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Sveti Lovrec Istria

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Sveti Lovreč

Sveti Lovreč lies on a hill with a wonderful view over tame fields, vineyards, olive groves and the sea in the distance. Its name goes back to the 6th century and stems from the Church of Sv. Lovro (Saint Lawrence). Surrounded by gentle and idyllic views and tended by a mild climate, this town, founded back in prehistoric times, is truly a place worth visiting. Known as the city of 9 towers, surrounded by town walls and the ancient pillar of shame at its square, Sv.Lovreč was once the center of military administration, while today it is developing as an attractive tourist destination. According to sources in this area there were once more than 35 churches, of which only a few survived, while in many fields forgotten ruins of the churches can be found as a memory of times gone by.

The small town, which is still dominated by the basilica of Sv.Martin (St. Martin) with a bell tower – fortified building and a beautiful lodge, offers to visitors more than mere tourist attractions. Known as territory suitable for cultivation of grapes and olives, it geographically belongs to the Red Istria (terra rossa) and is home to many prized varieties and valued winemakers. In recent years, the more demanding guests recognized Sv.Lovreč and its surroundings as an ideal second home and vacation place in some of the newer but luxurious stone villas. Due to the ideal location at the intersection of Poreč’s Riviera and the heart of Istria, Sv.Lovreč and the beautiful surrounding towns offer the perfect blend of historic feel and high-quality offer. Located only a few miles from the sea, its leisure crowd and the idyllic green tranquility offered by inland, it really is a place worth visiting and experiencing.

History

Like many other Istrian towns, Sv.Lovreč also has its long history. Numerous archaeological sites, ruins and place names suggest that man was present here as early as the Bronze and Iron Ages. During ancient Rome, the famous Via Flavia, which allowed its residents further development, passed near by. According to some sources, at the time in Sv.Lovreč there were over a thousand people living. It is a period of the growth of its defensive significance. The famous church of Saint Lawrence was built in the 6th century. The name of the town was first mentioned in 1030 on a map as "castrum sancti Laurentia”. In 1186, Sv. Lovreč was organized as a municipality (commune) becoming the fourth Istrian municipality in general. Its defensive walls were constructed in 3 phases: in 10th, 12th and 15th century. In 1271, Sv.Lovreč voluntarily surrendered to Venice and remained under its government until 1797. There are a lot of buildings from that time due to which Lovreč is known as a museum city, while on many of those buildings the symbol of Venice - Saint Mark's lion is carved. During Venetian rule, Sv.Lovreč became the seat of military administration for the whole Venetian part of Istria. For its population, that was not an easy period because Venice charged high taxes in exchange for protection, while drought, disease, and several earthquakes hit the region. In the early 16th century, the first written record of the Croats in the area appeared. After the fall of Venetia, Sv.Lovreč fell under Austrian rule, then briefly under French and then again came under the rule of Austria. After that, the small town (like others) fell under Italian rule and went through a difficult period of the fascist government. Finally, at the end of World War 2, Sv.Lovreč became a part of the former Yugoslavia and today’s Republic of Croatia.

Recommendation

The church of Sv.Lovro (St. Lawrence) - the patron of the town, at the local cemetery, it is certainly from the 8th century and among the oldest structures of this kind in this area with a massive Romanesque bell tower with bifora at the top - from the 12th to 13th century. It was the Lovreč’s first parish church

Basilica of Sv.Martin (St.Martin) - early Romanesque basilica, built during the tenth or eleventh century. In the left apse frescoes have been preserved from the 11th century. The stone altar with a sarcophagus containing the relics of St. Corona and St. Victor dates back to the 16th century, while the sarcophagus was brought from the Church of Sv. Sophia in Dvigrad in 1365. The church kept the organ from the 18th century

The church of Sv. Blaž – sanctified in 1460, it is made of cut stone and covered with stone slabs. Inside the church there is a wooden altar. The walls are painted with frescoes

Benedictine church of St.Dorligo - only a perimeter wall with windows has been preserved

Selina, Church of Sv.Lucija (St.Lucy) - built in the 16th century

Events

Festival of folk music and dance, central and Western Istria - Lovrečka Placa 19.07.

Lovrečeva- traditional religious and folk festival, 08.08.-10.06.

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