Umag & Novigrad


On the north coast of istria, you’ll find two small towns of Novigrad and Umag.Both Umag and Novigrad are lovely Istrian towns. We advise a day or weekend trip to those towns. In the summer Umag hosts a very interesting ATP          tennis tournament which is followed by many parties in the local area.

Short History of Umag

As the other towns in Istria Umag, was inhabited by the Histri, an ancient tribe that lived in Istria. In 177 the Histri were defeated by the Romans, who left behind numerous buildings, from statues, luxurious villas to precious objects from everyday life. The history of Umag is linked to the settlement of Sipar whose ruins can be found on the narrow cape, six kilometres north of Umag.

Unfortunatelly in the 9th century the fortified settlement of Sipar was devastated by the Neretva pirates. However, after this unfortunate incident Umag grew in significance thanks also to its location, a small islet separated from the mainland with a narrow channel. This location also helped Umag against future invasions. It was mentioned for the first time in the 7th century during the Byzantine rule, as Humagum.

Shortly after that it fell into the hands of the Longobards but it was then again conquered by the Byzantines, and finally ended up under the authority of the Franks. The Croats attacked  and almost destroyed Umag in 876 Umag. Eventually after the departure of the Franks, Umag fell into the hands of the patriarch of Aquileia. The moving bridge, between the island and villages on the coast, was finally built in the 10th century.

As with other Istrian towns Umag fell under the government of Venice in the 13th century, where it remained until the end of the 18th century. Umag was then under the Austrian territory , briefly under French rule and ten years later it was under the rule of the powerful Austro-Hungarian Empire.

With the Austro Hungarians Umag started to progress with agricurtural reforms, moderns navigation and industrialization. After one hundred years of rule, ending at the end of the First World War, Umag fell under the rule of Italy.

After World War II Umag became part of the Free Territory of Trieste, Zone B governed by the Yugoslav Army, and eventually became part of SR Croatia within SFR Yugoslavia in 1954. This created an exodus of many Italians, until then a majority.



  • Umags old town  has plenty of medieval architecture
  • City Museum – located in the medieval tower, it is the home of an impressive collection of antique items and a valuable exposition place for contemporary artists
  • Seget – with a baroque-classicist style villa from the 18th century, a chapel from the 17th century and the old tower
  • Sepomaia – the ancient port of the ancient village, with a luxurious villa, mosaics, and many antique items
  • Chruches: of St. Nicholas, St.Rocco, St.Pelegrin & St.Mary
  • Castle Sipar – part of the disappeared city Siparis, the remains of the city today are under the sea

    Short history of Novigrad

Today’s Novigrad roughly covers the area of the 5th-6th century Neapolis. In the 5th century it became the center of the diocese but also an important political and economic center. In the 6th and 7th centuries, this area was under the rule of Byzantium.

From 1270 it was under the rule of the Venetian Republic until its fall in the late 18th century. Napoleon and his troops arrived at the beginning of the 19th century, to be soon replaced by the Habsburgs. As the other Istrian towns, Novigrad fell under Italy untill the end of Worl War Two, when it became part of Yugoslavia. Up to the Sixties its population was engaged in fishing, agriculture and industry,when it turned to tourisam. In 1991, Novigrad was annexed to the independent Republic of Croatia.



  • Novigrad city walls – built in the 13th century
  • Belvedere – pretty loggia built in the 16th century
  • Lapidarium – a rich collection with 93 stone monuments from antiquity and the late Middle Ages ??
  • The parish church and St. Pelagius and St. Maximus – the remains of frescoes, valuable Baroque paintings and a rare early Romanesque crypt
  • Rigo Palace – built in the 1760, was home to the Rigo patrician family, a great example ofl European Baroque