The Sterna municipal area was once very large. It included Kuberton, Topolovec, Kucibreg, Cepici and Gradinja. In old days it was known as the Groznjan Cistern because it belonged to Groznjan. Toponym Sterna is short for Cistern, and it comes from an inexhaustible spring which feeds six troughs in a valley north of the church. In 1067 German emperor Henry IV gave this fief, then know as Steina, to bishop Freisinga. In 1102 Marquis Ulrich II donates Sterna to the Aquileia Patriarchy, which gave it as a fief to a bishop of Novigrad. In 1260 the patriarchs gave Sterna to Almerich XXX of St. George on the Mirna. Later it became the property of counts of Gorizia, and in the mid-13th century it became a part of the Momjan estate.
Venice bought Groznjan and the area in 1368, and Sterna came under Venetian rule. In 1420 Venice conquered a patriarch's part of Istria, Sterna came under Pietrapelosa's jurisdiction, and in 1564 became the Gravisi family, and partly the Del Bello family, fief. During the war between Venice and the Cambray League, which lasted from 1508 to 1516, Sterna was frequently attacked by both mercenary armies.
The town's altitude is 304 metres, and the urban core is at a somewhat higher level than a church situated in a small Karst valley. Some mortarless houses are built of gray sandstone, and some of white limestone. If you are coming to Sterna from the south, at Kastel take a road to the right. The road clearly separates a marl-sandstone area in the north from a limestone area in the south.
The parish church once was a large edifice and a main church in the area. The church tower was built in 1791, and it has octagonal cone-shaped belfry. The church itself was built in 1746, as is inscribed on a white architrave, and it was consecrated by the Novigrad's bishop Leoni in 1753 and dedicated to the archangel Michael. It replaced the old church of S. Michaelis in Nemore, of which nothing remains.
It replaced the old church of S. Michaelis in Nemore, of which nothing remains.
In the north, at 383 meters, there is a cemetery with St. Cancian's church, rebuilt in 1885. Inside there are no ornaments except for a large crucifix and a simple altar with a valuable wooden retable from the 16th century. In 1525 Venice started to encourage immigration of Slavic settlers, mostly farmers, as well as tradesmen from Furlania and Carnia.
Sterna was under Groznjan's jurisdiction until the end of World War II, and as a result it shared its history. In 1947 the Treaty of Paris deeded Sterna to the newly established People's Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, while Groznjan remained a part of the Free Territory of Trieste until 1954. Today Sterna is home to farmers and small entrepreneurs.