Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Country / Croatia

Porec, Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre

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Porec, Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre

About the site

Corridor: Via Adriatica
Country: Croatia, Porec
Type: Christian religious centre
Epoch: Middle Ages
World Heritage: Cultural Heritage
Middle AgesChristian religious centreCultural Heritage

The group of religious monuments in Porec, where Christianity was established as early as the 4th century, constitutes the most complete surviving complex of its type. The basilica, atrium, baptistery and episcopal palace are outstanding examples of religious architecture, while the basilica itself combines classical and Byzantine elements in an exceptional manner.


The Cathedral complex of Porec is called the Euphrasiana after Bishop Euphrasius, under whom large – scale alterations were carried out in the cathedral and the famous mosaics were executed. The great basilica was supplied with a new sanctuary, a colonnade, marble columns with ornate capitals; marble furnishing and decorations, a new memorial chapel, an atrium and bishop’s palace were built. The smaller basilica was left intact within the new complex. The architectural decorations and furnishings are executed in the Byzantine style of the mid-sixth century. They were probably made in workshops in Greece and brought to Porec. The new sanctuary with a triple apse is completely covered in mosaic. The mosaic on the main apse consists of a depiction of Christ with the apostles in the triumphal arch, a series of medallions with portraits of saints in the intrados of the triumphal arch and a number of large figures in the apse itself. In the calotte, Mary is shown holding Jesus on the throne, flanked by angels and holy martyrs. The inscription singles out St. Maurus, the patron saint of Porec. The group also includes Bishop Euphrasius holding a model of the basilica, Deacon Claudius, and Euphrasius, his son. In the lower register depictions of the Annunciation and the Visitation, the figures of St. Zachary and St. John the Baptist can be seen. In the side apses, the mosaics have survived only in fragments in the calotte: they show Christ laying martyr crowns on the heads of the saints. The bishop’s palace stands to the north of the atrium. It is a single-storey building with a large central hall on the first floor. The restored palace now houses the church museum and a collection of archaeological finds.

Expert network

Read more about Porec, Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre at the Unesco World Heritage List.