Raša or How Green was my Valley

architect Gustavo Pulitzer Finali
project Raša, Croatia
written by Darja Radović Mahečić


John Ford's Oscar winning How Green Was My Valley is a nostalgic rendering of the hardships of coal miners and an ode to ordinary people. To the southeast of the highway between Labin and Pula there lies “The youngest town in Istria” (or so says the road sign), that is, Raša. It lies in a real green valley, a human(e), originally-designed coal-mining town, sweeter to the eye than any other in the neighbourhood. Just one view of it makes it appear privileged among towns; it is bordered by undisturbed hills and emits that aura of civilisation and sophistication from afar. A simple turn off the main road takes you into the heart of a wonderful landscape, of surrealist scenery, and of a visually unique settlement of outstanding functionality and beauty.