The Lim Canal is situated on the west coast of Istria, and it is a first rate natural phenomenon of great scientific and aesthetic value. It is a typical example of the sunken canyon valley in the Karst. It was created in the Iura limestone, with the length of about 10 kilometres. The height of the canyon sides reaches up to 150 metres n/w. The position is east-west, while its slopes are situated north-south.
The Lim Canal is situated on the border between the Mediterranean and the sub-Mediterranean zone, and it represents an example of the influence of the expositions on the development of the vegetation. Northern slopes of the canal have southern exposition, which causes the development of the evergreen macchia of the Orno-quercetum ilicis, while the southern slopes of the canal are exposed to northern exposition, which causes an apparition of the sub-Mediterranean deciduous vegetation of Querco-carpinetum orientalis croaticum and white hornbeam. Southern exposition is characterized by a direct entering of sun's rays, which causes a quick warming and a quick evaporation of the soil. Mesophilic plants can barely survive in such areas.
An oblique fall of rays in the northern exposition, and the sheltered condition of the slopes causes a weaker warming, less evaporation, a better maintenance of the soil, and more humidity in the air. For this reason, thermophilic plants can barely survive on northern expositions.
Regarding the fact that the frequency of species of an area clearly reflects its climatic conditions, the influence of the exposition as a microclimatic element was researched by Ilijanic in 1970 for the Lim Canal area.
On the southern part of the canal of the southern exposition, the coastal thelygonum cynocrambe L. was noted. This is the habitat situated to the extreme north in Croatia, and also the extreme northern border for this plant's range in general. Besides, we can also find the green Juniperus Oxycedrus "Rufescens Viriois".
Due to high natural and aesthetic values, the Lim Canal was proclaimed protected landscape with green fruits.
The old town
The first sight of the old town of Rovinj appears while you are still in the parking lot. Though this is not the best light to take a picture, it is quite impressive, as it seems that the town is built on the sea.
There is no need to walk a long way to find another reminder ! Still in Vladimira Svalbo Ulica, this cartouche carved with a winged lion stands high on the front of a house. This is another of these numerous Venice marks !
Suddenly, the narrow part of Vladimira Svalbe finishes, there are no more high houses, the street becomes wider, their is more sky available, one branch of the street goes down, while the other continue to climb up.
The Importance of St Euphemia in Rovinj
I had no idea how important St Euphemia was to Rovinj until I'd visited the church called after her a few times. Returning there on a weekday morning things were much quieter and I had a good chance to browse and take everything in. Behind the altar, at the right-hand side of the church ,is a small room which contains the tomb of the saint. Completely covering one wall is an absolutely enormous painting illustrating the legend of how she actually got to Rovinj. I'd seen this legend mentioned in a guide book and had dismissed it as whimsical but this painting and more time spent in the church left me in no doubt as to how important it is here.The picture tells the story. In 800 AD a mysterious sarcophagus was washed ashore. Remember the position of this church right at the top of a rocky hill and you will understand the problems inolved in trying to get it up into this area. All efforts failed and suddenly a young boy with two heifers appeared and told of a vision of Euphemia of Chalcedon, thrown to the lions and martyred by the emperor Diocletian. This small boy yoked his heifers to the sarcophagus and miraculously they were able to drag this huge weight up to the site of the tiny St George Church next to the site of St Euphemia's. Opening the tomb they found a beautiful girl with the story of her captivity and torture.This legend meant very little written down but seeing it so clearly illustrated in a giant piece of art makes me realise how everyone who grows up here grows up with this as part of their heritage.
Right up to the present day St Euphemia is venerated by the people of Rovinj. Her feastday in September is a big occasion and people come from all over Istria to celebrate it. In this way, the little book I bought here points out , 'she can be credited with stimulating the beginnings of tourism' in Rovinj.