Built between 534 and 554 on the remains of an earlier basilica, the Byzantine masterpiece of the Euphrasius Basilica has undergone many changes over the centuries but that certainly hasn’t detracted from its grandeur. Since 1997 the structure has been on UNESCO’s world heritage list, and in summer is home to various classical concerts.
There are few remains of the older basilica apart from the rectangular floor plan, a few walls, columns and a mosaic.The new basilica, built by Bishop Euphrasius has nine naves, with its marble columns imported from Constantinople. Apart from the architecture, its the sparkly golden Byzantine mosaics that people come for, located in the apse of the church.
Guide to the mosaics:
At the top – Christ on his throne presiding over the twelve apostles.
Below – Mary seated on a celestial globe surrounded by angels.
Left – Bishop Euphrasius with a model of the Basilica in his hand.
Left of the windows – The Annunciation of Mary.
Next door is the Bishop’s Palace, now a museum containing other mosaics and stone fragments. Don’t miss the fish mosaic which is thought to date back to the 4th century. It’s possible to climb the tower for a panoramic view of Porec and its surroundings.
Visitor tours are available everyday except during religious ceremonies.