© Istria Tourist BoardA seafront view of Poreč's pretty promenade

Archaeological find unravels the Poreč of centuries past

Written by
Lara Rasin

Construction work on the Poreč waterfront will bring the city a new face - as it uncovers an old one.

Archeological find in Poreč © Grad Poreč

Poreč is a city whose manifold past starts in prehistoric times. In the 6th and 4th centuries BC, ancient Greek historians told stories of fishing settlements in the area inhabited by the Histrian people - who gave the Istrian peninsula its name. Around the 2nd century BC, Romans took over, making the Poreč of then (and its strategic natural harbour) into a military fort. The Byzantine Empire ruled from 539 AD, and Slavs descending from the north settled in the area 100 years later. Before coming under Venetian rule in the 13th century, the area was passed from Frank leaders to the Roman Patriarchate of Aquileia. The Venetian Republic ruled longest (for over 500 years) but after its fall, Napoleonic rule began in 1797. Poreč became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1814, and the city became Istria's capital and seat of government in 1861. Italian rule returned to the city from 1920-1943, after which Poreč, along with the rest of the Istrian peninsula, became part of Croatia.

The Museum of the Poreč Territory reports that a momentous archaeological discovery unveiling Poreč's intriguing past was made on Wednesday, February 26. On the Poreč riviera, ruins were uncovered that date back to the 1400s. For museums, Wednesday's findings are among the most important of the decade; they are material evidence confirming the Poreč waterfront's Venetian heritage. 

Archeological find in Poreč © Grad Poreč

The announcement follows another exciting discovery this week of a Roman sea vessel in the same area. Archaeologists presume the vessel was small in size and crafted with a sewing technique characteristic of the Histrian and Liburnian people that once lived across the northeastern Adriatic.

Archaeologists plan to release more details about these intriguing glimpses into Istria's rich history in the upcoming months.

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