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Story of Lovran
Historical heritage
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Historical heritage

Of all the places that have developed on the steep eastern slopes of Učka, Lovran is the oldest, coming into being directly on the coast of Liburnia. Lovran has preserved its historical core and medieval city plan. The old city was girt with defensive walls and bastions, on the foundations and walls of which, during time, houses have been built.

The development of tourism in the second half of the 19th century changed not only the appearance of the city but also the social and economic relations of the population. By the beginning of the 20th century, all the tourist industry infrastructure was in place. In 1873, the first resort building on the Liburnia Riviera was built: the Villa Fernandea, Belvedere Annexe. New styles of architecture had their effect on the appearance of the buildings. Viennese Secession and revivalist styles prevailed in the design of the most important hotels and villas. At the same time the most important feature for the whole of the tourist industry was built: the coastal promenade called either the Strandweg or the Lungomare. Eight kilometres long, this spanned the distance between Lovran and Volosko and completely opened up the shoreline, thus enhancing the value of the natural and panoramic beauties of the coast.

Župna crkva sv. JurjaThe Parish Church is dedicated to St George (Sv. Juraj), patron saint of Lovran. It was built in the 12th century in Romanesque, and rebuilt in the 15th century, when the chancel was embellished with valuable Gothic frescoes by local painters. The bell tower, initially detached, was linked with the church in the 17th century, when the latter was extended by two Baroque side chapels being built on. The interior of the church is enhanced by carved altars and a font. It also has a valuable treasury of ecclesiastical vessels.

In the 14th century, the Fraternity of St John the Baptist built the little Romanesque church that bears his name in the old town. Frescoes with scenes from the life of the saint have been discovered in it. Underneath the layers of the floor, the foundations of an earlier little church from the 12th century have been found.

Above the little harbour lies the small Church of the Holy Trinity, the only preserved one of three churches that once surrounded the medieval graveyard of the town. It is of simple external appearance, the Gothic details of the door and windows being significant. The interior houses a 1595 tombstone of the parish priest, Gašpar Bekarić, with a carved Glagolitic inscription.

On the approach to St George’s Square rises the imposing and solid City Tower, the remains of the old system of fortifications of the medieval Lovran. It has a square ground plan, and has been preserved in its original form up to a certain height, with its regularly carved stone blocks. The upper part of the tower was hastily built in brick after the destruction in the wars of the 17th century. After recent reconstruction work, the interior of the tower was converted for use for painting and exhibitions.

Kortili Starog gradaThe medieval walls still have the eastern City gate called Stubica. It leads towards the port of Lovran known as Mandrać.

The courtyards of the Old Town are a particular charm of Mediterranean cityscapes. Behind the stone portals the façades of the neighbouring houses can be seen, decorated with their steps, porches and vaults. In the centre of the courtyard is the wellhead.

Reljef sv. JurjaOpposite the Church of St George, on the square of the same name, rises the building of the medieval city council chamber. The lunette of the stone portal is ringed by a wooden relief of St George thrusting his sword into the dragon. This is the work of local artists, and was done at the beginning of the 19th century. Heraldic coats of arms of distinguished Lovran families can be seen on the building’s façade.

MustaćonThe lunette on the portal of the building on St George’s Square is surrounded by a wooden relief showing a bearded and moustached figure of terrifying appearance: Mustaćon. He protected the building from all imaginable enemies and troubles.

On the way in to Trg slobode (Freedom Square) there are two stone slabs that commemorate, in Latin and Italian, the visit of the King of Saxony to Lovran, on June 11 1845. The king was an impassioned botanist, and chose Učka for his investigations.

vileAlong the coastal promenade between Lovran and Ika there are the most attractive and best preserved of the Lovran villas. They were built at the turn of the century as residential villas and as summer residences. They are graced by a fine eclecticism of styles. The Villa Astra and the Villa Deneš demonstrated attractive decorative elements of Venetian Gothic. All the villas were surrounded with luxuriant gardens and exotic plants.

We pick out three villas for their particular grandeur, the work of a creative genius, the famed Viennese architect Carl Seidl. The Villa Santa Maria is graced by mosaics and luxuriant gardens. The Villa Frappart is particularly renowned for the harmonious eclecticism of its design and decoration. The Villa San Niccolo, now Villa Magnolia, is known for its luxurious decorations that are combined with the rustic elements of an earlier building.

The rural architecture of the Lovran area shows the typical features of the Istrian littoral style. The stone buildings are solid two storey constructions with cellars, small windows and an entry stairway. A common feature is the semicircular projection around the fireplace.

HR-51415 Lovran, Trg slobode 1
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