Istria - a blend of beautiful coastline, stunning landscapes, unique cuisine and fascinating history

Culture & history in Istria

2nd millennium B.C. In the early part of Bronze Age inhabitants of the present Istria had abandoned their cave shelters and built the first hill forts to improve their defence.
11th century B.C. Istria was inhabited by the Histri - prehistoric tribe after whom Istria was named. They were dealing with hunting, fishing, cattle raising, agriculture and trade.
178 and 177 B.C. The Romans conquered the Histri and took power in the territory of the present Istria peninsula.
489 Following the fall of the Roman Empire Istria was ruled by the Ostrogoths.
539 Byzantium conquered Istria and built the Euphrasius’ Basilica in Poreč with its famous mosaic. The Avarian-Slavic invasions and inhabitation of the Slavs. The inland towns were destroyed and abandoned, while the coastal area resisted these attacks.
Beginning of 7th century Avar-and-Slavic incursions and settling of Slavs. The inland cities have been destroyed, while the coastal parts still resist the attacks.
778 Istria became the part of the Frankish state ruled by Charles the Great. Charles the Great recognised the administration of the Aquileian Patriarch.
10th and 11th century In 10th and 11th century Istria was ruled by the German feudal families. Istria was a separate markgraviate, given in hereditary feud to various families of noblemen by German emperors.
1145 Pula, Kopar and Izola were defeated by Venice and they had to take the loyalty oath to the doge.
13th century The Patriarch’s rule weakened and the towns kept surrendering to Venice - Poreč in 1267, Umag in 1269, Novigrad in 1270, Sveti Lovreč in 1271, Motovun in 1278, Kopar in 1279, Piran and Rovinj in 1283. Venice gradually dominated the whole coastal area of western Istria and the area to Plomin on the eastern part of the peninsula.
1325 The first Croatian Glagolitic document was created - Istrian Razvod – the legal document that precisely explains the demarcation of the central and south-east Istrian municipalities.
1797 Following the fall of the Venetian Republic Istria was occupied by Napoleon; however, he gave Austria Venice and the Venetian part of Istria and Dalmatia to Austria in exchange for the Netherlands and Lombardia.
1805 Napoleon re-occupied the former Venetian Istria.
1809 The entire Istrian territory was annexed to Napoleon’s Illyric Provinces.
1814 Istria became the part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy as a separate territorial unit with Trieste as its capital. Pazin became its capital in 1825.
1866 Pula became the capital port of the Austrian Empire Navy.
The second half of 19th century The fight for the national and the political rights of the Croatian and the Slovenian population in relation to the Italian population. Bishop Juraj Dobrila was the leader of the battle for Croatian rights in Istria. His concept was the activation of the people in the field of the national self-defence, the preservation of tradition, the improvement of economic and political.
The First World War National fights were interrupted. Italian interest in the eastern part of the Adriatic coast became very obvious. A secret agreement was made in London in April 1915, according to which Italy was promised South Tyrol, a part of Dalmatia and Istria with Trieste and Gorizia.
1920 The Kingdom of Yugoslavia ceded Istria to Italy.
The period between two world wars The Italians eradicated Croatian and Slovenian public and national life. They abolished all Croatian schools, cultural institutions and associations, Croatian names were italianised. The Croatian population emigrated to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia on a large scale.
The Second World War The capitulation of Italy in World War in 1943 caused a general national uprising in Istria. The fascist authorities were expelled, and the National Liberation Committee (NOO) of Istria made the resolution on the liberation of Istria and its annexation to Croatia and new Yugoslavia. On May 9 1945, as part of final operations of liberation of the entire South Slav area.
The period after the Second World War According to the Belgrade Agreement of 1945, the territory of liberated territories was divided in two zones- zone A and zone B. Zone “A” was under the Anglo-American administration, while Zone “B” was under the Yugoslav military administration. According to the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947, Pula belonged to Yugoslavia as a part of zone “A”, the territory north.
1990 Following the break-up of Yugoslavia, and the international recognition of independent states of Croatia and Slovenia, its republic borders became state borders. Istria became one of the twenty Croatian Counties in the Republic of Croatia.

Sign up for special offers

Receive our special offers and discounts directly to your inbox.