Materada - Matterada
Churches and Cemeteries


Our Lady of the Snow

The parish church of Materada (alt. 106 m) is dedicated to Our Lady of the Snow whose feast day is celebrated August 5, while that of the patron and protector of the city, St. Valentine is, as lovers well know, on February 14. It was built in 1664 over the ruins of a previous church from which some Glagolithic inscriptions from 1531 and 1535 have been preserved  and which can be read on the canon registry of that period in the preceding paleoslavic alphabet and in cyrillic.

The reconstruction of the church was done by the then gestaldo or administrator Giorgio Ṭmica or Zorzi Tomizza, as recalled on a stone imbedded in the facade, and it was restored in 1941. In 1784 the church of Materada was placed under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Cittanova. Before that the curazia was subject to the capitolo of Umag. It became a parish in 1859.

It has a single nave and a sacristy and contains two small wooden altars with the statues of  St. Valentine and St. Anthony, and a wooden processional statue of the Madonna.

The Belltower

The 25 metre baroque-styled steeple stands about ten metres in front of the facade of the church. The base is in bare stone but the body of the tower is plastered (carried out in 1991, as is recorded in a Latin inscription over the portal) and is enclosed by two large cornices. Two small, arched windows and a clock decorate the face. In spite of restorations, it has remained unfinished and without its bells. There is no particular conclusion to the tower above the belfry with its mullioned windows with twin lights, apart from a cornice similar to the one below. Therefore, it is defined as a plate; it is distinguishable from afar, unmistakeable, precisely for this incompleteness of structure.

The cemetery


  • Dario Alberi, Istria - storia, arte, cultura. Edizioni LINT (Trieste, 1997), p. 1020-1.
  • Daniela Milotti Bertoni, Istria - Duecento campanili storici / Two hundred historic steeples, Bruno Fachin Editore (Trieste, 1997)
  • Unione degli Istriani, Il Comune di Umago e la sua gente, Bruno Fachin Editore (Trieste, 1999)
  • English translation - courtesy of Aaron Gillies
  • Tomizza photographs -

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This page compliments of Marisa Ciceran, Aaron Gillies and Guido Villa

Created: Friday, June 07, 2002; Last updated: Monday, August 26, 2013
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