Bale – Valle: “Bale is a lovely, picturesque, stone built, Istrian town and Giacomo Casanova was one famous visitor of Bale“
You can enter the old town and pass below the main gates. The stone paved streets are similar to those you can find in Rovinj and other medieval Istrian towns and villages.
If you take the street that goes towards left you will note the well of the Bembo – Soardo castle. Inside the old town there is one main circular street. You can take both ways, the street that continues near the well or the street that continues nearby the bar “Kamene Price”.
Following both streets you will arrive in front of the Baroque Parish Church of Virgin Mary Visits that was built in 1882 on a place of an older church. In realty there were four churches on this place before the current Parish Church. The church before the current one was from the 13th century.
It is known that in the 18th century the church was dedicated to St. Mary Mon Perin, later on to St. Mary Elisabeth and in end to St. Julian. The older one was from the 9th century and was dedicated to St. Mark. The first church, from the Byzantine period, was built in the 5th – 6th century. The bell tower that is placed in front of the church was made in 1856.
The façade of the church is very similar to the façade of the Parish Church of St. Blaise in Vodnjan, while its interior is similar to Euphrasian Basilica in Porec.
There are some assumptions that both churches façades could have been inspired by some drawings made by Andrea Palladio.
The Parish Church hosts the stone sarcophagus from the 8th century with bones of St. Julian Cesarel who died in the 14th century. St Julian is also the protector of Bale.
The other art works hosted in the church are: the wooden Romanesque crucifix, the large painting “The Visitation” made by Matteo Ponzoni, and a wooden altar from the 9th century. There is an interesting well near the back of the Parish Church. Historically it is likely that in that place there was a defence tower.
You can exit this circular street in the northern part of the village and visit the street and houses that are placed outside the town walls.
In this north western part there is another Church of St. Helen from the 18th century incorporated in the old town walls. On the place were Church of St. Helen is located there was another town gate.
There is another medieval church with interesting Romanesque bell tower. It is the Church St. Elias from the early Middle Ages. This church is among the oldest existing churches in Istria.
This church is located few hundred meters towards west from the old town nucleus. You can take the car and park fifty meters before you join the road to Rovinj. To visit it you will need to ask the people from the village to show you the way and other people to allow you to cross their court yard because is not located on the main road and the access is not well indicated.
In a decade time Bale could became a very nice vacation place once the project Town Hotel Mon Perin is completed.
In Bale’s photo gallery you will find several pictures of this lovely Istrian village.
Just few kilometres outside Bale on the old road that goes towards Sv. Lovrec you will find the indications for Stancija Bembo that belonged to the Venitian family Bembo.
Bembo family was administrating Bale for several centuries. This property was built during the mid of the 18th century and is similar to the other important countryside Istrian families properties built outside the towns.