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Left and below: The oldest cistern in Montona, near the former Polesini palace, circa 1330 AD. Montona is shown on it as standing on a hill, with one tower, surrounded by a single defensive wall. This wall is today the scenic overlook footpath.

Below: Detail showing the Winged Lion of St. Mark. What looks like the bird's tail are in fact the waves of the sea, the head is cat like enough, and the lion's right paw clutches the "Book", the gospel of St. Mark. The book is closed signifying a time of danger to the Republic. For its protection, the free city of Montona had voluntarily joined the Venetian Republic only some 70 years prior to the carving of this well head. At that time Montona was the most exposed outpost of the Republic in Istria.

Above and right: 15th century cistern at upper end of the square near Casa Basilisco. Motovun is shown on the cistern as having a second defensive wall in addition to the old upper wall.

The five towers might represent the actual number of defensive towers or their meaning is purely heraldic. (The rose flower that is part of the Motovun insignia has also five petals...)

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  • Drawings - Dario Alberi, ISTRIA - storia, arte, cultura, Editore LINT (Trieste, 1997)
  • Photographs and notes - Mirko Gabler
  • Misc. photographs - various sources. 

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This page compliments of Marisa Ciceran

Created: Wednesday, October 23, 2002; Last updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013
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