Porec (pronounced Por-etch) is a unique Mediterranean city on the West coast of Croatia on the Istrian Peninsula. It serves as a gateway to Slovenia and Italy, with an influence of the neighboring countries felt throughout the small town. The history of Porec goes back 6,000 years. It was ruled by the Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, and Napoleon and was once a part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Italy, and Yugoslavia.
The Old Town of Porec was once protected by fortified walls and towers which were constructed between the 12th and 16th century. Some of these structures still remain today. In 1997, the Euphrasian Basilica in Porec was named as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
We explored Porec on our small ship cruise with eWaterways. It was our last stop and served as our hub of transportation following the cruise. There are many interesting features that make this a memorable city to explore on any cruising itinerary.
The Town Square
Many gather in the town center to admire The Church of Our Lady of the Angels. enjoy the Italian cafe vibes, and take advantage of the free city Wi-Fi.
Roman Preserved Streets
The layout of the town’s city center still remains from ancient times. In fact, the names of the two main streets are still called Decumanus Maximus and Cardo Maximus, both named during the Roman reign. Eufrazijeva is another must-see Street to explore by foot.
This trendy bar and restaurant is on Decumanus Street in Porec Old Town. Built in 1447, it was part of the Venetian defenses and still has the original staircase. Take note of the lion insignia of Venice still on the tower. The food at the restaurant is costly and often hit or miss, so we recommend getting a drink on the top to enjoy the amazing city and sea views.
While strolling the Old Town, pay attention to the facades of the buildings from all the different periods. Get lost on the quaint, cobblestone paths where photographers will discover the most charming views of the city.
Marafor Square is the oldest and largest Square from the Roman period. Next to it, are the remains of Roman Temples dedicated to Mars and Neptune. There isn’t any signage or additional tourist information available, so you’ll have to use your imagination to conjure up what these ancient ruins used to look like from approximately 2,000 years ago.
In the crossing Cardo Maximus and Decumanus Maximus sits Zuccato Palace gothic palace known for its distinct Venetian style and decoration.
The most precious landmark in Porec is the Euphrasian Basilica. It was registered on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997. The early-Christian compound is the only complete landmark in the world preserved from that period. The Complex was built during the time of Bishop Euphrasius in the 6th century. It includes an atrium, baptistery, bishop’s palace, mosaics and remains of sacral buildings dating from the 3rd to the 4th centuries. The mosaics which decorate the inside and facade of the church are considered a valuable bequest of Byzantine art and are the highlight of the visit. Admission fee is 40 kuna per person.
A lovely wood crafted balcony makes this 13th century Romanesque House an interesting photography subject on any walking tour of Porec.
Porec is a town full of significant history and architectural finds everywhere you look! We visited this Mediterranean city on a small ship cruise organized by eWaterways. Looking for an opportunity to explore the best sites along the Adriatic Coast? Contact eWaterways for more information.