What better place than LegendFest to present an exhibition on this intriguing topic that has little or no representation in the Croatian cultural offer? We are delighted to be able to present this exhibition to the public where local and foreign visitors could learn about recorded cases of vampirism in Istria and beyond.
The exhibition, which was held on 30 and 31 July 2016 at LegendFest in the town of Pićan, is the collection of old, original items from Serbia and Croatia which people used to protect themselves from vampire attacks. The exhibition was organised in collaboration with the municipality of Tinjan. Part of the exhibits were provided by the Museum of vampires from Kringe in central Istria, where Jure Grando, the most famous Croatian vampire lived, while other exhibits are from private collections and are property of the association Val kulture (Wave of culture).
The exhibition has primarily represented the case of the most famous Croatian, but also the first European vampire Jure Grando, whose existence is recorded by Johann Weichard Valvasor in his book The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola (Die Ehre Dess Herzogthums Crain), published in 1689. Valvasor’s work relays stories of locals of Kringe who were terrorized for 16 years by vampire Grando.
However, the legend of Grando, even though the most popular, is not the only documented case of vampirism in Croatia, which together with Serbia, some historians consider the cradle of these mythical creatures. In other parts of Istria and Croatia there are documented and archived cases of vampirism (Opatija, Peroj, Korčula, Silba, Dubrovnik) showing that beliefs in these creatures were firmly rooted in folklore. It is therefore our intention to collaborate with those municipalities in order to supplement and enrich the exhibition with new exhibits.
This is hopefully the first of many such exhibitions about vampires that association Val kulture intends to organize in other Croatian towns which will be sensitive to this part of the intangible Croatian heritage.
Photos from the exhibition can be seen here.