The Roman Mosaics of Poreč, Croatia
Tuesday, August 17th, 2004: Poreč, Croatia
It is a 10 kilometre drive into the heart of Poreč– like beach towns everywhere, this one is spread up and down the coast, narrow and long. Everyone else is trying to get there early too, to beat the heat, and traffic is heavy on the drive in. But parking is easy – there are huge parking lots all around the old city, ready and waiting for the tourists. The old town itself is a peninsula, maybe ½ kilometer wide and 1 ½ kilometer long – surrounded by the sparkling blue of the Adriatic.
Lining the street from the parking lot is a wonderful fruit and vegetable market – lunch today will be luscious peaches, apricots, nectarines and tomatoes.
Although Poreè was also a Roman settlement, there is not much left from the Roman days, except the layout of the streets, which are, as always, full of shops for the tourists. What is left is the beautiful Basilica of Euphrasius, a Byzantine religious complex established in 543. The Basilica is famed for its mosaics, and the museum displays large segments of them, many dating back to the 6th and 7th century.
And then it is back to the beach for the rest of the day!