The Pentagonal Tower is a fortress near the former gates to the historic center of Poreč. It is located at the entrance to the main Decumanus street, in the place that was the demarcation point between the city and the fields since the ancient times up until the Napoleonic era.
The walls around the ancient Poreč had nine square towers, and some sources mention even 11 towers. Some of them can be seen from the sea even today.
In fear of the Turks in the 15th century towers are further strengthened. Among them there is the Pentagonal Tower. It has a tapered angle in the direction of the enemy, which reduced the possibility of attack, while it also allowed slippage of the possible hits by its sides. The tower is built in 1447, during the podestà of Nicolò Lion. The tower builder was Iohannes de Paris, and his son Lazaro designed the relief of a lion, carved with their names. This is the only Venetian lion signed by the author on the east Adriatic coast.
The Venetian winged lion has an open book, while below him the coat of arms and initials of the Lion family are displayed. Instead of the usual inscription in the lion’s book “PAX TIBI MARCE EVANGELISTA MEUS”, this book has the following text written: “FECITE IUSTITIAM ET DABO PACEM IN FINIBUS VESTRIS” (“Be fair and I will give peace to your city”).
Usually this sort of fortified towers are “a tower in a tower”. Because of their reinforcements they are built so that the outer wall is of stone, while the inside wall is smaller, and the cavity between them is filled with small stones and earth.
The city gates, as well as the rest of the old town, were established since ancient times. Archaeological research has confirmed that the tower was rebuilt several times from antiquity to the Middle Ages. In contrast to the Pentagonal Tower was another square tower; together with the town gates it was demolished in the 19th century, after which it lost its centuries old defensive purpose.
Up until the French occupation, parts of the city gates were preserved all the way up to the tower.
Info for visitors:
– restaurant Pentagonal Tower