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Novigrad (Croatia // Istria // Blue Istria)

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Novigrad is a small antique town, situated on a peninsula, on the west coast of Istria, exactly half-way between the towns of Umag and Poreč.
Novigrad: What to do / What to see?


Novigrad is first mentioned in 599, in a letter Pope Gregory I wrote to the Ravenna archbishop Mariniani. In an important document from the beginning of the 9th century, Novigrad is quoted as Civitas Nova, while in the 12th century, it is mentioned as Emona and Emonia.

It developed in the 18th century, on a small island, which was later joined to the mainland. It has a preserved network of medieval ruins, palaces, ramparts and towers, from where it defended itself.

The parish Church of St Pelagija and St Maksim is a three-nave basilica. It obtained its original shape in the early Christian period (V-VI century), at the time of the founding of Novigrad diocese. It also had a baptistry, which was demolished in 1782, as well as a building with bishops’ living quarters. The old bell-tower at the front of the cathedral was demolished in 1874 and a new freestanding one was built. The church was thoroughly renovated in 1408, 1580, 1746 and 1775. In the middle ages, its interior was illustrated by frescoes and today’s neo-classicist front was finished in 1935.

From the early Christian period, a sarcophagus was also preserved in Novigrad, while defence ramparts were built in the middle of the 13th century and renovated on several occasions.

Monastery in Dajla experienced turbulent history, passing from owner to owner. In the first half of the 19th century, it was renovated according to the drawings by a French architect, to whom it owes today’s appearance.

Indulgence and fun

The king of Istrian cuisine is surely the truffle, an expensive mushroom of strong aroma, which grows in the woods of Motovun. It is attributed with aphrodisiac properties and, most often, it is prepared with home-made pasta, scrambled eggs or meat.

One of the most famous Istrian delicacies is parma ham, pork leg rubbed with salt, pepper and dried herbs, it is dried in the bura wind, without being smoked.

A world on its own is made up of fish, crabs and mussels, which you can taste all over the coast. They arrive fresh at restaurants and form a part of various stews, risottos or pastas. Simple preparation of grilled fish and calamari is also popular.

Famous Istrian sauce, šugo is prepared with onions, spices and meat, stewed for several hours, with the addition of aromatic Mediterranean herbs. It is served with home-made pasta, which can be found in many shapes in Istria: as fuži, gnocchi, pljukanci. Lasagna and others.
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