In the eastern part of Istria, only three kilometres from the sea lies the medieval town of Labin, today a town known for its numerous galleries and artists. The most fascinating sight is the central town square with the perfectly preserved loggia and main town gate of St. Flora from the 16th century. Above the gate is the town’s coat of arms and Venetian lion, symbol of Venetian rule. While strolling through the town discover the cannon from the Austrian period and many other interesting details.
Visit the Labin National Museum where you will learn something about the importance of mining for the town’s history, discover the meaning of the “Labin Republic”, and then by visiting the Memorial Collection learn about the famous person from the 16th century, Matthias Flacius Illyricus, one of Martin Luther’s first associates, Protestant writer and professor of theology and Hebrew at universities in Jena, Regensburg, Antwerp…
Labin, a picturesque town situated on a 320 meters high hill and only three kilometers from the seaside, was inhabited already two thousand years B.G. The remnants of Kunci, one of the settlements called the ‘castellums’, dating from the Bronze Age, can be found in the vicinity of Labin. Its old Illyrian-Celtic name is Albona or Alvona and it was probably founded by Celts in the 4th century B.C. on the ruins of the ancient city. Some historians say it was fortified by the Illyrians in the 11th century B.C. They also say that Albona in the Celtic language means ‘a town on the hill’ or ‘an elevated settlement’.
Titus Livius said that Labin inhabitants were pirates. After the conflicts between the local inhabitants and Romans, which had started in the 3rd century B.C., Istra came under the Romans in 177 B.C. The borderline was the river Rasa. Labin and its surroundings thus became an integral part of Illyrian, the Roman province with a high degree of independence and authority over the nearby settlements. The oldest written document about Labin is a relief from the 3rd century with the insertion ‘RES PUBLICA ALBONESSIUM’.