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Croatia

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  • Alastair Millar
    Had a great time in Croatia, which included brief visits to the town of Porec (Parezzo) and Rovinj (Rovignone) on the Istrian coast. The last time I was even
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 21, 2003
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      Had a great time in Croatia, which included brief visits to the town of
      Porec' (Parezzo) and Rovinj (Rovignone) on the Istrian coast. The last time
      I was even remotely close was in Dalmatia (Zadar, Korcula, Dubrovnik),
      before the war.

      The big tourist drawn in Porec' - other than the fact that it's a medieval
      Old Town on a Roman plan, running down the peninsula, with good beaches
      nearby - is Euphrasius' Basilica, which contains some great mosaics
      more-or-less contemporary with those at Ravenna. The Basilica and mosaics
      are inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Natural and Cultural Heritage.
      It's a sobering thought that they were already there when the Slavs
      arrived... can we even imagine the culture shock?

      Rovinj is a wonderful medieval town, the old part of which was originally a
      rather cramped island. Emotive, narrow alleyways between high blocks,
      eventually rising to St Euphemia's Church, containing the supposed
      sarcophagus (and indeed body) of the saint. The sarcophagus looked
      impressively weathered, as one might expect after floating to the Adriatic
      from Constantinople, and was distinctly Romanesque. Well worth a stop to
      soak up a bit of the atmosphere once you get away from the tourist market
      down by the quayside.

      The Croat language is interesting similar to Czech - moreso, in fact, than
      I had expected - but although my wife could speak Czech and be understood
      this seemed to me to be rather because of the number of Czech tourists
      infesting the area.

      The Czech guidebook of which I saw copies still follows the line that the
      Croats arrived in the 6th century as Avar subordinates. Later the Croats
      seemed to have formed a rural peasantry, while the (variously Eastern
      Imperial, Western Imperial, Venetian, Turkish etc.) towns remained
      non-Slavic. Or that's was the line pushed, anyway. It bears interesting
      echoes of what I was once told by a Slovene archaeologist of the civil war
      in Croatia and Slovenia - that much of the conflict was driven by the
      dislike of the rural population for the townspeople, as well as by purely
      racial and/or religious differences.

      At some point in the future I'll get my film developed and try to scan some
      pictures of Porec and Rovinj, as well as of Vrsar from the sea, for the
      list pages.

      Cheers

      Alastair
    • Kresimir Zeravica
      And out of all tat you never visited Pula and Zadar ... I suggest you go there too (when you find time). Pula is a city that is now a little more than 3000
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 21, 2003
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        And out of all tat you never visited Pula and Zadar
        :) ?!?

        I suggest you go there too (when you find time).
        Pula is a city that is now a little more than 3000
        years old...of continuous history. It has some great
        Roman ruins in it like the 6th biggest Colliseum still
        standing, then basilicas and temples that were used as
        Churches in the medieval period and then there are a
        bunch of different churches. The city itself was a
        great trade city state that was competing with Venice
        for supremacy at first, only to form a sort of a
        formal alliance with Venice later on...and then get
        razed in the nine hundreads by Genova (a huge rival of
        Venice). The city did not recover in full for the next
        300 years or so and becomes just another Venetian
        Colony. That was the first time Pula was repopulated
        by Croats from Dalmatia...and certainly not the last.
        Much later on Pula was the main military sea port in
        the Austian-Hungarian Empire and there are numerous
        forts around the countryside to prove that...also
        inside the port lies "Viribus Unitis" a Dreadnought
        class battleship sunk in the nineteen hundreads by the
        Italian. And uh,oh yeah, Pula is also my place of
        birth :)

        But if you really want to visit a truly medieval
        city go to Zadar where you can still see the town
        walls and numerous churches that were indeed built by
        the Croats themselves. A lot of buildings that had the
        luck to survive allied bombs during World War 2 are
        still standing so you can visit the some different
        private houses from the medieval period. This city was
        also razed, by a crusading army during the third or
        forth crusade (I forgot which). The doge of Venice
        requested this rival city to be razed as a part of the
        payment to Venice for transporting the crusaders to
        the holy land. From that point on Zadar was also just
        another Venetian colony.

        Pretty much all of these cities were under the
        protection of Unesco as world heritage gems but that
        has made them targets for the Serbian agressor in
        their last war on Croatia...If you look at statistcs
        the most material damage suffered was in churches,
        museums and other cultural centres that were
        intentionally targeted, shelled and finally destroyed
        completely in the worse of cases, or just heavily
        damaged in other instances. Why even the old parts of
        the City of Dubrovnik were shelled by the Serbian
        Navy...and Dubrovnik (as the whole city) was
        proclaimed to be the best preserved medieval city in
        the entire world.
        Rebuilding has been going on for the past 6-7 years
        but it will take a whole lot of money and effort to
        finish restoring everything that was damaged while
        some of those tresures will simply stay lost to all of
        us forever.
        Istra on the other hand as a region has seen very
        little to nothing of the war so at least that part is
        going to stay as beautiful as ever to visit :).

        --- Alastair Millar <alastair@...> wrote:
        > Had a great time in Croatia, which included brief
        > visits to the town of
        > Porec' (Parezzo) and Rovinj (Rovignone) on the
        > Istrian coast. The last time
        > I was even remotely close was in Dalmatia (Zadar,
        > Korcula, Dubrovnik),
        > before the war.
        >(snip)

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      • alastairmillar
        ... Well, travelling for a week to the seaside with 2 small children and no car doesn t give the same mobility, unfortunately, so further down Istria to Pula
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 22, 2003
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          --- In sig@yahoogroups.com, Kresimir Zeravica <tonicwgin@y...> wrote:

          > And out of all tat you never visited Pula and Zadar
          > I suggest you go there too (when you find time).

          Well, travelling for a week to the seaside with 2 small children and
          no car doesn't give the same mobility, unfortunately, so further down
          Istria to Pula wasn't an option. Frankly, I was surprised to even get
          to Rovinj.

          And I was in Zadar many years ago, as the even the clip of my post
          which you included made clear!!!

          >> Istrian coast. The last time I was even
          >> remotely close was in Dalmatia (Zadar,
          >> Korcula, Dubrovnik), before the war.

          Alastair
        • Kresimir Zeravica
          oops my bad :) I just flew over your post instead of reading carefully. ... (snip) __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free,
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 22, 2003
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            oops my bad :)
            I just flew over your post instead of reading
            carefully.
            --- alastairmillar <alastair@...> wrote:
            > --- In sig@yahoogroups.com, Kresimir Zeravica
            > <tonicwgin@y...> wrote:
            >
            > > And out of all tat you never visited Pula and
            > Zadar
            > > I suggest you go there too (when you find time).
            >
            > Well, travelling for a week to the seaside with 2
            > small children and
            > no car doesn't give the same mobility,
            > unfortunately, so further down
            > Istria to Pula wasn't an option. Frankly, I was
            > surprised to even get
            > to Rovinj.
            >
            > And I was in Zadar many years ago, as the even the
            > clip of my post
            > which you included made clear!!!
            (snip)



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