The celebration of the Novigrad patron saint St. Pelagius is a three-day festivity that proposes a wide range of cultural, entertainment, sports and other programmes. The central part of the festivity is the weekend, from 28 to 30 August, when major entertainment and music events take place - concerts and dancing music, sports competitions, culture programmes, all this accompanied by a rich gastronomic offer at the stands along the town’s harbour, Mandrač and Porporela. At the end of the festival, all visitors will be able to enjoy magnificent fireworks.
In previous years, the festival was known as Fishermen's Evenings. The Day of the City, or the patron saint of Novigrad, is celebrated on August 28th.
The music program brings three days of entertainment on as many as three stages at the same time. On Friday, August 26, the audience will enjoy a concert by one of the best Croatian vocalists, the distinctive and unique Massimo, also Dražen Zečić and Soulfingers.
The organizers of the event are the Tourist Board and the City of Novigrad-Cittanova. Through our new webcam, you can watch live stream the Feast of St. Pelagius live.
There are two versions of the legend that connects Novigrad and Saint Pelagius. It is known that in the 12th century, Novigrad was referred to as Emona (Emonia, Aemonia) as well as an ancient city in the area of present-day Ljubljana, because, according to legend, it was settled and founded by the exiled inhabitants of that city. In Emona lived a rich and pious couple who had an only son, Pelagio, whom they sent to the priest Urani for training. Pelagius became an orphan at an early age and the priest took over his upbringing. As he stood out more and more for his nobility and the spread of Christianity, he distributed his inheritance to freed servants. During the persecution of Christians during the reign of Emperor Numerian (283-284 AD), Pelagius was severely tortured, his head was cut off and he was secretly buried. During the barbarian raids, the population of Emona moved around Italy and Istria, so they also reached Novigrad. One of the refugees from Emona brought the powers of St. Pelagius to a small island near the mouth of the Mirna River.
Another version of the legend, according to the writings of Bishop Tommasini from the 17th century (not based on reliable sources), says that Pelagia's parents lived in Novigrad and were rich. As in the first version of the legend, Pelagius was sent to be trained by the priest Urani, his parents died early, the priest took over his upbringing and stood out for his nobility and the spread of Christianity. In 284, during the reign of Emperor Numerian, Evilarius was appointed Roman Perfect of Istria, who moved to Novigrad. Then the great persecution of Christians began. One night, Pelagius heard a voice from heaven that encouraged him to martyrdom. He went to the perfect Evilari to apologize for his cruelty and polytheism. Then he revealed himself as a Christian and was thrown in chains and condemned to be whipped until the executioners were tired. Since the flogging did not leave a mark on him, it was prescribed to pour hot oil on his body. As he again had no consequences, they tied him to two horses and dragged him along the glass, again without consequences. In the end, he was sentenced to death by beheading, which was carried out outside the walls of Novigrad.