Vrsar – Romantic town


The area around Vrsar has been inhabited since prehistory, according to the remains of Paleolithic culture found in Romualdo’s Cave above the Lim Channel, and the town is proud of its 2000-year old history. The Illyrian tribes Histri, the first known people of this area, were involved in cattle-raising, agriculture and seafaring trade with the Greeks and Etruscans.

In the first century before the new era, the first building was erected, a rustic Roman villa, exactly on the place of today’s old town, after that a small settlement by the coast started to develop. In the ancient period, Vrsar was a famous harbor for the export of Istrian stone and salt afterwards.

During the II and III centuries began the spreading of Christianity and in the IV century Vrsar became an important Christian center. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Vrsar was ruled by the Goths and then the Byzantium that governed this area up to the VIII century. The Byzantine government was followed by a short Lombard rule, when it was conquered by Charles the Great in VIII century, and then it fell under the Franc rule. It is not known exactly when, but somewhere between IX and X centuries Vrsar fell under the Poreč Diocese administration (until 1778) and it became the administrative center of the Poreč Diocese and its bishops who ruled in the name of the Pope.

Although in 1267 it accepted the Venetian protectorate, the Diocese did not pay any tax to Venetian doges or the patriarchs from Aquilea, up until 1778 when Vrsar fell directly under the Venetian rule.

It is interesting to mention Casanova’s stay in Vrsar during the summers of 1743 and 1744.

After the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797, Vrsar entered the Austrian Monarchy until 1805, when it was briefly conquered by the French. In 1813 started the century of the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy until the First World War, followed by the Italian and short German occupation. In 1947 Vrsar and Istria became the constituent part of Yugoslavia, until the establishment of Croatia in 1991.