Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Poreč

Welcome to Rome Across Europe!

It’s time to take a look at another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today we’re back in Europe as we head to Croatia to explore the Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Poreč!

The group of religious monuments in Porec, where Christianity was established as early as the 4th Century, constitutes the most complete surviving complex of its type. The basilica, atrium, baptistery and episcopal palace are outstanding examples of religious architecture, while the basilica itself combines classical and Byzantine elements in an exceptional manner.

 

The present basilica, dedicated to Mary, was built in the 6th Century during the period of Bishop Euphrasius. It was built in AD 553 on the site of the older basilica that had become dilapidated.

For the construction, parts of the former church were used and the marble blocks were imported from the coast of the Sea of Marmara. The wall mosaics were executed by Byzantian masters and the floor mosaics by local experts.

The construction took about 10 years. Euphrasius, holding the church in his arms, is represented on one of the mosaics on the apse, next to St. Maurus.

Following the earthquake of 1440 the southern wall of the central nave of the basilica was restored. In place of the windows which were destroyed, others were built in the Gothic style.

How This Relates To Ancient Rome:

The earliest basilica was dedicated to Saint Maurus of Parentium and dates back to the second half of the 4th Century. The floor mosaic from its oratory, originally part of a large Roman house, is still preserved in the church garden.

This oratorium was already expanded in the same century into a church composed of a nave and one aisle (basilicae geminae). The fish on the floor mosaic dates from this period. Coins with the portrayal of Emperor Valens (365–378), found in the same spot, confirm these dates.

We hope you enjoyed today’s travel. We look forward to having you back again soon for more adventures.

Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!

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