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Labin (Italian: Albona) is a town in Istria, Croatia, with a town population of 6,893 (2011) and 11,642 in the greater municipality (which also includes the small towns of Rabac and Vinež, as well as a number of smaller villages).
Labin developed from the site of the Roman settlement of Albona. Before and under the Roman occupation, Albona was an important commune. On a marble tablet the Roman inscription we read that under the Emperor Marco Iulio Severo Filippo noble Caesar noble Prince made Albona a Republic. To be a republic it had to have two joined Magistrates called Duumviri and Public officers called Aediles which took care of Public buildings and other official duties.
From 1295 it was under the rule of the dukes of Pazin, and from 1381 it found itself under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Aquileia. From 1420 until 1797 it was ruled from Venice and after that belonged to Austria. Labin, as a Croatian-speaking town, was for a long time the centre of Croatia's largest coal mining district, with four mines operating at the height of its production. In March and April 1921, the town was the scene of a miners' strike which quickly grew into an anti-fascist rebellion, considered to be the first of its kind, and the declaration of the short-lived Albona Republic. The mine in downtown Albona closed in the 1950s, while the last mine was closed down in 1989. The large, coal-fired power plant in nearby Fianona now has its coal imported from outside sources once the mines were closed.
The famous Lutheran reformer Matthias Flacius Illyricus (3 March 1520 – 11 March 1575), was born in Albona and a small exhibition in what was once his house, commemorates this. Unfortunately, due to the counter-reformation, he was forced to live most of his life in exile in Germany where he became the undisputed leader of the conservative wing of the Lutheran movement after the death of Luther. His chief literary legacy was in the area of biblical exegesis.
Source: Naselja i stanovništvo Republike Hrvatske 1857–2001, DZS, Zagreb, 2005