Istrian towns and villages

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Smrikve Pula Premantura
Brijuni Vodnjan Medulin
Fazana Galizana Vizace
Peroj Svetvincenat Marcana
Bale Kanfanar Mutvoran
Monkodonja Dvigrad Krnica
Rovinj Zminj Rakalj
Lim Bay Sv. Petar u Sumi Barban
Klostar Tinjan Rasa
Gradina Beram Labin
Vrsar Trviz Rabac
Funtana Gracisce Sv. Martin
Sv. Lovrec Pazin Sumber
Sv. Ivan Lindar Pican
Porec Kascerga Krsan
Mali Sv. Andjelo Zamask Klostar
Baredine Cave Motovun Kozljak
Tar Oprtalj Gologorica
Visnjan Zrenj Paz
Vizinada Zavrsje Belaj
Novigrad Grimalda Boljun
Karpinjan Draguc Lupoglav
Dajla Racice Raspor
Brtonigla Sovinjak Slum
Seget Vrh Ucka
Umag Hum Plomin
Savudrija Roc Brsec
Groznjan Buzet Moscenice
Buje Kostel Lovran
Momjan Salez Opatija
Istra Veprinac

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Salez – Salise: “Village of the “Pillar of Shame””

Salez is a small village famous for the largest Istrian pillory made in 1769 and popularly called “Pillar of Shame” or “Berlin”. It is located in the northern part of Istria, not far away from Kostel.

  • located 78 kilometres from Smrikve
  • dominant is the typical Istrian continental architecture with Venetian influence
  • not to be missed: the “Pillar of Shame” and the old village that will be restored and probably developed in a nice hotel


Driving on the road that goes from Buje to Buzet, after the village of Rusnjak you have to drive carefully because there are no signposts for Kostel and Salez.

Few hundred meters after Rusnjak you will arrive to the road that turns left. When you turn left you will pass under a concrete bridge. Several kilometres from the place where you left the main road you will see the indications for Salez.

You need to turn left and follow the narrow road for 3 kilometres that takes you towards the top of the hill. You will pass trough the village of Abrame and finally you will arrive to Salez, located on a 355 meters high hilltop.

To see the Pillar of Shame you need to follow the directions for the cemetery that is few hundred meters away from Salez village. On the crossroad you will see the signposts indicate the cemetery is to the left and the village of Salez is to the right. Soon after the crossroad you will see the cemetery Church of St. Michael from the 16th century, with one of the most particular Istrian bell towers that was added to the church in 1979. Not far from there you will be in front of the Pillar. 

The image of a man with his left hand on his breast was carved and set there in 1769, and a chain was also fastened to the “Berlin” for chaining the punished person.

It is assumed that the sculpture was put there by the family Gravisi that ruled over Kostel for centuries.

I met an old woman in the village that told me that a recently deceased villager knew the story about the “Berlin”, and his story was that on the day when the pillar was put there the big celebration was held in the village.

There were five big Istrian bulls, Boskarins, that were pulling the wagon full of flowers with the pillar on it. Some sources indicates that on the pillar there was an inscription with the 1769 date that has been cancelled over time.

The inscription was saying: “Justice to this poor region”. “Berlin” is an interesting popular sculpture and  also the visit to the village takes you back to the old times.

The village is very small but in few years it could become an interesting tourist destination. Several abandoned stone houses around the pretty court-yard have been bought by a foreign investor who is planning to turn them into a charming and nice place.

In Salez’s photo gallery you will find the pictures of the village and the pictures of this famous and largest Istrian pillory.

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