Gajana

The small settlement of Gajana with around twenty houses is located in the Vodnjan area. Gajana was burned down by the Germans towards the end of the Second World War when 15 of its inhabitants were killed.

A prehistoric settlement was built on the site. Much like the entire Vodnjan area, densely populated in antiquity, it is believed that this was a large ancient estate of Caius, which explains the name Gajana. A tombstone and a sarcophagus dating back to antiquity have been found in this area.

Today's settlement is situated approximately one kilometre south of the old settlement of Gajana. The twelfth-century bell tower of the Romanesque church of St. John the Evangelist still stands on the site of the former settlement. The church that used to stand near the bell tower was torn down in 1926 and the construction debris was used to build a house.

It is worth mentioning that Gajana was swept by medieval epidemics leaving the settlement desolate. Much like a large number of Istrian villages, Gajana was subsequently populated  mainly by people from Dalmatia fleeing before the advancing Turks.

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