DVORAC BELAJ is early Baroque Castle and Vineyard situated in the hilly area of the North-Eastern part of Istrian peninsula, Croatia. Surrounded by the untouched nature it has one of the best views over The Učka ([ˈut͡ʃka], Italian
: Monte Maggiore
DVORAC BELAJ is a registered Historical Heritage.
The Castle consists of the central residential part of the palace with four-storey wings. On three sides of the inner courtyard it is closed by semicircular arcades on the ground floor and first floor, while the north-west wing entrance closes with facade decorated with stone. Left and right of the residential part, in the same line are located farm buildings that used to hold basements, stables and barns, but also facilities for wine production. These are long and narrow single-storey buildings with gabled roofs.
The culture of wine making is known to exist in the area from the Roman period.
The Castle and winemaking have always lived in a symbiosis and in past were ruled by noble families such as Guteneck, Moyses, Barbo and Auersperg.
The first mentioning of the estate dates back to 1063 when the Istrian count Ulich Weimer took the are abetween Labin and Rijeka. Emperor Henrik thus donated several castles to the count including Bellai.
another evidence dates back to XIV Century, when in the 1367 It was stated as Bray
. From that period dates nearby medieval castle Possert, previous center of this estate. When it was abandoned, at the beginning of XVII Century, Daniele Barbo built Belaj as a new residence.
It was in the possession of Barbo's descendants until 1668 when it was sold to Johann Weikhard from Auersperg noble family. Numerous castles and estates of the central Istria Johann united in a single manor Wachsenstein (Kožljak
), and the center from the medieval castle Kožljak by which was named, was transferred to Belaj. Johann heirs reconstructed the Castle in the Baroque style to rustic castle in the end of XVII Century.