The Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč, built in 553, is part of UNESCO’s universal cultural heritage while Pula’s classical monuments and medieval frescoes in small churches, the works of local masters, are awaiting to be listed.
Poreč has one of the most magnificent early Byzantine churches in Europe called Euphrasius’ Basilica after Euphrasius, the Bishop of Poreč who in the 6th century commissioned the building of a grandiose three-nave basilica on the site of an earlier church.
In 1997 the entire complex of Euphrasiana (church, baptistery, atrium and the former Bishop’s Palace) was entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Particularly interesting are the magnificent mosaics in the apse, as well as marble slabs with mother-of-pearl and multicolored stone incrustations.
The first sacral structure on that site was Maurus’ Oratory built in the second half of the 3rd century (part of the mosaic has been preserved) as one of the first places for the congregation of Christians. Maurus was the first Bishop of Poreč and martyr, and is today the patron saint of Poreč and its diocese. In the period of the bloodiest persecution of Christians during the rule of Emperor Diocletian he was executed together with the entire clergy of Poreč. His relics are today kept in Euphrasius’ Basilica.
For more than 40 years, traditionally, during sumer months, the basilica in Poreč has been the ideal place for classical music lovers. Renowned musicians from Croatia and abroad perform there and the concerts are thematic and set according to certain events (year of Bach etc). The atrium of Euphrasiana is the setting for chamber music concerts on the harpsichord.