The Histri civilization, spanning from 1000 to roughly 200 B.C., wielded considerable influence over the Istrian Peninsula, leaving an indelible mark on its history and culture. Organized into societies dispersed throughout Istria, over 200 settlements have been unearthed, bearing testament to their thriving civilization.

Renowned for their prowess as sailors, the Histri navigated the Adriatic with ease, establishing trade networks and fostering connections with neighboring civilizations. Their interactions extended to the Venetians, Greeks, and Romans, although their relationship often turned hostile, as they were known to raid and attack trading ships passing through their waters.

Central to Histri society was their unique religious beliefs, predominantly centered around the veneration of female deities. Their spiritual practices honored the forces of nature, with snakes symbolizing regeneration and the cycle of life. This reverence for nature is reflected in their skilled craftsmanship, notably in the intricate ornaments discovered within their burial grounds.

Under the leadership of King Epulon, the Histri attempted to resist the encroaching Roman influence, striving to maintain their autonomy and cultural identity. However, their efforts proved futile, and in 178 and 177 B.C., they succumbed to Roman conquest, marking the end of their independence.

Among the notable archaeological sites that bear witness to the Histri civilization are Nesactium, situated near Pula, and Picugi, located near the town of Poreč. These ancient settlements serve as poignant reminders of a bygone era, offering insights into the rich tapestry of Istria’s pre-Roman past. Despite their eventual defeat, the legacy of the Histri endures, etched into the annals of history as pioneers of Istrian culture and heritage.