From Academic Kids

Poreč (Italian Parenzo, Latin Parentium), (lat. 45.2258 N, long. 13.5939 E, alt. 29 m), is a city and port on the western coast of Istria peninsula, in Istria county, Croatia.

Poreč is almost 2,000 years old, and is based on a harbor protected from the sea by a small island of Sveti Nikola (Saint Nicholas). The city population of around 7,600 is residing mostly in the outskirts, outside of its historic core. With nearby municipalities included, there are 12,000 inhabitants, 18,000 within the Poreč municipality limits. City area covers 142 km², with the 37 km long shoreline stretching from the Mirna river near Novigrad to Funtana and Vrsar in the south.



The local climate is extremely mild, free of the oppressive summer heat. The month of August is the hottest averaging 24 C in conditions of low humidity while January is the coldest with an average of 5 C. There is more than 3850 hours of sun insulation a year what is in average more than 10 hours of sunshine during the summer days. Sea temperatures are up to 25 C what is above expected comparing to the coast of southern Croatia where the air temperatures are higher. The average annual rainfall of 920 mm is equally distributed throughout the year. Winds here are bura or bora, bringing the cold and clear weather from the north in winters, "Jugo", (jug=south in Croatian language), warm wind from south bringing rain. The summer breeze blowing from the land to the sea is "Maestral".

Physical characteristics

The grotto (cave), of Beredine the only open geological monument of Istria is in the vicinity. Lim fjord,(Limski kanal) is a 12 km long fjord-like structure, created by the river Pazinčica eroding the ground on its way into the sea. Boulders of quartz are occasionally found here usually exposed by the sea.

Landscape is rich in Mediterranean vegetation with pine woods and the green macchi mostly of the holm oak and strawberry tree. For generations, fertile blood red land, (Terra rossa or Crljenica), mixed with stones is used in agriculture, (cereals, orchard, olive gardens, vegetables). Today, production of organic food, olives, grapes quality vines, as Malvazija, Borgonja, Merlot, Pinot, Teran) is significant.


Main way of communications are roads. Poreč is well connected with rest of Istria and all bigger cities as Trieste, Rijeka, Ljubljana, Zagreb. The nearest commercial airport is located in Pula. Sea traffic is less important than it was for centuries and today mostly used for tourist excursions. Closest railroad connection is in Pazin/Pisino which is the seat of regional government, (Istarska zupanija). In 1902, a narrow-gauge railway line connecting Trieste and Poreč called Parenzana or Parenzaner Bahn was introduced providing service until 1935.


Traditionally, the people activities were always connected with the land and the sea. No significant industries but food processing is in existence here. Since entirely integrated with the Europe since 1994 trade, finance and communication sectors are growing. Prime source of income is tourism.

Real estate prices are very high since the city's prime location.


Population is mixed with Croats, Italians, Slovenes, Albanians, Serbs with the tradition of tolerance between the people.


Locality is known since the prehistoric times. During the 2nd century BC Roman Castrum was built on tiny peninsula with dimensions just about 400m by 200 m where the very city core is situated. During the reign of the emperor Octavian in the 1st century, it officially became city and was part of the Roman colony Colonia Iulia Parentium. In the 3rd century place already had organized Christian community with early Christian complex of sacral buildings. Basilica was built here in 5th century where bishop Mauro, today's patron of the city already possesses his building.

With the fall of the Roman empire in 476, different rulers and powers governed. First, it was held by Ostrogoths and after 539 was part of the Byzantine Empire. With the end of 6th century, Croats arrived and built first permanent settlement around the year 620. Since 788 it was ruled by Franks. Short independence period followed in the 12th Century and after that it was ruled by the patriarchs of Aquileia. In 1267 it became part of Venice whose rule lasted for more than five centuries. In late 18th century it was first administered by Napoleon Bonaparte and then became part of Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1797. Starting in 1861, Poreč was the capital of Istria, the seat to a Regional Parliament with schools, administrative and judiciary offices, other services. For a few decades, (1920 - 1943), it possession of Italy and finally, after 10 September 1943 was united with what is today Croatia.


The city ground plan still shows ancient Roman Castrum structure. The main streets are Decumanus and Cardo Maximus still preserved in original ancient forms. Marafor is Roman square with two temples attached. One of them, erected in the first century AD, is dedicated to the Roman god Neptune with dimensions of 30 m by 11 m. Few houses from the Romanesque period have ere preserved and beautiful Venetian Gothic palaces could be seen here. Originally Gothic, Franciscan church built in 13th century, Istrian Assembly Hall was made into Baroque style in 18th century.

The complex of Euphrasian Basilica, (5th century), for the first time extended in the 6th century under the Byzantine Empire and bishop Euphrasius), is the most important object protected as the monument of the world heritage by UNESCO in 1997.

Between the 12th and the 19th century, the city had the defensive walls, the same kind the better known Dubrovnik still does today.

Tourism history

In 1844 the steamers society, the Austrian Lloyd from Trieste, opened a tourist line which included Poreč. As soon as 1845 the first tourist guide of describing and depicting city was printed. Austro-Hungarian aristocracy was the first to discover it in 1866 when Austrian archduchess Stephanie introduced the city to the public by sailing into Poreč's harbor in her yacht Phantasy. In 1867 archduke Charles Stephen and archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria vacationed here while in 1868 it was visited by Charles Ludwig. The oldest hotel and its trademark is Rivijera constructed in 1910. Later came Parentino and others.

The Capital

Unknown outside the Europe, today as it was for decades within Yugoslavia, Poreč is undisputed Croatian tourist capital with no other area to come to really compete. Here are more than 95.000 places to take the night rest, more than 30 hotels, 13 camping sites, naturist camps, 16 apartment complexes, villas, bungalows, pavilions, and family houses. Tourist infrastructure is intentionally dispersed along the coastline almost 30 km long, between river Mirna and the deep Limski Kanal, (Lim Fjord). South is hosting self contained centers like Plava Laguna, Zelena Laguna, Bijela Uvala, (plavo=blue, zeleno=green, bijelo=white), Brulo. Northbound, mirroring centers are Materada, Červar-Porat, Ulika, Lanterna. More than 30 % of the tourists vacationing on the west shores of Istria, (most visited region in Croatia), do stay here.

Those summer suburbs have their hotels, beaches, camping sites, marina s, department stores, transport, playgrounds, entertainment, grocery and other stores. In the high season, the area's temporarily population might be over 120.000. Since the best part of vacationing is taking place outside the city, Poreč is crowded with vacationers strolling trough its stony slippery streets, along the harbor and around exclusively in the evenings when at any time at least ten languages are being spoken in the shops, restaurants, disco clubs, bars, harbor, in ordinary communication.

More than sea and sun is what is offered here and European summer visitors do know that. Its heritage can be seen in the historic town center, in museums and galleries which are in the most prestigious houses and palaces, many of them still people homes as they have been for centuries. Numerous guests probably do not realize or think any more that they are walking on streets built by the Romans, enriched with traces of other great cultures.

Off season area is visited by weekend visitors from Croatia, Slovenia, Austria and mostly Italy. Sport infrastructure is developed and used year around. During the liberation war, (1991-1994), infrastructure was used to host the refugees from the other part of the country.

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