Dvigrad was originally two towns, Moncastello and Castel Parentino. Dvigrad was first mentioned in 879, when it fell under the rule of the Patriarch of Aquileia. However, it had existed long before it as a part of the Roman province settlement. Its name speaks originally of two towns. Today's ruins are the remains of the northern town of Moncastello, while the other one, Castel Parentino, was abandoned in the 10th century.
Dvigrad fell under the rule of the Counts of Gorizia, it was destroyed by the Genoese fighting against the new owners, the Venice. Many lives and towns were lost in this war, which mainly took place in Istria. It is most likely that Parentino was abandoned at that time, and Montecastello was solely renovated. Following more than a century of peace, the second half of the 16th century was marked by a continuous conflict between Venice and Austria. This is the time of the plague epidemics, followed by the malaria.
In 1630, inhabitants had left the town and moved to Kanfanar. Only the poorest family remained in Dvigrad. It was noted that in 1650, the Bishop blessed only three families in Dvigrad. Some twenty years later, the Church of St. Sophia was also abandoned and the time has taken its toll. Current remains represent a well preserved, typical medieval town castle. It is encircled by the two rings of town walls connected by the town gate, of which there are three just as many as its defensive towers. The Church of St. Sophia still dominates the town. It is located on the highest point of town, on the same location from the Early Christian times. It current fascinating three-nave form was built in the 13th century. In front of this Romanesque style edifice there is the main town square and the town palace. Military quarters were located in the town's western part, while the craftsmen inhabited its southwest. The remaining, rather a large area, was occupied by houses for regular citizens.References:
Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.
Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.
The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.
In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.
The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.
The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.