- 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
- 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
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
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.
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- --- In email@example.com, Kresimir Zeravica <tonicwgin@y...> wrote:
> And out of all tat you never visited Pula and ZadarWell, travelling for a week to the seaside with 2 small children and
> I suggest you go there too (when you find time).
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
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 evenAlastair
>> remotely close was in Dalmatia (Zadar,
>> Korcula, Dubrovnik), before the war.
- oops my bad :)
I just flew over your post instead of reading
--- alastairmillar <alastair@...> wrote:
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Kresimir Zeravica(snip)
> <tonicwgin@y...> wrote:
> > And out of all tat you never visited Pula and
> > 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!!!
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