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Dalmatia - Nin


NIN, a coastal town in the southern part of the Nin Bay on the Zdrijac peninsula, 17 km north of Zadar; population 1,692. It developed on a low alluvial peninsula, which was converted into an islet by a canal dug in the 14th century; connected with the mainland by small bridges. Economy is based on farming, growing of vines, olives and fruit, fishing and tourism. Nin lies on the regional road. Nin is a town of glorious past. As it was one of the major cultural centers of the early Croatian state, it abounds in the monuments of specific early Croatian architecture from the 8th to the 11th centuries. A very interesting structure is the small early Croatian church of the Holy Cross from the 9th century, which is considered the smallest cathedral in the world. Another important sight is the treasury of golden and silver objects from Nin. However, Nin is not only a historic town. Together with its surroundings, Nin offers excellent opportunities for vacations and recreation, especially for health tourism. Around Nin are several long sand lagoons, far from the crowd, traffic connections and industrial zones, with outstanding microclimatic conditions. The shallow sea, indented into the mainland, has a temperature 2 or 3 °C higher than the open sea. Salinity and aerosol are also higher. The seawater is very clear and clean (due to shallowness there is almost no maritime traffic). Here are also the largest deposits of medicinal mud (peloid) on the Adriatic. Peloid has been used for medicinal purposes from the Roman times. There is a small out-patient department and rehabilitation programs in the summer months are offered in the open. Numerous restaurants and taverns offer specialties of both domestic and international cuisine. Sports and recreational opportunities include also sports fishing and hunting. The art gallery "Višeslav" organizes exhibitions of well-known Croatian painters and artists throughout the year. Entertainment programs are organized in the summer months. North of Nin (13 km) is the islet of Zečevo, separated from the mainland by a shallow gulch, which may be crossed on foot at low ebb. Monks-hermits built a small church on the islet and dedicated it to Our Lady of Zečevo. In 1500 the Turks put the church and the monastery on fire. A legend has it that they threw the -statue of Our Lady into the sea. However, the statue reached the shores of Nin. This event has been commemorated on the 5th of May every year when the statue of Our Lady is taken to Zečevo. History The area around Nin was populated as early as the prehistoric times. In Roman times, Nin (Aenona) was an important centre of the ancient Liburnia and was granted municipal self-government. The Croatian mediaeval settlement was mentioned under the name of Nona by Constantine Porphyrogenitus (10th c.). During the period of national rulers Nin was the parish seat and the seat of the "Croatian bishop", whose jurisdiction stretched all over the entire territories of Croatia. Nin was the residence of Croatian kings and occasionally also the place where diets and synods were taking place. From the 12th century Nin recognized the power of Hungarian-Croatian rulers. In 1328 it came under the protection of Venice (privilege deed from 1329) and remained under the Venetian rule until 1797, with an interruption from 1358 to 1409. Heritage Remains of the ancient settlement on the islet include the remains of a forum, upon which a monumental temple from the 1st century was built. In the later periods of the Empire the temple had the function of an Augusteum, so it has been assumed that it had housed the statues of Roman emperors found in the forum (today kept at the Archaeological Museum in Zadar). Pre-Romanesque remains are represented by a small church of the Holy Cross, with a cross-shaped ground-plan and a cupola. It has the adorned stone lintel with the carved name of the prefect Godežav. The inscription with the name of Duke Branimir (second half of the 9th c.) originates from the former church of St. Michael, today kept in the church of the Holy Cross. The present parish church of St. Anselmo was built on the location of an old Romanesque-Gothic cathedral, whose remains include a side chapel and the reliefs of saints, built-in along the northern portal. Its treasury keeps reliquaries from around AD 800. The main altar of the side chapel features a Gothic sculpture of Madonna with Child. The hexagonal stone baptismal font with the inscription mentioning Duke Višeslav (around 800) also originates from Nin; today it is kept at the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments in Split. Parts of the walls have been preserved of the mediaeval fortification system. The local Archaeological Collection keeps stone fragments from ancient and mediaeval times. Close to Nin, along the road toward Zaton, is a small pre-Romanesque church of St. Nicholas in Prahulje (11th c.), erected on a prehistoric mound. It has a trefoil ground-plan and a cupola, above which an observation tower was built during the wars with the Ottoman Turks.

Source: HTZ

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