Nin – the oldest Croatian royal town

Last summer we spent part of our vacation on the island Pag – its great location and good connections with the mainland (the Pag bridge) provided us with an opportunity for additional „research“ and day trips. On one of those trips we have visited old town Nin.

Nin is a small town located about 15 km northwest of Zadar. Center of the ancient town is a small island with a diameter of 500 m, connected to the mainland by two bridges.

The first settlement in Nin, in the area of the small island, was developed by Illyrian tribe Liburnians , in the 9th century. BC.,  after the turmoil caused by the Pannonian – Balkan migrations. That time was the end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age. Even older settlement was found about 300 meters to the south, in the area of present-day salt pans and dates back to the Stone Age.

Bell tower of the Church of St. Anselm

The town lived from salt production, trade and various crafts.

Typical summer day in Nin

At the present time, Nin is primarily focused on tourism because, although small, rich history has given Nin many sights.


The church of St. Cross is one of the most recognizable symbols of the town of Nin, which is dated to the period of 9-11. Century. Due to its unique architectural shapes put into the representative monuments of Croatian early medieval architecture. It is known like the smallest catherdral in the world.

“the smallest cathedral in the world”

Roman Villa represents the ancient site located in the heart of the historic center of Nin.

Roman Temple in Nin is the largest building of this kind on the East Coast of the Adriatic and the construction of the Roman Forum with the Capitolium in Nin, in the 1st century AD. ,during the reign of Emperor Vespasian (69-79 y.), is the largest project in the urban structure of the Roman Zenon.

Roman Temple

Bishop Gregory of Nin seat is Nin from 900th to 929th, and in history he remained known as the main proponent of the Old Slavonic language and national Glagolitic alphabet. The bronze statue of Bishop Gregory of Nin  is located in the historical center next to the Church of St. Anselm – the first cathedral of the Croatian people. The big toe of bronze monument is worn out because the local belief that touching the thumb while passing by monument brings happiness and good luck.

I hope you will have a chance to try your luck one day, if for nothing, then fur nice cafés and restaurants that you can find in Nin.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s