Views over Rovinj, Croatia from the St. Euphemia Church bell tower

St. Euphemia Church and Bell Tower in Rovinj, Croatia

There is something so incredibly idyllic about Rovinj, Croatia – from the turquoise water lapping the rocky shore to the narrow and twisting lanes to the St. Euphemia Church that sits at the highest point and its bell tower that stretches into the sky. We have been soaking it in, literally dipping into the sea every day.

St. Euphemia Church in Rovinj, Croatia

St. Euphemia Church in Rovinj, Croatia at night.

St. Euphemia Church at night.

St. Euphemia Church in Rovinj, Croatia from the sea.

Looking at Rovinj, Croatia from the sea.

When we’re floating in the water, the view of the old town is as pretty as a painting and our eyes are drawn to St. Euphemia Church and bell tower. Intrigued equally by the story of St. Euphemia’s relics that are housed in the church and the views from the top of the bell tower, more than once we’ve wandered up the cobblestone streets that lead to the hilltop church.

The sign on the wall directes us through the twisting old town lanes to St. Euphemia Church

The sign on the wall directs us through the twisting old town lanes to St. Euphemia Church.

On the hilltop, St. Euphemia Church, in Rovinj, Croatia

The hilltop church, St. Euphemia, in Rovinj, Croatia.

The main altar at St. Euphemia Church in Rovinj, Croatia.

The main altar.

St. Euphemia Relics

There are many versions to the story of how St. Euphemia’s relics arrived in Rovinj, but the variations are somewhat insignificant. The most common tale we’ve heard is that in the year 800 the tomb containing St. Euphemia was found floating in the sea. Fishermen pulled it ashore and the people of Rovinj instantly knew what it was, but they were physically unable to move the sarcophagus.

St. Euphemia's tomb resides in a side altar at the church in Rovinj Croatia

St. Euphemia’s tomb.

A boy, claiming to have had a dream about St. Euphemia, said he could do it. The boy, along with his two cows, miraculously hauled the heavy marble tomb up the hill to the church. Since then, St. Euphemia has been named the patron saint and protector of Rovinj. The church was later rebuilt (completed in 1736), and includes an altar for St. Euphemia’s relics.

A statue of St. Euphemia in the church that bears her name in Rovinj, Croatia

A statue of St. Euphemia at the side altar.

A stone carving of St. Euphemia near the church's side door in Rovinj Croatia

A stone carving of St. Euphemia near the church’s side door.

St. Euphemia's tomb and a painting depicting the story of how the tomb arrived in Rovinj, Croatia

St. Euphemia’s tomb and a painting that tells the story of the boy who was able to move the tomb to the hilltop church.

St. Euphemia Bell Tower

The bell tower has 192 rickety steps that can be climbed for a small fee (which we considered a donation toward new steps.) Concentrating on foot placement was the most challenging part of the climb, but well-rewarded with the scenery at the top.

The rickety old stairs leading to the top of the St. Euphemia Church bell tower

Despite their appearance, the old bell tower stairs seemed quite sturdy!

With 360 degree panoramic views, we could see neighboring coastal towns, small vineyards and tall mountains in the distance. Rovinj’s densely built old town looks even more compact from above. Faded orange tiled rooftops merge together making it impossible to see the lanes that weave through the buildings. We could see the many islands that dot the sea just off-shore and boats sailing around them. The morning light sparkled on the water near the harbor, making the boats appear to be floating on a bed of diamonds.

St. Katarina Island as seen from the church bell tower in Rovinj, Croatia

St. Katarina Island as seen from the bell tower.

We could see the coastline extend north of Rovinj from the church bell tower

From the bell tower, we could see the coastline and neighboring towns north of Rovinj.

Views over Rovinj, Croatia from the church bell tower

Views of Rovinj’s old town and harbor from the church bell tower.

We want to know: Have you visited St. Euphemia Church in Rovinj, Croatia? What did you think of the views? Had you heard the story of St. Euphemia before? Tell us in the comments below!

Pin it! 

St. Euphemia Church Rovinj Croatia JetSetting Fools

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.