Barban Prstenac Race Gets a Museum

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A few days ago, an interesting little museum in the small town of Barban in Istria was opened. It is the museum of the Barban Prstenac Race. It is a historical race similar to the Sinj Alka which has been held annually there since 1976 on the third weekend in August. In honour of this event which attracts thousands of visitors, the local municipality has decided to set up a visitors centre where it presents the tradition of this knightly competition and local history to all guests of this small Istrian town, reports on February 27, 2019.

The municipality received a 238,500 kuna grant from the Ministry of Tourism. The project was approved under the Public Tourism Infrastructure Development Programme. This programme has approved the co-financing of 46 development projects in the total value of 19,971,700 kuna.

The new multimedia space was designed by Studio Putinja from Pazin. Their architects have created the centre with five separate areas. Once you get to the first floor, you enter the Gradišće, which is the track where the competition is held. Other rooms include a presentation of the race through history and its participants, with the exhibit of the rings and spears laid around the centre of the room, as well as traditional folk costumes.

The race was restored in 1976 thanks to a group of enthusiasts who decided to restart the old knightly game in Barban. At that time, they did not even dream about their race becoming one of the most well-known Istrian events. The original competition is actually older than the Sinj Alka, which began in 1715. The Barban race was first mentioned in 1696, and there was a similar race in Svetvinčenat which started in 1713.

After the presentation of the race, visitors enter a circular hall with audio and video presentations of the history of the town. There you can find out that Barban is an old town built in the 13th century. It was under the rule of the Austrians and later belonged to the Venetian family Loredan, which bought Barban in 1535 and owned it for 334 years. Their legacy is the Loredan Palace on the main square, built in 1606.

The distinctive feature of the centre is its architectural solutions. In designing the centre, the Pazin architects tried to apply and create innovative content. Another important novelty is that all the exhibits are presented through the Braille alphabet, while tactile surfaces lead the visitors through the whole centre. Also, modern LED lighting has been installed throughout.

The Barban Municipality does not plan to stop here; it has some significant plans. First of all, they want to move the town’s tourist information point to the ground floor of this historic building. This would make the Barban centre a real tourist area, given the fact that it has been the tourist champion of inland Istria for many years. They also want to enrich the centre with new multimedia content, including VR presentations. The project has already received additional funds, including another 224,000 kuna from the Ministry of Tourism.

More news about Barban can be found in the Travel section.

Translated from (reported by Barbara Ban).


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