Heaped up on a hill surrounded by grasslands and forest, HUM is the self-proclaimed “smallest town in the world”, since it has preserved all the attributes – walls, gate, church, campanile – that a town is supposed to possess, despite its population having dwindled to a current total of just fourteen. Originally fortified in the eleventh century, Hum was a prosperous place in the Middle Ages, and it still looks quite imposing as you pass through a town gate topped by a castellated bell tower. Beyond, the neo-Baroque Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Crkva blažene djevice Marije), built in 1802 as the last gasp of urban development in a shrinking town, lords it over a settlement which now amounts to two one-metre-wide streets paved with grassed-over cobbles and lined by chunky grey-brown farmhouses. A clutch of souvenir shops (usually open April–Oct) sell Glagolitic characters modelled from clay or wood, and locally made biska (mistletoe brandy).

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