One of the most beautiful towns in Istria, Vrsar (the old Orsera) is situated
on a hill overlooking the mouth of the Lim bay. The town is named after the old Mediterranean word "ur", which means source.
What was once a place for rest and refreshment of ancient seafarers, today is truly a source of beauty and pleasure. Overarched
narrow cobbled streets leading to small intimate squares above which rise the picturesque buildings, often decorated with
interesting stone figures, balconies, roofs and wells. The view from the hill is truly magnificent - 18 beautiful islands
resting on the wide blue sea, which hazels under the warm sun and kisses gentle green shore.
Residents of Vrsar
have always been closely linked to the rhythm of nature of this rich area. Numerous sculptural and architectural works of
the Roman masters, Venetian artists to modern sculpture lovers, testifies the world-known stone quality. For centuries, the
area has been known for its salt production, the single crystal of life, thanks to which Vrsar remained permanently recorded
in maps of the Old world. Deep Blue Sea is still extremely rich with fruits, making tables in each home, as well as the restaurant’s,
a wonderful experience for the senses.
The old fishing town today is a favorite port for sailors, to whom the former
Fabian (a wider area of the port) is a favorite docking place. The hospitable people of Vrsar have early recognized the affinity
and the needs of modern nomads. Therefore, they are proud of one of the first and most important European nudist camps. Vrsar
is also an award-winning town as the best-kept place in the country, thus justifying the effort of its inhabitants for the
prettiest and most comfortable stay.
Church of Sv. Foška - 17th century, with tombstones, with coats of arms and Latin
Main gate - from the 13th century, the former main entrance to the fortified
city; on a stone panel above the door there is a shallow relief with a miniature of St. Mark's lion.
summer residence of the Bishop of Poreč (Castle) - from the 14th century, with different styles, from Romanesque to
Baroque, with two towers from the 13th century and a sun clock
Old Romanesque door -
from the 13th century, with a shallow relief of San Marko's lion.
Roman magazine and necropolis
– from the 2nd century, with valuable Roman port devices and Tombs
basilica – from the 4 century with very interesting Early Christian iconography and fragments of mosaic
The Romanesque basilica of St. Mary of the Sea - built from the 8th until the 12th century
Vrsar archipelago - 18 uninhabited islands are overgrown with Mediterranean plants
Lim Bay - beautiful bay, 10 km long and 600 meters wide
Peninsula - the remains of a Roman necropolis
Sculpture park of Dušan Đamonja
- with sculptures, prints and drawings of the eminent sculptor
Fishermen's Festival, Lungomare - folk festival with seafood specialties 28.05.
Sea and guitars, the church of St. Mary of the Sea - Guitar concert 24.06.
- festival of love and eroticism 24.06.-26.06.
Montraker live - Music Festival
Water polo Cup Vrsar - international water polo tournament with evening
Montraker quarry - International Sculpture School 30.08.-12.09.
Fisherman's Festival - folk festival with seafood specialties 10.09.
Feast of St. Martin - local religious festivity 11.11.
On the site of Vrsar in prehistoric times, there was a fortified settlement with an oval layout that belonged to Histrians,
the ancient inhabitants of the Istrian peninsula. After the population of Histrians was conquered by the Romans in the 1st
century BC the village began to expand even below the hill by the sea. At the time, Vrsar was quite an important trading
center where wealthy Roman aristocrats lived. The discovered villas and farm buildings verify this fact. The spread of Christianity
in the 4th century made Vrsar an important center of early Christianity. The arrival of the Croats in the 6th century brought
destruction to Vrsar. Slavic pottery from that period was found.
Franks occupied Istria in the late 6th century
and introduced a new feudal system. From 983 until 1778 Vrsar was under the authority of the Poreč diocese. It is interesting
that despite the aggressive policy of Venice and its conquests, Vrsar did not fall under its authority, and so it did not
pay any taxes to the Doge or to the Patriarch from Aquileia. Vrsar quarries were extensively exploited during the Venetian
rule when numerous churches, palaces and Venetian bridges were built of stone. In the 18th century, there was written that
the famous Italian adventurer and seducer Giacomo Casanova visited this beautiful city twice.
He wrote about those visits in his memoirs. In 1778, Venetian senate abolished the church county and Vrsar fell directly
under the control of Venice. In the 19th century, the city expanded outside of the walls; new buildings and the dock were
build. After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, Vrsar, as the rest of Istria, fell under the rule of Italy.
In October of 1943, Istria was occupied by the Germans and in 1945, Vrsar was finally freed and became part of Yugoslavia.
In 1991, it finally became an integral part of Croatia.