EUPHRASIAN BASILIC OF POREC
In memory of Saint Maurus of Parentium
Porec was preceded by a Julian prehistoric settlement and the Roman colony Julia Parentium, founded here in the 2nd century BC. The long history of the city can be analyzed while admiring the mosaics of an early Christian basilica.
THE THREE NAVES OF THE BASILICA OF POREC
The 1500-year-old euphrasic basilica has three arched arcades formed of nine marble columns brought here from Byzantium.
The richly decorated capitals of the columns include statues with the effigies of Bishop Eufrasius and various other sculptures (Byzantine versions of Corinthian writing, ornaments with motifs from plant and animal life).
The central nave is raised above the side. It is longer due to a deep apse decorated with mosaics.
MOSAICS IN THE CENTRAL NAVE
The upper part of the outer curve of the apse has an unusual medallion with a picture of the Lamb of God and the effigies of 12 saints. The marble benches of the nave are under a house decorated with a picture of the Virgin Mary, surrounded by two angels and a group of martyrs.
To the left of it is an image of Bishop Eufrasius who holds a model of the basilic with his brother Claudiu and his nephew.
The ornaments below them illustrate the Annunciation and the Virgin Mary’s visit to St. Elisabeth. The lower sections of the apse are decorated with marble tiles and are encrusted with pearls and multicolored stones.
The apse at the end of the nave includes an altar with a gilded ante-post created in 1442 and a ciborium of the sec. XIII. The unique mosaics of the central nave are considered more beautiful than the famous mosaics in Ravenna.
Did you know that
The basilica and the structures built near it suffered huge damage during the Middle Ages, due to the attacks by the Genoese, Turks and the plague that hit the town of Porec. The renovation works of the basilic began in the 6th century. XVIII of Bishop Negri’s command.
The atrium of the building was rebuilt in 1866. The Baptistery had no roof at that time and was about to collapse. Since 1929 archaeological excavations and basilica renovation works have been done regularly.
MOSAICS IN THE LATERAL NAVES
The northern and southern apse on the southern side includes original mosaics attesting to almost every stage of the basilic construction and subsequent renovations.
The south nave floor includes two levels of mosaics: the upper one, from the church of the 19th century. V and a lower one, from the basilica sec. IV. Doors on the left side of the apse lead to a sacristy built in the 19th century. XV. Earlier in 1241, a chapel was built near the basilic, where St. Maurus was buried in the present.
The southern part of the right nave has also 3 added heads, built in the 19th century. XVII (with a polyptic with Virgin Mary painted by Vivarini in 1440), and sec. XIX and XX (the last of which includes ancient church churches built in 1452).
PLACES TO VISIT
- Although still preserving the Roman streets, little remains today in the architecture of the city of Porec. The main attractions are
- The House of the Two Saints (Kuca dvaju svetaca), built in sec. XII and a romantic house from the sec. XIII, with a wooden balcony.
- The city also has medieval bastions – the Kula semi-circular tower designed in 1474 by Pietro de Mula and the Peterokutna Kula pentagonal tower, built in 1448.
ATRIUS AND EPISCOPAL PALACE
The rectangular atrium of the sec. V, supported by columns with Byzantine capitals, is the oldest part of the complex. The construction of the Episcopal palace near the atrium began in the sec. VI.
The current building does not look much like the original palatal because of the reconstruction and renovation works. The building has a lapidary of 150 mosaics from the Early Christian Age, which includes a picture of the second century of a fish – the symbol of Christ. Outside of the palace you can admire the collection of mosaics in the first half. II and IV.
Did you know?
The small town of Porec is located in the western outskirts of the Istrian Peninsula and is an important tourist center of Croatia .Despite the small number of inhabitants (9,600), the city can accommodate 700,000 tourists annually.
A BELL TOWER OVERLOOKING THE ADRIATIC
In the 6th century an octagonal baptistery was built near the basilica. It retained its original form despite renovations – sources from the sec. The XVI described him as ruined.
The Baptistery allows access to a bell tower from the sec. XVI, which offers a panorama over the town of Porec and the Adriatic Sea. Archaeological excavations of the twentieth century have revealed the remnants of the twin church in the north and its mosaics of the 5th and 6th centuries.
In 543, Bishop Eufrasius decided to start building a basilic dedicated to St. Maurus, the purpose of which hired architects from Constantinople and Ravenna.
An inscription in the mosaic covered apse of the basilica mentions that the previous church was broken and emptied of adornment, but the traces of the mosaics revealed indicate otherwise. However, the decorations of the new place of worship clearly outnumber those of the past.
The new basilica was named after its founder, Bishop Eufrasius, and consists of several parts: a rectangular atrium supported by columns with Byzantine capitals, the proper bishop, an octagonal baptistery with a door leading to the bell tower of the century. XVI and an Episcopal palace renovated several times.
THE ORIGINS OF THE BASILIC
In 313, 10 years after St. Mark’s martyrdom, Martin (Maurus) of Parentium, a chapel was built to commemorate the place where the first episcopal of Porec was martyred for his faith.
The building was an annex to a large Romanian secular house. The chapel was extended in the second half of the century. IV, but it was just a rectangular building. The building was embedded in the sec. V with a three-nave church that did not have a typical semicircular apse.
The modern basilica was built over the foundations of the old church, immediately after the conquest of Porec by the Byzantine Empire in 539.
5 FASCINATING THINGS
- It is assumed that the basilica was built on the site of Maurus’s oratory. The Moors of St. Maurus were removed from the oratorio in the 19th century. IV and moved into a stone sarcophagus. Part of this sarcophagus is integrated into the northern wall of the basilic.
- The central nave is decorated with mosaics that represent Neptune and other pagan gods. The mosaics were saved from older temples, pagans.
- The mosaic on the floor of the old oratorio, originally a typical Romanian house, was preserved in the garden of the basilic.
- The town of Porec almost ceased to exist in the sec. XVII due to plague. Only 100 of the inhabitants or survived the epidemic.
- Every summer, classical music concerts are organized in the basilic.