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Taxi Rijeka from / on Region of Istria - general information


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Istria (or Istra, how is called on Croatian) is the largest peninsula on the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Bay of Kvarner.Istria is the most developed Croatian region, in the terms of tourism due to its vicinity to the Western Europe. The peninsula is large and triangular, pointing into the Adriatic. Although the coast is less developed like in Dalmatia, besides it is an attractive region for holidays and vacation, because provides great features on the coast and has an interesting inland, which gives an insight into the Croatian long culture and history. As a border region with Italy and Slovenia, it has a rich cultural life, marked by the old cultures that have lived on this areas during many centuries. The large Italian community is still enliven, many Croats have good knowledge of Italian language and numerous Istrian cities, streets, schools, places and buildings are bilingual.The region is famous of its varied home and abroad cuisine. There are served seafood dishes, and also the heavier inland, international and Italian cuisine. Main towns which need to be visited on peninsula are Pula, Rovinj, Novigrad, Poreč, Motovun, GroŽnjan, Oprtalj and Hum, which are in details presented in the town sections.Istria is connected to Zagreb and all other main cities with bus lines which makes it easy reachable from Rijeka and other places. There is also train connection from Ljubljana to Pula, and there are ferries connecting Pula with LoŠinj and Zadar. If you want to travel the other routes, not the ones indicated here, you are advised to take the car


The period of Roman rule which lasted over five centuries ended with barbarian invasions and migrations of Germanic Goths who finally in 476 managed to upset the already weakened West Roman Empire. However, after some thirty years Justinian, emperor of the East Roman Empire, restored the Empire so the period of Byzantine rule in Istria lasted until 751. While conquering territories on his way from Constantinople to Ravenna in northern Italy, which became the new western capital in 535, he erected a number of magnificent buildings, the most splendid among them being in Poreč on the Istrian peninsula. The period of Byzantine rule brought Pula and its surroundings a rich cultural and artistic life. Maximian, Bishop of Ravenna (native of Veštar, south of Rovinj) commissioned the building of a grandiose three nave basilica of which today only one of the two memorial chapels in the form of a Greek cross remains. Owing to the lovely ornaments in marble, mosaics and stuccoes the basilica was named St. Maria Formosa. Just like the basilica, both chapels were decorated with floor and wall mosaics. According to the legend, Maximian found buried treasure while plowing which he then gave to Emperor Justinian who in return awarded Maximian naming him a bishop.

In the first centuries of the early Middle Ages various barbarian tribes invaded Istria. The invasion of the Avars and Lombards lasted for a brief period and they did not remain in Istria, but the Slavs spread throughout the peninsula and settled in many parts of its interior. In 788 Istria became part of the Franconian state that introduced the feudal system, encouraged the settling of the Slavs, often on land owned by towns. Thus, towns began to lose their autonomy (based upon classical legal norms) and their power declined, whereas at the same time the power of the Church increased, since the rule of Charlemagne depended on it. As a result of the decrease of power of the Franconian state and its division into smaller territories, Istria first became part of the Italic Empire, in 952 part of the duchy of Bavaria, in 976 it became part of the duchy of Carinthia, and finally in the 11th century it became an independent region under the jurisdiction of the church, i.e. Patriarch of Aquileia (northern Italy) and partly under German feudal families. Various interests (Church, German nobles,Venetian Republic) constantly led to new clashes, plunder and destruction throughout the entire Istrian peninsula. The unprotected peasants were those to suffer the greatest damage. Towns in the interior of Istria were most often situated on the very hill tops, a position offering a natural protection. Due to frequent attacks of neighbouring feudal lords or Venice, the towns added a fortification system consisting of town walls and numerous towers and fortresses, often with a drawbridge. Although it resembled a fortress from the outside, the medieval town was intertwined with winding streets that followed the circular arrangement of the walls, whereas the nucleus of town life was the church and square.Town loggias began to appear in the late medieval period, with the strengthening of urban culture. This was the meeting place of townspeople, place where decisions were reached by the town authorities. They were used for all forms of public life. If loggias were located outside the walls beside the entrance towers or gate, they offered shelter to passengers when the town gate was closed.Towns, especially the coastal ones with predominantly Latin autochthonous population aspired to autonomy that would enable further development and progress. However, the feudal system opposed such aspirations. During the 11th and 12th centuries, freed partly from the oppression of feudal lords, gradual economic development began, which was in some degree a result of the Crusades. That period is marked by the development of olive and wine growing, fishing, salt production and other trade, particularly maritime trade. The progress and development of coastal towns did not suit Venice, the city-state that aimed at becoming the major maritime and trading force in the Adriatic. To ensure free navigation for their ships along the eastern coast of the Adriatic, and stay and supply in ports, the Venetians made every effort to take control of all major points along that route. Finally in the 15th century they managed to gain control of all Istrian and Dalmatian towns (except Dubrovnik).

►  Region of Istra  - Sunday, January 17, 2010
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