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Cathedral of Eufrasius, Poreč

The Cathedral of Eufrasius is part of an early Christian ecclesiastical complex in the Croatian town of Poreč on the Istrian coast. Named Parentium by the Romans, the town is called Parenzo in Italian. The buildings were constructed from the late fourth through the mid-sixth century and have suffered significant modifications and restorations in more recent times. They include the cathedral or basilica of Eufrasius, a triconch chapel to the northeast, the western atrium with a baptistery on its west side, and the sixth-century episcopal palace to the northwest. Before Eufrasius’ rebuilding – celebrated in the mosaic inscription in the apse, a double basilica and a baptistery, probably of the fifth century, stood on the site. Eufrasius rebuilt the south basilica, retained the north basilica, and constructed the atrium to link his basilica to the baptistery. Described as “the single best-preserved example of a cathedral complex designed to serve the needs of a bishop of the period” (Terry and Maguire [2007], 3), the buildings preserve rich furnishings including wall and pavement mosaics, painted stucco, imported capitals and columns in Proconnesian marble, sculptural plaques, and wall revetments in opus sectile. The mosaics underwent a major restoration in the 1890s by Pietro Bornia. Bibliography: Terry, Ann. “The Opus Sectile in the Cathedral at Poreč,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 40 (1986): 147-64; Terry, Ann. “The Scultpure at the Cathedral of Eufrasius in Poreč,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 42 (1988): 13-64; Matejčić, I. and P. Chevalier. “Nouvelle interprétation du complexe épiscopal pré-euphrasien de Poreč,” Antiquité Tardive 6 (1998): 355-65; Milinović, D. “Le programme iconographique de la mosaïque de l’abside centrale de la basilique d’Euphrasius de Poreč en Croatie: Le patronage de l’empereur et le rôle de la Theotokos,” in Romanité et cité chrétienne. Mélanges en l’honneur d’Yvette Duval. Paris, 2000, pp. 359-70; Terry, Ann and Henry Maguire. Dynamic Splendor: The Wall Mosaics in the Cathedral of Eufrasius at Poreč. Univ. Park, Pa: Pennsylvania State UP, 2007.