Signs of Venetian Influence in Old Town Rovinj

Croatia’s Istrian jewel, Rovinj, is a charming town on the Adriatic Sea with an old town that reflects the architectural heritage of the Venetian Empire, which ruled the city (and Adriatic Sea coast) for 500 years.

Multi-colored houses line the harbor on the edge of Old Town.

Venice’s control of the Adriatic Sea extended far beyond Croatia — as far as Tunis to the southwest and Cyprus in the far southeast. Note the “Lion of St. Mark’s” (Lion of Venice) in the rectangle above the dual windows of the Harbor Clock Tower.


Note the lion above the door in the Communal Palace from 1308.


The Baroque church, St. Euphemia Cathedral, dominates Old Town. The church is dedicated to St. Euphemia, whose coffin arrived mysteriously on Rovinj’s shores in 800 A.D.  Born in Chalcedon near Constantinople, she was imprisoned, tortured and eventually killed at the young age of 15, along with many other Christians who were intently persecuted by Roman Emperor Diocletian.  The bell tower, reminiscent of St. Mark’s in Venice, offers stunning views across the Adriatic Sea.  It dominates the town’s skyline.

The highlights of the Cathedral’s interior include beautiful white marble altars, a bronze statue of St. Euphemia and her marble sarcophagus, estimated to date from as early as the 4th or 5th Century.

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