Sušnjevica - Valdarsa
Churches and Chapels

Hrvatski | Italiano

S. Giovanni Battista (Susnjevica)

St. John the Baptist (alt. 48 m.)

Sušnjevica today has the largest remaining concentration of Istro-Romanians in the deanery of Labin. The town was first mentioned in 1340.

The present church of St. John the Baptist was built in 1838 and consecrated the following year. The parish church is on the outskirts of town, on the road to Vragna, just past the small cemetery located on a slight hill overlooking the valley on the site of the small ancient parish church that was dedicated to Pope Saint Sylvester in 1838. The church was renovated in 1999.

The church as it looked in 1994, prior to renovation [Photo source: Marijan Milevoj & Eduard Strenja, Od crkve do crve, Matthias Flacius Illyricus (1994)]
S. Giovanni Battista (Susnjevica)
Source: Piero Alberi. Istria - Storia, Arte, Cultura. Edizioni LINT (Trieste, 1997). Source: Daniela Milotti Bertoni. Istria - Duecento Campanili Storici/Two Hundred Historic Steeples.

The square bell tower (15 m.) is attached to the back of the apse. It is rather squat and made of split stone like the church. The belfry has large window openings outlined in stone and is surmounted by a low spire on a square base.

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July 26, 1998 [Photographed by Marisa Ciceran]

The portal is crowned by a simple tympanum and has no dates or inscriptions. The front facade exhibits traces of pinkish plaster and no windows.

The church has a single rectangular nave with a semicircular apse, a large semicircular window and two narrow slender windows on both sides. The main altar, raised above the bare stone floor, includes an altar piece with the Baptism of Jesus and wooden statues of St. Peter and St. Paul. One of the side altars has the figures of the Madonna and Child, St. Nicholas, and St. Sylvester.

Source: Marijan Milevoj & Eduard Strenja. Od Crkive Do Ckrve/Da Chiesa a Chiesa/From Church to Church - Labin, Raša, Sv. Nedelja, Kršan, Pican, Matthias Flacius Illyricus (Labin, 1994)

High altar

Right altar

1998 - Confirmations by the Bishop of Poreč on July 26. [Photographed by Marisa Ciceran]

February 2004.

A Jurman family grave photographed in 2005 by Val Chifor for BBC Romania Radio.
Another Iurman family headstone in the cemetery of Susnjevica where Enrico Iurman (my uncle) was buried after his brutal death at the hands of criminal Istrian Partisans along with other Istrian men. On the memorial stone on the church lawn, their names are Croatized and mirepresented as being among the casualties of the Fascist regime rather than the local Partisans representing the incoming Communist regime.
News article from October 26, 1999:

Immigrants Help to Renovate the Cemetery Chapel

Susnjevica - Renovation of chapel at local cemetery in Susnjevica will soon begin. Comune of Krsan invested 100,000 KN. Road to the cemetery has already gotten lighting, and electricity will next be brought into the chapel, which will also serve as a funeral chapel. This project was also embraced by emigrants from New York, who held fundrising gathering last weekend and collected about $65,000. Like the past actions meant to raise funds for the renovation of the churches in Susnjevica and Brdo, these actions were organized by Maria Pezulic and Laura Vlacic.


  • Text and image: Dario Alberi, ISTRIA - Storia, arte, cultura, Edizione LINT (Trieste, 1997)
  • Marijan Milevoj & Eduard Strenja. Od Crkive Do Ckrve/Da Chiesa a Chiesa/From Church to Church - Labin, Raša, Sv. Nedelja, Kršan, Pican, Matthias Flacius Illyricus (Labin, uoci Bozica, 1994)
  • Top photograph - courtesy of: Silvana Fable, Opcina Kršan (publisher)
  • October 26, 1999 news article -

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This page compliments of Franco G. Aitala and Marisa Ciceran

Created: Sunday, January 23, 2000; Last updated: Saturday, September 22, 2012
Copyright © 1998, USA