Monday, 26 March 2012

Euphrasian Basilica

In the community of Porec, an ancient church complex named the Euphrasian Basilica graces the Adriatic seacoast, its bell tower commanding and defining the old town's skyline.  Built in the year 586 AD on top of an even older church site, it includes the church proper, residential apartments, and several other buildings, one of which presently houses artifacts in a museum-type gallery.

The complex is entered through a wide avenue stretching beneath a hammered-gold medallion and richly ornamented lintels in an ancient gate.

The intricacies of line and pattern are worth a closer look - imagine the cost of labour in our present economy to produce such artistic elegance!

Within the basilica itself, the richly ornamented apse is a true work of art.

Details of saints and apostles, martyrs and Biblical figures grace every surface.  Mother-of-pearl inlays add stunning elegance to the decorative motifs lining the walls and ceiling.

Beneath the floor level, remains of ancient mosaic tile work can be viewed.  Still proudly boasting its precision, the minuscule tiles in their detailed placement are a tribute to unknown craftsmen.

A smoothly worn entrance marks the passage of time in its surrender to the thousands of feet which have polished it in a centuries-old shuffle of reverence.

A loggia marks the basilica's courtyard.  Each supporting column is topped in a differently carved pattern.  Remnants of carved stone mark the passage of important people and occasions through time and are displayed on the perimeter of the courtyard.

Visitors enjoy the sights in hushed awe and reverent whispers.  The sense of silence  here is complete, heavy with age, pregnant with significance.

Behind the basilica, the mosaic floor of an even older building is presently undergoing study and restoration.  Tours are given regularly in the summer months.

The Euphrasian Basilica complex is a must on your list for the Porec area - a place where cultural tradition and religious aspiration can inject some of its history into your modern soul.


  1. You're right! thanks for stopping by.

  2. What an exquisite place and you describe it so beautifully. Being there must give one such an intense and powerful feeling of religion's long history.

  3. Unfortunately, 'religion's' history is rather riddled with black moments... But in the sense of individuals connecting with God, and history's place in it, it was a deeply meaningful experience for me. Thanks for dropping by, Marty!