History and Heritage

Novigrad-Cittanova has developed on the islet joined to the mainland only in the 18th century. The old town has maintained its medieval urban plan until today. The wider area of the town remembers the name of the Roman settlement Emona (Emonia) which became Neapolis in the 6th century and then Civitas Nova. The name of Novigrad-Cittanova is cited in documents for the first time in 599 years. For some 1300 years, Novigrad-Cittanova was the seat of the bishopric of the same name which was abrogated in 1831.

The various masters Novigrad-Cittanova had had throughout its history - Byzantines, Franks, Germans, Venetians, Napoleon, Austro-Hungarians, Italians - all left their traces here. These traces can be found on each and every step in streets and squares of Novigrad-Cittanova - in its rich cultural and historical heritage - its Venetian Gothic mansions and the city loggia, residential palaces...

The parish church dedicated to St Mary, St Maximilian and St Pelagius, in spite of the baroque remodelling (1745-1775) maintained its Romanesque and even early Christian elements of original basilica. Under the sanctuary there is a Romanesque crypt with the exquisite treasury, unique of its kind in Istria. The church of the Virgin of Carmel (1450) used to shelter prayers and meditations of laborious Dominicans, Augustinians, and of the glagolitic branch of Franciscans. The cemetery church of St Agate from the 10th or 11th century is a typical triple-apse Romanesque sacral monument. The church of St Antony on the other hand, originally Gothic had also undergone a reconstruction during the 17th century.

The town walls fortified by two circular Renaissance towers protect the town since as early as the 13th century. The former town gate is fortified by even older quadrangular tower. The town loggia, the only one in Istria overlooking the sea, was most probably built in the 16th century.

On the northern side of the wider town area, on the Karpinjan peninsula, one can find the remains of the large stantia with the late baroque palace of the Rigo family. Not far from here, there is also the Roman site of Dajla - the remains of the settlement and harbour installations in the lagoon. On Roman foundations the early Christian basilica was built in the 5th century and the Benedictine monastery later on. In the 19th century, the monastery has been incorporated into a classicist complex consisting of the palace, church and accessory household buildings. Dajla is one of the rare Istrian stantias by the sea.

The patron of Novigrad-Cittanova is St Pelagius celebrated on the 28th of August.


Praises from abroad to Istria

  • Best Olive Oil Region in the world 2016, 2017 and 2018

  • Istria 52 Places To Go In 2017

  • 10 Best European
    Wine Destinations 2016

  • 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations 2015

  • World's 2nd Best Olive Oil Region 2010 - 2015

  • Top 10 Valentine's Day Retreats 2014

Already receiving significant earned media in outlets such as National Geographic Traveler Huffington Post and mention in notable guidebooks like Lonely Planet, international journalists and tour operators alike continue the praise heaped upon the Istrian peninsula and all it has to offer making it one of the world's top destinations.