10 2 HISTORY AND CULTURE CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL MONUMENTS Kaπtel In the 12th and 13th centuries, PoreË bishops had a small unostentatious Roman palace, later (14-18th century) turned into the castle we know today. The palace used to be a fortification protected by bulwarks and towers, partially preserved today. Near the palace there are two Roman towers dating from the 13th century. On the southern side of the palace, there are two watchtowers with the armourer’s shops. On the front surface of the left tower there’s a sundial. Today’s Kaπtel is completely renovated. Three palace stores are transformed into apartments for public sale. The parochial church of St Martin In the vicinity of Kaπtel, the church of St Martin is settled. Its foundations were laid in the 19th century. The construction continues over the period between 1927 and 1935. The church tower was built in 1991. The church displays interesting art objects. The church of St Foπka The church was built in the first half of the 17th century. Today this renovated church contains a sacral collection comprised of many valuable artifacts. Open: 9-11 and 18-21 h VRSAR INFO The main town gate Next to the church of St Foπka we can see the main town gate dating from the 13th century. The gate used to be part of a wall. Above the gate, on the stone tablet, there’s a relief depicting the lion of St Marko (symbol of the Venetian Republic). The lion holds a closed book, which points out to the fact that it was carved in the period in history when the Venetian republic was at war. The old Roman gate The old Roman gate is a bit smaller than the main town gate. Made in the 2nd half of the 12th or the beginning of the 13th century, it was also a part of a wall. The church of St Anton Near the old Roman gate there is the little church of St Anton of Padova dating from the 2nd half of the 17th century. It displays characteristics of both the Renaissance and the baroque style. Basilica of St Mary of the Sea At the Vrsar quay, there’s an interesting medieval monument - the basilica of St Mary of the Sea. This is an important representative of Roman architecture in Istria. The first church of St Mary was built in the 2nd half of the 8th century. In the period between the 8th and the 12th centuries, the building underwent numerous restorations and transformations. Today’s appearance of the church originates from the 12th century. Bulwarks and towers The first prehistoric settlement (from the Bronze and Iron Age) situated at
2. HISTORY AND CULTURE 11 the top of a hillock, was enclosed by simple bulwarks. During the Middle Ages, Vrsar was encompassed by bulwarks and towers. In between the 13th and the 16th centuries, new walls were built. Some buildings still display fragments of the town bulwarks.