Pietrapelosa – Zrenj, Croatia - Atlas Obscura
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Zrenj, Croatia

Pietrapelosa

Croatia's "hairy stone" fortress is one of the most well preserved Istrian castles.  

The largest peninsula on the Adriatic Sea is shared by Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia. It’s home to a number of castles, but the ruins of Croatia’s Pietrapelosa are among the best preserved in the area.

The castle, which stands above the Bračana River Valley, is the second largest on the peninsula. Known for the moss that has always grown up its sides, its name is made up of the Italian words meaning “hairy stone.”

Pietrapelosa was constructed during the Middle Ages. Its first mention is from around 965 AD. The castle was laid out in an elongated shape to work with the narrow ridge of the hill it sits on.

The Gothic castle was surrounded by the three-story walls that still stand today. It once included a four-story watchtower and a chapel of Saint Mary Magdalene. The last service was performed there in 1793.

Though most of the main building burned down in the 1620s, people continued to inhabit the fortress until it was eventually abandoned in the 18th century.