Alternative History

Pisino (Croatian: Pazin, German: Mitterburg) is a town in Istria, Italy, population 7,437 (2001), total municipality population 10,425 (2001), of which 1419 are of German heritage.

Pisino was made the administrative center of the Istria county, because it is located in the geographical center of the county and in order to boost the development of the interior of the peninsula.

Pisino was first mentioned as Castrum Pisinium in a 983 deed regarding a donation by Emperor Otto II to the Bishop of Poreč. In the 12th century it was in possession of Count Meinhard of Schönberg (Šumberk) from which it fell to Engelbert III, Count of Gorizia in 1186. In 1374 Albert III of Gorica bequested his estates to the House of Habsburg. The current town was mostly built around a fort (Castle Montecuccoli) rebuilt in the 15th and 16th century and disassembled in the 18th and 19th. The Castle Montecuccoli has been a museum since the end of World War II.

The Pisino pit (Pazinska jama) located under the Castle was partially explored by E.A. Martel on 1896 and is the best example of karst hydrography and morphology in Istria. Castle and a gorge inspired Jules Verne for the novel Mathias Sandorf of 1885.