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Poreč

Croatia

Lying on a low, narrow peninsula, Poreč (www.porec.hr) is one of the most ancient towns in Istria. Its old town is packed with several architectural values including the splendid Euphrasius’ Basilica, part of UNESCO World Heritage.

Poreč is also considered to be the largest tourist resort in Istria with the giant holiday complex (Zelena Laguna, Plava Laguna, Bijela Uvala) built up on the south to the town. Here, along the coast, hotels, apartments and camps alternate each other.

History

Roman ruins

Poreč looks back on a 2000 year old history. The Roman castrum marked on the map as Parentium became a town in the 1st century under the reign of Emperor Augustus. The first Christian church was erected in the 4th century. The fall of the Roman empire was followed by the short rule of the Ostrogoths, the Byzantine empire and from 788 the Franks. In 1267 the town submitted to the Republic of Venice whose supremacy ended 500 years later when Poreč was annexed to the Habsburg Monarchy.

Poreč became the seat of Istria in 1861, the sessions of the Istrian Parliament were held here. In the first half of the 20th century the town became a popular resort among the aristocracy of the Monarchy. Between 1902 and 1937 even a narrow-gauge railway ran between  Poreč and Triest. After World War II the Italian inhabitants were expelled and replaced by Slavs from different regions of Yugoslavia.

Getting here & around

By car
Zagreb (A1, A6) – Rijeka (A7, A8) – through  Učka tunnel (30 Kn fee). Drive on the Y motorway and turn north at Kanfanar (A8, A9) or you can also reach the town on the road 48 which crosses the peninsula by Pazin.
Motorway tolls: Zagreb – Rijeka     70 Kn

                      Rijeka – Baderna   49 Kn (including tunnel fee)

The main road that leads to the centre of the city is called Ulica Županije Somogy. The old town was built on a small peninsula. Its centre is Trg Slobode.  The wide Decumanus street starts here and leads towards the sea.

Parking at the coast is 3 Kn/hour.

By bus
Rovinj – Poreč    (8-9 buses daily)    39-46 Kn
Pula – Poreč     (10 buses daily)       58-74 Kn
Rjeka – Poreč   (10 buses daily)      77-119 Kn

By boat
The port is on Obala maršala Tita. From here you can get to Rovinj and Triest by ship. The boat trip to Venice takes three and a half hours. The timetable is available on www.viamare.com.

Tourist information

Zagrebačka 9.

Tel: +385 52 451 293, 451 458

e-mail: info@to-porec.com

internet: www.to-porec.com

Working hours: Mon-Sat 8.00-21.00, Sun 13.00-17.00

Town Museum

Museum

Ulica Decumanus 9.

Opening hours: Mon–Sat 10.00–13.00 and 17.00–19.00

Admission charge: 10 Kn (children 5 Kn)

The baroque Sinčić Palace houses the museum. Its collection comprises ancient finds, fragments of Roman buildings and sculptures on the ground floor. On the upper floors the fully preserved home of an old aristocratic family is on show. The first edition of Diderot’s encyclopedia from the 18th century is also kept here. An exceptional library keeping about 6500 books belongs to the museum, too.

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Istrian Council House

Obala Matka Laginje
This remarkable building was originally built as a Franciscan church in the 13rd century. Renovated in baroque style in the 18th century, it was the seat of the Istrian Parliament. Today it still serves as the venue of the District Parliament’s sessions as well as exhibitions (the most famous is the „Annale”) and concerts.

Square Marafor

Roman house

The oldest square of Poreč, Decumanus street ends here. This was the Forum of the Roman Poreč (Parentium). The Neptun’s temple, of which only three Ionic columns have preserved for today, dates back to the 2nd century. The Romanesque house with the wooden balcony is from the 13rd century.

Decumanus street

Decumanus street

The bustling pedestrian street is edged with Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance houses. The pentagonal tower at the eastern end was built in 1447 as the part of the city wall. Its facade bears the relief of the Venetian lion. The round tower on Narodni trg (National square) also served as a bastion. Another famous building in Decumanus is the beautiful Zucchato Palace situated at the corner of Matija Gubca square.

Euphrasius’ Basilica

Euphrasian basilica in Porec

The episcopal complex that consists of the basilica itself, a sacristy, a baptistery and a bell tower is the part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1998. It was built on the remains of an early Christian basilica of which mosaic floor is still visible in the church garden. The construction took place during the period of Bishop Euphrasius whose name the basilica bears.

Walk through a Byzantine gate to enter the atrium. Under the arches medieval finds are on display. The entrance of the basilica is on the right. The fascinating mosaics represent Christ with the twelve Apostles, Virgin Mary with the child Christ flanked by angels and saints. On the mosaic, on the vault over the apse the figure of Bishop Euphrasius can be seen holding the model of the basilica. Inside, the magnificent marble ciborium was made on the order of Otto, another bishop of Poreč in the 13rd century.

Climbing up the steeple or visiting the stone collection of the archbishop’s palace is available for an admission fee (10 Kn).


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