Istrian riviera is not meant for beach holidays only, there is plenty to discover and here are two historical attractions we picked for you this time.
Istrian peninsula is a place where historical events, rulers and states that governed there all left their mark and it is filled with ancient monuments that are being discovered each year by many tourists so here is some information on a couple of famous buildings at popular destinations that represent Istrian past well.
If you decided to pick Pula as your family holidays destination, then the first image that comes to your mind must be the ancient Roman amphiteatre. Pula was conquered by the Romans in 177 BC, and that is when a period of Romanization started. Some two hundred years later, the amphitheatre, Arena (as we call it today) was built and it is the only remaining structure of that type to have four side towers and all three Roman architectural orders entirely preserved. It is among the six largest surviving Roman arenas in the world and today, we can admire its magnificence and beauty, as well as enjoy excellent music as the amphitheatre serves as an open concert venue that hosts world famous musical artists each summer. Elton John, Jamiroquai, Norah Jones and Dave Gilmour have all performed at Arena, to name just a few, and if you would like to catch up on the latest Croatian films then it is good to know that Pula Film festival is held there each year. Arena is not the only monument in Pula that will take your breath away but it is the largest one so be sure not to miss it when visiting the region of Istria.
In the northern part of penisula, several beautiful towns are located on the coast, such as Umag, Poreč and Rovinj. In Poreč, you can find the Episcopal complex of the Euphrasian basilica (included in UNESCO's heritage list). It consists of a baptistry, basilica, bell tower, atrium, chapel and an Episcopal residence. The basilica is the most impressive building, built in 6th century on a remains of a previous church and it features some of the finest decorations made by the traditional mosaic technique. It is also the earliest example of a triple-apsed church in Western Europe and it is the first time that Mary was portrayed in the vault over the apse as that place was traditionally reserved for depiction of Christ Pantocrator. The whole complex is trully a remarkable historical and cultural place that stands as a witness of ancient Christian times. Poreč itself is a lovely town with plenty to see and do so even if your latest travel choice includes accommodation in some other part of Istria, be sure to visit it and enjoy its history, culture and surrounding fishing villages and beautiful beaches.
Istria has many popular destinations that are attracting more and more tourists each year and it is not just because of the summer and swimming and having fun at the beach. This region in Croatia is a destination that offer a little bit of everything: beautiful nature, charming towns, great restaurants and wineries, great historical sites to visit so remember: vineyards and vast green fields in the inner part of Istria and beautiful beaches at its coast may be the reasons why having a holiday in Istria will pay off but take our travel advice and visit historic monuments and places as well as there are so many stories to be told and sites to be seen and you'll enjoy it for sure.