Novigrad (literal translation: New Town) is a town and a municipality on the Istrian peninsula. In Croatian it is also sometimes referred to as Novigrad Istarski to distinguish it from three other Croatian towns of the same name.
Novigrad is set on a small peninsula on the western coast of Istria, two kilometres north of the mouth of the river Mirna and some 25 km south of the border with Slovenia. At the 2011 census the town proper had a population of 2,622, while the entire municipality – which also includes four nearby villages – had 4,345 inhabitants.
There was an ancient city in the broad area of what is now Novigrad, which was called Aemona. In the 5th-6th centuries Novigrad was called Neapolis. From the early Middle Ages and right up until 1828 it was the seat of a bishopric that has been identified with the ancient see of Aemona. From 1270 it was under the rule of the Venetian Republic, which gave it the Italian name of Cittanova, until Venice fell in the late 18th century.
Situated on a peninsula, Novigrad has retained its medieval structure and layout, with narrow, winding streets and small shops. The fortifications belong to the medieval era: the town wall still stands with its battlements and two round towers. There are examples of secular architecture from the time of the Venetian empire, such as the town loggia and several houses built in Venetian Gothic style.
The present church was built in the 15th and 16th centuries on the foundations of the 8th-century basilica of Saint Pelagius that had a nave and two aisles. Under the present presbytery is a late Romanesque crypt. In the sacristy are 15th-century antiphonaries with beautiful simple initials.