virgin Mary).


Church of St. James in Vodnjan is the oldest sacral building in the city.

In the church of St. James  the masses are held only on his feast day on 25.07 at 19h.


Short blessing (Codex Calixtinus, first mediaeval Pilgrim guide) – camino molitva

“In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ take this backpack and clothes for your pilgrimage,  that you may go penitent and purified to present yourself to St. James. After you finish your journey that you may return gifted with the help of God that reigns over all the world forever and ever.   


The staff is the support in your efforts on the German to protect you from all traps of the enemy that you may safely arrive before St. James. After you finish your journey that you may return gifted with a blessing from the same God that reigns over all the world forever and ever.  Amen

The Church of Our Lady of Carmel is located in the historical centre of Vodnjan, near one of the oldest and most preserved streets of Contrada del Asì. Before the feast day of Our Lady of Carmel, on 08.07. begins  the Novena to Our Lady of Carmel. During these nine days the Holy Mass is held at 19:00 in the church. 


Prayer dedicated to Our Lady of Carmel

Blessed Virgin mother and queen of Carmel dedicate myself to you in gratitude and love I promise to serve you in childlike love and fidelity.  I want to follow your example in faith and love serve your son Jesus Christ.

Like you I want to serve God and man through sacrifice and actionable love.

Listen oh good mother to my promise and take it mercifully. Give me Grace that under your wing I persist in Faithfulness to Christ and his church. Amen.

The church of Saint Martin (14th century) is located in Vodnjan and presently is not in ecclastical use. In the Church it is possible to see the wooden altar from the 17th century with the painting on wood featuring Mother of God with Child, Saint Nicholas and Saint Martin.


Prayer to St. Martin:

„O God, who are glorified in the Bishop Saint Martin both by his life and death, restore in us , we pray, the wonders of your grace in our hearts, that not even death  may separate us from your love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen“

The Church of the Holy Cross lies along the road that leads to Svetvinčenat, just before the roundabout at the beginning of Trgovačka Street. The year of 1468 is inscribed on the church; however, it is not clear whether it refers to the year of construction or dedication. This is where the Pula bishops would stop upon their arrival to Vodnjan. As soon as they dismounted , bishops would join the procession that would ceremonialy lead them into town.

Church of St. Madonna Traversa is located east of the city center of Vodnjan. According to the legend at this site in the 12th century originally held a smaller church of St. Mary of the Spring, an unusual name for a location on top of the hill with no spring. Excavations discovered a large cistern next to the side of the church.  Many legends feature this church. One such mentions the angels carrying the Nazareth’s house who stopped here on the way from Trsat to Loreto.  

The locals took a vow to the Virgin Mary to undertake a pilgrimage on Easter Monday should they be spared from infectious diseases and epidemics.

On April 25th at the feast day of St. Mark a Mass is held here with intercessory prayer for good weather, fertile fields and job security.

Church of St. Catherine is considered one of the oldest sacral buildings in the city, from the 12th century, considering its Romanesque architectural and stylistic features.

On the 25.11. Church honour St. Catherine of Alexandria, known locally as Holy Kata. She is one of saints who are very popular in Croatia and her name is associated with many legends.

St. Catherine’s Alexandria is a patron of philosophers, theologians, defenders of faith, teachers, students, and book publishers. Because of her beauty and integrity she became a protector of girls.


Prayer to St. Catherine

“O God, Who didst give the law to Moses on the summit of Mount Sinai and by the holy Angels did miraculously transfer there the body of blessed Catherine, Virgin and Martyr; grant us, we beseech Thee, to come, through her intercession, to the mountain which is Christ. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.”

In the centre of Vodnjan there is also a small church from the 15th century. Above the door there is an inscription with the date – 09/02/1443, and whose content is still a mystery.


Prayers to St. Anthony

“O Holy St. Anthony, you received from God the special power of restoring lost things. Help me to find again God’s grace and let me become reverent in serving God and in virtuous living. Let me find what I lost, and show me the presence of your goodness.“

The parish church of St. Blaise is the largest parish church in Istria with the tallest bell tower (62 m) resembling that of St. Mark’s in Venice. Inside the church of St. Blaise there are preserved bodies of saints and the largest collection of sacral heritage in this area. We recommend visiting and praying in the church.

Every Sunday is Holy Mass at the parish church is at 8:30, 9:45 am (Italian) and 11:00 am. Every Sunday at sunset there is a Holy Rosary in the Parish church.

There is opportunity for confession daily, just before Holy Mass. Every year in the churches there is a blessing of throat on the feast of Saint Blaise.

The priest takes two candles and approaches the believer and prays: “By the intercession of St. Blaise, the bishop and the martyr, may God free you from the illness of the throat and every other evil! “

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