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Vrsar - Orsera
Cities, Towns and Hamlets
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Coordinates: 45°08′N 13°36′E / 23 m s.l.m.
Altitude: 14,912778 km2

Vrsar (It. Orsera; De. Orser)  is a small picturesque village in Istria on the coastal road that runs from Porec further southeast via the fishing village of Funtana.

The site of three hillforts (castellieri) during the Bronze Age (bronzo medio) and the first centuries of the Iron Age, the terrirtory of the municipality of Vrsar was inhabited during the Roman Period as indicated by the remains of villas, of a pier and of a Paleochristian basilica from the fourth century. However, there are also human traces from the Paleathlithic and Neolitic periods, including the Cave of St. Romualdo which is just above Lim Channel (Canale Leme).

United with Poreč (Parenzo) to the latter decades of the tenth century, it became part of the Venetian Commonwealth during the thirteenth century when it was quaried for its Pietra d'Istria (Istrian stone). After the fall of Napoleon it was under Austrian-Hungarian Empire 1797-1915 then became part of Italy (1918–1947). In 1947, it was incorporated into the Yugoslav state, thereby losing the major part of its Italian-ethnic population that chose the path of the Exodus. Vrsar gained new fame by the bombing of its small airport "Crljenka" on December 21, 1991 after the declaration of independence of Croatia from Yugoslvia.

Today, Vrsar is in the Republic of Croatia and is famous for its beaches and jagged coasts surrounded by numerous small islands that are easily reachable even by a small craft. According to the 2011 census, it has a population of 2,152 inhabitants.

The town has a 12th century Romanesque church of St. Mary's. The town's harbor is in a wide bay strewn with little green islands. In nearby Koversada lies Croatia's biggest nudist colony, with hotels, bungalows and a camping site. Koversada is at the mouth of Lim (Leme) Canal or Fjord. The karst hills are overgrown with cypress and pine trees, and you can easily spot the fjord's lucrative mussel and oyster farms.

The further you advance up the fjord (on foot only), the higher the surrounding hills, until the walls of the canyon finally reach an impressive height of 100 meters. The cliffs here are covered in maquis; on the southern shore grow oak and ash; on the sun-bathed northern shore, evergreens.

The Lim Fjord is rich in fish. Because of the low salt content and the high concentration of oxygen in the water, the flora and fauna are highly developed. Many species of fish come here every year to spawn.

The road does not continue further from Koversada into the fjord. The only closer approach by car is on a road at the end of the fjord forking off westward from Highway 2 (Buje-Pula). This road ends at a motel with a restaurant, serving mussels and clams guaranteed to be fresh. Although the fjord looks like an inviting place for a swim, bathing is strictly forbidden.

One of Vrsar’s fabled features is its link with  Giacomo Casanova, who visited the town on two occasions. Both his stays, the first in 1743, the second in 1744, were more by accident then by intention, but were documented in Chapters 7, 13 and 14 of his Memoirs as also was his visit to Trieste in Chapter 22.

The municipality of Vrsar is divided into nine sections (naselja):

  • Beghi (Begi)
  • Bralici (Bralići)
  • Delici (Delići)
  • Geroldia (Gradina)
  • Contessici (Kontešići)
  • Marassi (Marasi)
  • Orsera (Vrsar)
  • Prodani (Flengi)
  • San Michele di Leme (Kloštar)




  • Others

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Created: Friday, August 28, 2015; Last updated: Tuesday, April 19, 2016
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