Poreč time machine
In the Bronze age there is a first settlement on Poreč peninsula which
continues in the Iron age too.
1st century B.C.
Poreč gain the status of Roman municipality
Poreč become a colony of the Roman Empire called Colonia Iulia Parentium.
The Great temple is built.
Around year 304
The first Poreč bishop, Saint Maurus is being tortured and killed in
persecutions of Christians.
Saint Thomas church is being built on the northwestern part of the peninsula.
Istria is ecclesiastically and administratively set by the consent of pope John I,
the Byzantine emperor Justin and the Italic king Theodoric. Dioceses of
Trieste, Kopar, Novigrad, Poreč, Pula and Pićan and probably Cissa near
Rovinj (an island drowned in year 800., that was a diocese until then) and
Sipar near Umag were established.
Vitalian a genreal of emperor Justinian, occupied Istria.
Around 543 A.C.
Euphrasius became bishop of Poreč.
The cathedral complex of Euphrasius Basilica was built
End of the 6th, beginning of the 7th century
By the end of great migrations, Istria was devastated with the only exception
of coastal towns. The Poreč territory suffered too. Croatians occupy Istrian
hills and descend through the Mirna valley an Lim bay to the coast. Poreč had
a bad situation during the first two centuries of early middle ages, the
Croatian newcomers are representing a threat so pope John IV sends a friar
called Martin to bring the relics of tortured Mura from Poreč and others from
Dalmatia, to Rome.
Langobards shortly occupy Istria
The Franks (Charlemagne) took over langobard country (Italy) while Istria,
Venice and Gradež went to Byzantium. Istra is again under the Grado
Poreč belong to the Franks.
Poreč is mentioned in a note from the Rižana assembly, the most important
document from the early middle ages that states already settled feudal
relationships in Istria. In the note there are writings about the economic pover
of Poreč in relation to other Istrian towns. Istrian towns use to send an
amount of golden coins to franks general and Poreč, together with Pula, was
on top of the list with 66 golden coins paid.
Istria fell under the Franks rule after the peace negotiated between them and
Byzantium that regulated political disputes on the Adraitic. The Poreč
territory under the franks gets feudalized, remains of the old municipality
system in town disappeared, the town lose its territory and self chosen
officials are being exchanged with Frank ones. The tens of revenues were
introduced and citizens were requested to give personal services to the
feudataries. Along with church possessions, laic feudal possessions were
9th and 10th century
Poreč and other coastal towns are being attacked by Croats that fight for
predominance on the sea.
The Doge of Venice Peter II Orseolo went to Croatia with his fleed and stays in
the Poreč harbour for the night. The day after, he visits the Basilica.
11th and 12th century
The bishop of Poreč is top of his power. His property, the so called Territory of
st Maurus was extended as an unity from the river Mirna to the Lim bay and
from the sea to Pazin – long 10 and large 8 miles.
Arabian geographer Abu-Abdallah-Mohammed-al, also known with the name
Edrisi, travels through Istria in the first half of the 12th century and writes
about Poreč as a regularly inhabited town that prospers and own a large
amount of ships.
Pope Alexander III allows the bishop of Poreč to collect the tens of revenues in
Rovinj, Bale and Svetvinčenat.
A form of self government was set in Poreč, called the Commune of Poreč.
The whole century was determined by clashes between the town commune
and feudal lords, the patriarch of Acquileia and the bishop of Poreč. A period
of harsh battles between bishops who considered themselves lords of the big
ager of Poreč and various powerful secular dignitaries. In that period was set a
so called „Euphraius privilege“ a false document (according to historians of
that time) that stated the whole ager is property of the diocese. The bishop of
Poreč complained to the Pope and receives the right to ex-comunicate his
opponents and sometimes the whole town. All of that affects the resigning of
Poreč to Venice, to gain support.
In the place of the early medieval church of st. Thomas, the Franciscans build
the church and the monastry of st.Francis. Only the church with early gothic
characteristics survived. In the 19th century it was deconsecrated and served
as the home of Istrian parliament for several decades and therefore today is
known as the Istrian parliament hall.
The Canonic house was build, it is the most beautiful example of public
Romanic architecture in Poreč.
The podesta's palace was built and a square surrounded by public buildings
was formed. There was a loge, a courtroom, a fonticus and other buildings that
served as center of the town's life in the middle ages. The palace was
demolished in the 19th century.
Above the main altar of the Poreč basilica a high ciborium was risen. It was
decorated with mosaics and it is the newest preserved ciborium in Istria.
1305 or 1306
After bishop Oton's death and the fall of episcopal feudatary power, internal
conflicts in town ended.
The town was robbed, devastated and destroyed by people from Genova. It
didn't recover for the whole century. During that attack, the relics of st
Maurus and st Eleuterius were stolen.
1360 – 1361
The first big epidemy of plague in Poreč.
The town experiences a quite powerful earthquake that damaged the basilica,
especially its south part that present a wooden ceiling from that moment.
Many representative buildings from the gothic period were redecorated,
especially those situated in the town center, on the crossroads between the
main Cardus and Decumanus. The most beautiful examples are Zuccato and
Manzin palace, the previous fonticus in Decumanus 5.
Poreč fought the attack and siege of the Croatian – Hungarian king Žigmund.
In order to improve water supplies for the town, a big cistern was built on
With an ordinance of the Venetian senate, Poreč together with Rovinj,
becomes a permanent base for Istrian peoti or pedoti that assured an
important position for the town within Istrian maritime towns.
During the ruling of podesta' Nicolo' Lion the pentagonal tower on the town's
gate was restored. That was a major investment in reconstruction of the town
walls in that time.
1456, 1467, 1470
New plague epidemic diseases were annotated in the Poreč area. Entire
villages were emptied and many properties left uncultivated. People ran away
from the town, as well as the Podesta'. The bishop recommended to the priests
not to leave the dying alone without consolation on the death bed.
During the ruling of Podesta' Pietro da Mula the round tower on the
southeastern part of the peninsula was finished. That was the final edification
on the defensive walls of the town.
A print with the first known image of Poreč was made by the graphic artist
Erhard Reuwich from Utrecht and was published in the travel journal of the
prebendary Bernard Breidenbach (1440. – 1497.) from Meiz called
Opusculum sanctarum Peregrinationum in Terram Sanctam.
The population in Poreč is a little over 500 people, about 5 times less than in
the 15th century.
Harsh times for the life and economy in town, the population fell to only 30
Mid 17th century
Giacomo Filippo Tommasini, the bishop of Novigrad, while traveling through
Istria described Poreč as a ghost town. He annotates that because of the
plague epidemy that happened 15 years earlier, the town has only 100
inhabitants: This unforunate and abandoned town of Poreč, once celebrated
by old writers, has beautiful streets with houses that were solid and made
with excellently embossed stone. That all talks about the past richness of its
citizens. Now those houses are demolished and barely stand anymore which
causes outraged thoughts to anyone entering the town. The people were
buried in the atrium of the Euphrasian basilica, in St.Francis church and in
other churches as a warning of the great anger of God that knocked on the
town in this century.
1655 – 1675
A population growth was recorded for the first time, mostly caused by the
immigration of refugees from Creta and Kandija. The Venetian administration
decreed the immigration of 64 families and the senate ordered the building
and reconstruction of 60 houses for them. They were given terrains for
agriculture in the town's surroundings. In 1655 Poreč has 180 inhabitants, in
1699 there were 500 and in 1675 grew to 700 people. Their arrival meant a
revival for the town, the rebuilding started.
The bell tower of st. Francis church, started in 1708, was completed. It was
built in baroque style on the same place of a previous one demolished in 1686.
The church of St.Francis, built in 13th century was transformed in the baroque
style. The master Giuseppe Montevinti from Bologna decorates the ceiling
with rococo stuccos of gentle forms while venetian painter Angelo Venturini
painted the ceiling with frescos (Immaculate conception, St.Francis Stigma,
the Vision of Anthony from Padua).
The fall of the Venetian Repulic. The first Austrian ruling was set in Istria.
A short Napoleon's rule was established. It lasted until 1813.
The second Austrian domination was established.
Antonio Peteani becomes the first bishop of the unified diocese of Poreč and
Pula. He was bishop of Poreč from 1826 to 1830 and bishop of Poreč and Pula
from 1830 to 1857.
Poreč becomes the administrative center of the Margraviate of Istria, the place
of Istrian Regional parliament and Regional comitee.
By founding the Regional eno-pomologic station, the foundations for the
Regional Institute for agriculture, were set as well (Istituto agrario
provinciale). This was very important for the development of wine making in
The first agricultural school was founded in Poreč. That meant agriculture was
considered an important economic activity in Istria.
The first museum in Istria was founded in Poreč. It was called the Regional
Archaeologic Museum (Museo archeologico provinciale).
The first sport society in Istria was founded, the rowing club Societa'
The Parenzana, a tight-railed train line started its activity. It connected Trieste
The water supply system was constructed. It served Poreč with drinking water.
The first hotel in Poreč was built – hotel Riviera.
Frequent air attacks on Poreč started. Poreč was the port for Austrian
Italian army entered the town. Their rule was definitely established by the
treaty of Rapallo in 1920.
The Istituto Magistrale Regina Margherita opened. It was a pedagogical
The Municipal Palace was built.
The Cooperative wine cellar was opened.
The relics of St Maurus and St Eleutery were returned to Poreč from Genova.
The were stolen from the Basilica of St Euphrasius in the attack of the
Genoveses in 1354. Until then they were kept in St Mattew church in Genova
until the Doria family returned them to the Poreč basilica.
The local water supply were connected to the Istrian water supply (Acquedotto
1944 – 45
The town was repetitively bombed by the anglo-american forces. Poreč was
heavily bombed by the very end of World War II and almost quarter of the
town was destroyed during the attacks. Even buildings not directly involved in
the attacks suffered from damages.
Tourist company Riviera was founded.
Tourist company Plava Laguna was founded.
The cathedral complex of the Basilica of St Euphrasius was included in the
UNESCO heritage list.