other information croatia, istria, vrsar history and culture ... - Istra

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other information croatia, istria, vrsar history and culture ... - Istra

1. CROATIA, ISTRIA,VRSAR

History

Throughout the history, the name Vrsar

had many different forms: Ursaria,

Ursarium, Vrsarium, Orsaria, and others.

They all have the same root - “ur”,

which means “a source”. The

Mediterranean sailors used to take fresh

drinkable water from a spring on the

coast between Funtana and Vrsar, hence

the name Ursaria.

The Istrian peninsula was most likely

settled already during the prehistoric

period. In the vicinity of Vrsar, in the

pit of St Romuald above the Lim canal,

traces of the Paleolithic culture were

discovered. In the prehistoric period,

several hillocks near Vrsar were

colonized. Fortifications situated on

the today’s Vrsar area belonged to the

first known inhabitants of the Istrian

peninsula, the Histrian people. They

occupied most of the peninsula, hence

the name Histria - Istria. Besides

agriculture and cattle raising, another

important economic activity was the

maritime trade. The development of

Vrsar started during the Roman rule.

7

In Vrsar and its surroundings there are

still traces of Roman culture. With the

downfall of the Roman Empire, Istria

succumbs to the Gothic rule. In 538, it

is annexed to Byzantium, and stays

there till the 8th century. At the

beginning of the 7th century, Istria was

settled by the Slavs. The Byzantine rule

was shortly broken off by the transitory

rules of Lombards and Franks. Between

the 10th and the 18th centuries, Vrsar

was ruled by PoreË bishops appointed

by the Roman popes.

In the 18th century, the famous lover

and adventurer Giacomo Casanova

spent two summers in Vrsar, which is

evident from his memoirs. In the 2nd

half of the 18th century Vrsar

underwent the Venetian reign. After

the fall of the Venetian rule, Vrsar

succumbs to the Austrian and then

French rule (Napoleon’s army). Between

1813 and 1918, it finds itself under the

Austrian rule again. After the fall of

the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy,

Istria becomes part of the Italian

kingdom, which lasts till its capitulation

in 1943.

In the 4th century it became an

important old-Christian center. At the

time, Vrsar was a significant intersection

of continental and nautical trade

connections.

The vicinity of the Italian Ravenna

largely influenced the development of

Vrsar and other Istrian Roman centers.

In 1941, Hitler and Mussolini occupied

Yugoslavia. In 1943 Istria was overtaken

by Germans. At the beginning of May

1945, it was freed by the Partisans.

After the liberation, Istria joins

Yugoslavia, that is, Croatia, and in the

year 1990 it becomes an independent

state.

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