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- Cities XXL 2015
Welcome to Ardemića!
Ardemića is a Croatian city on the northerneast shore of the Adriatic Sea, and is on the eastern side of the Istra Peninsula. With the population of 134,000, Ardemića is one of the most crowded cities in the Istria County. The green alluvial valleys of the city are surrounded by the mountains which are parts of the greater Dinaric Alps. The Zelenika Mountain, which rises immediately from the shore stands as a barrier to the southern Adriatic.
Today, with its historical heritage and peaceful havens at the northernmost of Adriatic, Ardemića is becoming a pleasant touristic attraction.
Despite the absence of a consensus among the authorities, the city is believed to be established as a Greek maritime colony in the early 4th century BC. Named after the goddess Artemis, the town Artemisia was a commercial hub for the exploitation of the iron ores at the skirts of the mountains. Unfortunately, we do not have satisfactory information on the town in this period. Some archaeologists and classical historians claim that the establishment of a town dedicated to Artemis coincides with the eventual destruction of the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus in Asia Minor.
For most of the time in the Classic and Hellenistic era, Artemisia was very insignificant except for the value the iron ores exported. This fact did not change much in the aftermath of the Roman conquest of Istria in 178 BC. As Romans established a main port of Pietas Iulia (modern day Pula), the town Diana, as the Roman conquerors called the city in this period after the counterpart goddess in Roman mythology, has lost its privilege of being a maritime trade centre with the Greek mainland. Despite the decrease in maritime trade, the population of Diana increased significantly as the Roman military and economic superiority brought about prosperity in the Istria peninsula.
The fall of the Western Roman Empire brought about an upheaval in the vicinity of Diana. Starting from the early 5th century, the city was under the constant attack firstly by the Ostrogoths. Once the town Artemisia was incorporated to the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire in 538, the relative security prevailed. However, the increasing Avarian-Slavic invasions and settlement of the Slavs in the region in the early 7th century gave the city its modern day demographics. In the following periods, the Lombards from the West, Slovene tribes from the north and Croat tribes from the east and south struggled in an ensuing conflict for the control of the region. It was the Croats who prevailed over the control of the town Artemisia, and with the Slavicization of the region, the name of the town was replaced with Ardemića.
As Istria was annexed to the Frankish Kingdom in 789, so was Ardemića. However, the following centuries brought about a relative, if not de facto, autonomy for the city of Ardemića. As a result of the bitter conflict among the noble households of the city over the reinforcement of the castle, in the middle of the 11th century the German feudal families gained hereditary privileges over the city. As Istria was a separate markgraviate, Ardemića was a vassal to this margrave administered by a lower German vassal.
The Republic of Venice gradually dominated the whole coastal area of Western Istria in the late 1280s; however the eastern coast of the peninsula fell under the sway of the Patriarchate of Aquileia, which became part of the Habsburg Empire in 1374. Accordingly Ardemića was controlled by the Habsburgs.
In the 17th century, the increasing commercial relations the Venetians established with a rising Venetian sphere of influence. Starting from the early century, the Venetian merchants and statesmen gradually settled outside the city walls and established a “Latin Quarter” to be gradually called Montižana. The Venetians settling in the Ardemića suburbs were fascinated with the brilliance view of the Zelenika Mountain, the fascination resulting with the erection of the San Monte Church in 1723.
Montizana in the seventeenth century
The increasing Venetian influence, however, was challenged also by the Ottomans. The Fifth Ottoman-Venetian War of 1645-69 (a.k.a. the Cretan War) brought two opposing navies in Ardemića as well. The Ottoman siege of the Latin quarters of the city (that is Montižana) for two years between 1663 and 1665 destroyed the entire Venetian influence in the city. Until the war finished, the same quarters were gradually settled by increasing Muslim maritime merchants and tradesmen.
With the Napoleonic invasion of Istria, as the entire peninsula was granted to the Austrian Empire, the city Ardemića was granted to the Austrian Empire in in 1813 and was ruled by the Habsburgs until 1918. With the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the aftermath of the WWI, Ardemića became one of the important cities of the newly established Yugoslavia.
As the fascists invaded the city in 1941, Tito and his comrades gave a partisan struggle for the defeat of the fascism. The resulting glory of the partisans ended up with the Socialist Republic of Croatia, of which Ardemića was a very significant city.
Currently Ardemića has nine districts in its metropolitan division. The city also has four suburb districts administered by the metropolis. There are five low-density regions, outside the Ardemića metropolitan region but still under the administration of the city.
A postal card from the 1960s.
An aerial view of Ardemica today, the city hall and the Trg Ante Trumbić in the centre.
Trg Ante Trumbić
One of the central avenues of the city: Kralja Zvonimiar (King Zvonimir) Avenue. You can take a step towards the old town by turning right.
The old town attracts many incoming tourists. Here is the City Gate in the distance, the only remaining gate of the castle.
Sveti [Saint] Donat Church, supposedly built in the 8th century.
Here is the Sveti Ivan (St. John) Hospital seen from a balcony. The Hospital is believed to be established in the course of Crusades. As you can figure it out by the name, the quarter was a gathering point of the St. John crusaders, who were also known by performing medical duties druing the holy wars. The current building despite the name of its founders is largely renovated in the late 19th century.
The district is famous for its Temple of Artemis, an ancient monument the city is named after. The temple was abandoned in the late Roman era and the subsequent centuries. However, with the Enlightenment in Europe, the German ruling families of the city renovated the building and shaped the current state.
A postal card showing the Temple of Artemis
Sveta Jelena view at the Sunset
Neptuneplatz, as the ruling Habsburg families called, is one of the most crowded squares of the city. The Neptune monument is a product of the Classicism era in the late 18th century.
And Sveta Jelena flea market attracts the tourists for old and used materials at a bargained price:
If you keep walking southwards by the shore line, you will see the Temple of Artemis and after a few steps further the Archeological Museum of Ardemica and the Zvonarnica Park.
And here is the Drobnjak Street, where most spectacular cafés, bars and bistros are located. You can refresh yourself by having cold beer or a few glasses of local Ardemica wines.
Drazic district lies among the two mountain ridges, the west one part of the Dinaric Alps and the east one Mt. Zelenika. The district is famous for the Gustav Klimt Museum, an Austrian painter. Klimt is said to have spent a few months in a mansion in the district, which in the mid-twentieth century converted into the current museum.
A panorama of Drazic at sunset
Gustav Klimt Museum and the Lovers Bridge seen from a Hotel.
Museum and the Bridge in the evening
People waiting for the nocturnal line, N12 at the Trg Kralja Tomislava Stop.
Sveta Nedelja is one of the oldest districts of the city. The name comes from the Sveta Nedelja (literally Holy Sunday) Church, also known as the Red Church.While eastern quarters of the district was late 19th century industrialisation quarter, the western quarters were the residences of wealthy individuals of the city.
Trg Adamiceva, hosting most prestigious and elite shops of the city.
Despite the wealth in the eastern quarters close to Ardemica, the district, especially the Borak Quarter, remains to maintain a working class culture.
Sveta Nedelja Church and the flea market, where tourists crowd the square searching for the old badges of Socialist Yugoslavia.
On the right, see the Museum of Workers and Socialist Croatia and in the background Borak quarter, the late nineteenth century industrial zone.
With the gentrification of the city (due to the pressure from the wealthy citizens), however, the idle and under-used factories and workshops are renovated to become cultural and art buildings. Most of the small factories and workshops in the Borak quarter are mostly art workshops, theater halls, etc.
You can see the Atelier de Theatre on the right, with a new "organic" brewery and artistic studio in the centre.
As citizens of Ardemića hope you had a very pleasant stay in the city, they also thank to all the modders, especially Monty, Drazic, and Gbojanic (whose buildings were very frequently used, but not appreciated by naming a district in a "Croatian" town after him).
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An Adriatic City