Stancija Blek (Tar-Vabrega, Istria-Croatia)

Archaeological excavations and survey in Stancija Blek

Overview of the excavation area

Archaeological mission coordinator/director

Enrico Cirelli (DiSCi - Unibo), Ana Konestra (Institut za Arheologiju), Gaetano Bencić (Zavičajni Muzej Poreštine), Bartul Šiljeg (Institut za Arheologiju).

Activation date of the campaign and duration

  • Starting date: 2016
  • Duration: six weeks


The site of Stancija Blek (Tarovec – Torre Vecchia) is located on the western coast of Istria, on the north-western edge of the Parentino’s territory, overlooking the mouth of the Mirna River and the Val di Torre bay, in a position that dominates the lagoon’s estuary landscape. Today the site is presented as an architectural complex preserved in height for several meters of height and composed of a central architectural core (c.d. tower) equipped with several outbuildings, as well as previous archaeologically identified walls; occupies an area of approx. 500sqm. A little further north of these remains are those of the church of Santa Croce (or Santa Maria), still preserved up to the roof level. Preventive archaeological investigations to the west of the complex have brought to light portions of walls dating back to the Roman Age and Late Antiquity.

Historical data make the first mention of the site date back to the year 983, when it appears in a diploma of Ottone II as praedium "Turrim quae est super piscatione Nonae", and which indicates the reconfirmation of the possession to the bishop of Parenzo. From this document it is also clear that the territory belonged to the Diocese at least since the time of Hugh King of Italy (924-947). The Bishop of Parma maintained control of this territory even in the following centuries, as documented by the later confirmations of Henry III in AD 1040 and 1060, while the first reference to an ecclesiastical building on the site is much more recent. Dating back to 1177 is a church of Santa Maria de Turre cum Capellis suis. The settlement is also remembered in 1195, in a document of the Bishop, where some facilities for breeding fish are given in concession. From the 13th century onwards, the toponym Turris Novae (today's Torre/Tar) began to appear at the same time in the sources, located on a rise slightly further back than the coastline and the marshy plain of the Quieto, indicating the time when the gradual abandonment of the site of Stancija Blek.

The archaeological interpretation of the findings is very complex, since on a small area there are phases relevant to 1500 years of site attendance, but which see its transformation from a Roman agricultural-productive settlement into a fortified control center of a territory medieval rural.


Tarovec - Torre Vecchia