The city of Poreč carries the title of the most visited resort in both Istria and Croatia with a good reason. Although rewarded numerous times for its quality and popularity, those contented human rivers, which are flowing through the town every year, are even more precious for the city of Poreč and its inhabitants. Almost every street is simply pulsing with life in the summer. Once known as Colonia Iulia Parentium with its 2000 years of vivid past, today Poreč is a favourite destination, which is inevitably visited by those eager to have a good time and appreciating the variety of offer.
Nowadays Poreč is rich in colours, sounds and flavours sharing them unselfishly with each visitor. On nearly 37 km of Poreč Riviera, almost every wish will be fulfilled: a beautiful coastline bathed by the warm sea conceals secluded beaches for those seeking the peace of the Mediterranean, the rich offer of sports facilities will meet all those longing for an active holiday, the almost immeasurable number of restaurants and taverns will delight everyone’s palate, fruitful vineyards that are widely known for their excellent wines, numerous night clubs, bars and concerts under the clear sky offer great time and fun until dawn, old, well preserved, historical monuments unreservedly offer their wisdom, many particular galleries are proud of their remarkable works of art, top quality accommodation in Poreč’s hotels, campsites, stone villas and apartments will satisfy any demand of even the most meticulous visitors.
Every year, the number of people visiting and staying in Poreč increases confirming its more than deserved status of one of the most attractive destinations.
Euphrasian Basilica – Poreč has one of the most magnificent early Byzantine churches in Europe called Euphrasius’ Basilica after Euphrasius, the Bishop of Poreč, who in the 6th century commissioned the building of a grandiose three-nave basilica on the site of an earlier church. In 1997, the entire complex of Euphrasiana (church, baptistery, atrium and the former Bishop’s Palace) was entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The House of two Saints – The facade of small Romanesque house accentuated by two relief figures of saints.
Pentagonal Tower – Located at the beginning of the central street, Decumanus, at the entrance of the heart of the old city. It was erected in the mid 15th century in Gothic style, with a relief of a Venetian lion on the facade. Up until the French occupation, parts of the city gates were preserved all the way up to the tower.
The Romanesque House – It can be recognized by the outside stairway, a Romanesque biforium and a wooden balcony that was renovated in 1930.
The Great Temple and the Temple of Neptune – The Great Temple – northwest of the Marafor Square. The remains (a part of the wall and foundation) of an ancient temple from the beginning of the 1st century. The Temple of Neptune – in a park, west of the Marafor Square, only fragments of the ancient temple, which was dedicated to the god of the sea, Neptune, are preserved.
The Gothic House – In the main street of the old town, Decumanus, there’s a ghotic palace with its splendid double trifora windows. The Gothic Palace was built in 1473 in gotico fiorito – Venetian architectural style. In this period of its history, Poreč was undoubtedly a home to quite a few wealthy families that didn’t mind paying a lot for their houses to be as nice and modern as in Venice. A number of such palaces is preserved.
The Istrian Council House – Originally a Gothic Franciscan Church from the 13th century. It stands between Park Juraj Dobrila and Laginja’s shore. The interior of the building was made in Baroque style in the mid 18th century. On the ceiling there is Baroque plastering with illusionistic frescoes in medallions. During the last century, this building was used for assemblies of the Istrian Parliament and even today the District Parliament holds its formal sessions there, as well as the choir concerts «Naš kanat je lip» and painting exhibitions «Annale». Last spring, in the courtyard behind the Assembly Hall, early Christian floor mosaics were found, probably from the church of S.Thomas the Apostole.
Square Marafor – In the 1st century, Poreč had the biggest Roman sanctuary in Istria. Mart’s temple or the Big temple was one of the biggest on the Adriatic. North of it there are the remains of Neptune’s temple. Near the temples here is the Marafor Square. This is Poreč’s oldest and biggest square, a rectangular shaped Roman forum.
The Round Tower – Stands near Narodni trg (Public Square), built in the second half of the 15th century. It is very well preserved and it is also possible to visit the terrace on the top.
The Zucchato Palace – in Matija Gubec Square, which used to be Piazza dei signori, only one row of the palaces has been preserved, among which there is a nice example from Gothic and from Baroque period.
Naš kanat je lip – Poreč, Istarska sabornica (Istrian Parliament Building), meeting of choruses, 05.06.-06.06.
Zlatna sopela – Trg slobode (Square), mediterranean folklore meeting, 28.06.-04.07.
Festival of traditional klapas – Trg slobode, Over two evenings some of the best Croatian klapas will perform at city center, 07.07.-08.07.
Borik festivities – Borik, Join us for a full day of sport and entertainment programs on Borik Beach, 22.07.
Jazz in Lapidarium – Lapidarium, jazz concert, 22.07.
Street Art Festival – street art theatre, 05.08.-08.08.
Terra magica – Eufrazijeva bazilika (Euphrasian Basilica), Music festival, 26.07.-16.08.
Poreč 24 – Porečka riva (City harbour), Music and entertainment program, 28.08.-29.08.
Poreč handball cup – dvorana Žatika (Žatika Hall), 28.08.-30.08.
Poreč Dolphin – plaža hotela Pical (Hotel Pical beach), swimming marathon, 05.09.-06.09.
Giostra – Historical festival, 11.09.-13.09.
The oldest findings of human presence in the region of Poreč date from 4000 years ago and they are located in the sites of Picugi and Mordela, the hills where remains of buildings, tombs, ceramics, tools and armours were found. Those findings belonged to a still unknown civilisation and to the Histrians. The Histrians were ancient people that populated this area after the before mentioned unknown civilisation.
Poreč is 2000 years old. Before Poreč, on this site there was an earlier settlement but the development of the city began with the arrival of the Roman army when the village became a castrum. In the 1st century Poreč became a Roman colony, got the status of the city and the name of Colonia Iulia Parentium. The city walls were built in the 4th century, while in the 5th century the famous Euphrasius Basilica was built. After the fall of the old Rome, the Ostrogoths arrived into the town, which was soon overtaken by the Byzantines.
The Croatians arrived here at the end of the 6th century, building a permanent settlement. At the end of the 7th century, the city fell under Frankish authority, passing through a shorter period of independence in the 12th century and then fell under the authority of the Patriarch of Aquileia. In 1267, Poreč became the first town in Istria to recognize the rule of the Venetian Republic. Poreč was under the authority of the Venetians for more than five centuries. During this period, among other things, they built a lighthouse on the island of St.Nicholas in front of the city. In that time, being 15 meters high, this was the highest lighthouse on the whole Adriatic.
In the late 18th century, the city was first taken by Napoleon and in 1797 it passed into the hands of the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1845, the city’s first tourist guide with pictures and the descriptions of the place was printed.
In 1861, Poreč became the capital city of Istria and the seat of all institutions of the time. In 1902, the railroad Parenzana was built, connecting Poreč with Trieste. In 1910, the first hotel in Poreč was built. From 1920 to 1943, the city was under Italian rule when it finally became the part of Croatia.
In 1944, Poreč was gravely damaged during the allied bombardment when the old town centre literally disappeared and many of its parts were heavily damaged. In 1991, it became a part of the independent Republic of Croatia.