The very first time you visit Banjole, you will instantly fall in love with this ancient town. The lovely aromas of rosemary and lavender fill the sky almost year round and the rolling green hills are adorned with the golden yellow color of the broom plant. Located within a natural harbor that protects it from the elements, Banjole has become a popular place for those seeking rest and relaxation for a millennia.
The area where Banjole sits today has been inhabited since the Bronze Age. On a hill near the present day town, a burial site belonging to the prehistoric settlers of Banjole was uncovered, along with a number of bronze artifacts. Later, the area would become a popular tourist destination for the Romans who built a number of special villas along the outskirts of town. The name of the town even comes from the Romans as a result of the natural thermal baths found in the central portion of town.
A number of people and nations had control over the area that is now Banjole since the Roman days. From emperors to bishops, this town is rich in history. It is not without tragedy though because the town was hit just as badly as most of the Istrian peninsula by the plague and other diseases of the time.
For the visitor, there are many places to see and things to do around this ancient city. There are the remains of an ancient Roman bath that dates back to the first century, old Roman Era quarries where many unfinished statues have been uncovered. Several churches dating back to the 7th century have been found in Banjole and many churches from the middle ages still stand today. Of course there are many different parks, crisp clean waters and a number of festivals throughout the year.
Photo by matthijsvangastel