In today’s age vampires have a growing popularity. Based on the vampire story’s individual cities and countries have started to develop a special kind of tourism. It is little known that Croatia has also it’s famous vampire whose story is chilling to everyone who hears it. The story dates back to 1672 and comes from a small town called Kringa which is located southwest of Pazin.
Kringa is a very small and typical Istrian village which still has traditional Istrian stone houses and a beautifully preserved coastal landscape. This is an ancient village built on the ancient remains of roman settlement. Today in some houses can still be found remains of the old ancient Roman Panels with specific descriptions. In the middle Ages Kringa was surrounded by walls which, unfortunately, have not been kept up to date.
Today, the residents of this small Istiran village mainly engaged in tourism, an this is not any kind of tourism, it’s tourism based on Vampires. It’s whole tourism offer is based on this ancient legend, and only here you have a unique chance to sleep in a room that’s completely furnished and styled in the vampire – Gothic style. In addition to specially equipped rooms only here you can buy specially themes souvenirs such as candles with garlic aroma, red wine Jure Grando, brandy Grando and specially designed cocktails with imaginative names. Here you also have the opportunity to visit the old property that once used to belong to the family Grando. There are also various themed vampire bars as well as many vampire festivals such as evenings of horror literature.
The legend of Jura Grando
The legend of Jura Grand or the Istrian Vamire dates back to 1672, and it is actually the very first European vampire ever mentioned. This is a very strange story recorded by Johann Weichard Valvasor in his book The Glory of the Duchy of Crain ( Die Ehre deß Herzogthums Crain ).
The legend has it that in 1656, died Jure Grando who was buried on the local cemetery. The was an ordinary local resident until shortly after his burial that same deceased did not start to appear to the local population. His character was seen wandering through the village, and even knocking on the door of some houses. The villagers did not realize that behind his appearance are some evil forces until the local residents the houses where he knocked started to die. His widow has also complained to the village governor that her husband visited her by night, mistreated her and even raped her. Jura quickly became a terrible entity for the entire village, and the poor residents needed 16 years encourage themselves to do something. So one day the village mayor Miho Radetić gathered a group of brave and heart-ed men and led them to the cemetery in order to dig up the body and to puncture a hawthorn stake so they can end this period of fear and terror. Nine villagers carrying a crucifix and a torch came to the cemetery and opened the grave of Jura. What they saw shocked them. The dead body was intact, and his face flushed with a big smile. The brave nine men run fast seeing that scene, but the mayor once again collected them and brought back to the cemetery. The pastor then spoke into the open grave, keeping the crucifix in his hand and began to invoke the name of Jesus Christ in order to drive out the evil from beyond the grave. There were tears in the deceased eyes. The brave man tried to stab him with the stake his stomach , but they couldn’t because the pole constantly refused to price trough the stomach. In the end one of the brave nine men named Stephen Milašić, beheaded him with an ax. The dead man cried, and the entire gave started filling in with blood. After that the ” honorable nine ” closed u the grave. Since that day in the village was in peace and illusion of Jure Grando never appeared again.
There are many indications that the story of Jura Grando inspired many now famous vampire books and film. In the recent years, because of this urban legends, Kringa has an increasing number of visitors who enjoy the unique vampire offer, and for that very reason they opened a museum in memory of Jura Grand.