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Art and culture

The story behind Novigrad walls

The famous walls embracing the old nucleus of Novigrad are a symbol of protection and safety. They have been guarding over the town’s rich history, architectural heritage, and tradition. Built in the 13th century during the Venetian rule, they served for defence while today they are a favourite spot for romantic strolls in evening hours. 
In turbulent times, when the powerful Italian ports of Venice and Genoa fought for supremacy in the Adriatic, Novigrad was forced to acknowledge Venetian rule in 1270, with fortification beginning shortly after. Defensive walls were erected and repaired by the hardworking local craftsmen in an archaic manner and reinforced with round renaissance towers on several occasions.
Walking the walls: Where to stop
Remains of walls and defensive towers are visible in the Mandrač and Porporela Streets and in the ‘Venetia Passage’ (in Croatian: Prolaz Venecija) so it’s a good idea to start your stroll there. Stop at the attractive stone pier by the walls where you’ll come across people sunbathing, reading or fishing. That’s sperone, an architectural structure that extends out to the sea, built in the 14th century to prevent conquerors to approach the town through shallow waters.
You’ll be enchanted with the town loggia Belveder from the 16th century, a symbol of Novigrad’s openness, honesty, and friendliness. The architectonic splendour of the loggia is an excellent example of the Venetian style and, as its name suggests, it offers a splendid view of the Adriatic Sea, sunsets and starry sky.
Near the loggia, you’ll find a semi-circular passage Porta a marina leading to the sea, with the most beautiful view of the town, according to many. In the past, sailors anchored in the port of Mirna used the passage for food supply as well as to load and unload cargo, while today it serves as a backdrop for fantastic pictures.
If you’re planning to walk along the town walls during summer, when the attractive promenade turns into a city beach, be sure to bring your swimsuit. Bathing with a view of this rare architectural gem is a priceless experience!
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