The Poreč cathedral is one of the most important cultural and historical monuments in Croatia, and its importance at the global scene has also been recognised by UNESCO, when it was included on the world heritage list in 1997.
The cathedral area is located at the northern side of the Poreč peninsula and includes, apart from the church, the bishop’s palace, the font, valuable archaeological remains of older churches and mosaics, 3rd c. painting techniques.
Euphrasius, bishop of Poreč
With its grandiose dimensions, this three-nave cathedral was built on the foundations of the 5th and 6th c. Early Christian churches, which is evidenced by the famous floor mosaics. The basilica was built following the order of the bishop Euphrasius of Poreč in the 6th c, and it was named after him.
There is no much historical evidence about bishop Euphrasius himself. It is know that he originated from Thrace and became a bishop in Poreč when the byzantine emperor Justinian conquered Istria. Euphrasius dedicated the basilica to St Mary’s Assumption and St. Maurus, the patron saint of the city. Its apse was decorated by one of the most beautiful preserved early Byzantine mosaics on Mediterranean which, among others, show him with the basilica in his hand.
The complex of the Euphrasian basilica has, due to its architectural complexity and gradual emergence through different historical periods to the present times, remained the inexhaustible source of historical findings, as well as the challenge to the researches and art historians from different parts of the world.