Hum, The Smallest City in the World

Hum, The Smallest City in the World

Hum, a small medieval city lost in the heart of Istria, the beautiful Croatian peninsula bathed by the Adriatic. Although our interlocutor highlights on more than one occasion the small adjective, our imagination, eager to walk its cobbled streets and immerse itself in distant and surely fascinating history, overlook this detail.

We usually unconsciously associate the concept of the city with the existence of certain topics such as important avenues, lively nightlife, an outstanding cultural and leisure offer, historical buildings… However, Hum fits very little with this description: its only coincidence lies in its Centennial buildings and its almost millenary past.

We cross a thousand and one corners of the peninsula and we are surprised by the elegance of Opatija and the beauty of Rovinj, possibly the most beautiful town in the area, we visit the Roman amphitheater of Pula and we enter the cave of Baredine, but we do not resist to get closer to Hum, inside Istria. On top of a hill, 20 minutes from Buzet and just over 10 minutes from Roc, there is a real surprise.

And it is that the locality is nothing more than a spot on the horizon, in a landscape dominated by cereal fields; We are facing the smallest city in the world. With around 30 souls, its dimensions leave us perplexed: it measures approximately 100 meters long and somewhat less than 40 meters wide. Faced with such a reality, a big question strikes our mind: how is it possible to call such a small place in a city?

A history of centuries

The legend evokes its origins to the intervention of giants, but the reality – as always as true – goes back to the middle ages, when Hum was Cholm, and the defensive needs forced to build a citadel on the remains of an old fortress. The year was 1102. For centuries, life developed between walls.

Originally organized from the architectural point of view in three parallel rows of houses, with two streets that exerted separation and a square, its structure allowed the military defense and the refuge of its inhabitants in the castle in its continuous attacks. Despite the assaults, looting and even burning, which forced to rebuild the fortress on several occasions, the historical structure is in a good state of preservation.

The last of the restorations dates from the early nineteenth century and its current appearance was completed with the construction of the church, a work that forced the city to slightly move to the southern wall so that the bell tower remained within the walls.

Glagolitic culture

Hum is certainly a tiny city, however, its cultural heritage is immense. Among its treasures, we discover numerous documents written in Glagolitic, an ancient Slavic alphabet dating from the 9th century and used in the Istrian peninsula until the 19th century. Although one of the most prominent attractions is a route that has its origin in Roc and ends at the copper gate of the citadel of Hum.

Along the seven kilometers that separate both locations, we find 11 stone monuments in honor of the Glagolitic writing. A wonder that exalts a splendid past.

Already in the city, touring its medieval streets of solid cobbled houses while discovering charming corners will become a real and relaxed pleasure. The visit will not take us more than a couple of hours, but the experience and memory of the Hum will last for a long time.

Written by Editorial Staff

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