City of glorious past
Nin is a small town which, at its peaceful pace, rests on the coast of the southern part of the Nin Bay, about 17 km north of Zadar. Nevertheless, it boasts numerous proud attributes, such as „the city of the glorious past“, „the oldest Croatian royal city“, „one of the main cultural centers of the early Croatian state“, „the seat of the so-called Croatian bishop, whose jurisdiction covered almost all of present-day Croatia,“ the city with the smallest cathedral in the world "and many more. It is therefore worth your visit and a short tour.
At the lower bridge at the entrance to the city you can not miss the prominent statue of Prince Branimir. His name occupies a special place in Croatian history and because Nin is the cradle of the Croatian state, this place rightfully belongs to him here. He lived in the 9th century and ruled in the years 879–892. During his reign, the coastal area of Croatia strengthened its independence, as confirmed by Pope John VIII. which accepted it as an independent country of the Christian West. On June 7, 879, Branimir was recognized for the first time in history as the ruler of law and Croatia as the rule of law, right here in Nin, which became his legal seat. It is therefore no surprise that in 2007, exactly 1128 years later, in memory of the first recognition of the Croatian state – a four-meter-high statue of the great Croatian monarch – Prince Branimir – was unveiled. The recognition of the Croatian state on June 7 is marked as City Day and in Croatia as the Day of Croatian Diplomacy.
The lower bridge
Nin is remarkable for its location. It is located on a small island, connected to the mainland by two ancient stone bridges. It is entered through the so-called Lower City Gate (Donja morska vrata), which has been preserved along with several remains of the medieval city fortifications.
In Nin, you can also see numerous monuments associated with, for example, its ancient past. Near the coast, archaeologists have discovered the remains of an ancient forum, where a large temple from the 1st century, later Augusteum, stood. Remains of impressive statues of Roman emperors, which were found, are now concentrated in the Archaeological Museum in Zadar. The Roman mosaic found here is also of great value.
Ruins of a Roman house
Nin was during ancient Rome a municipium and an important center of ancient Liburnia, known under the Liburn name Aenona. Archaeologists have also discovered the ruins of a Roman house from the 2nd century in Nin. As archaeological research shows, the then Nin was an exhibition city with a monumental temple, amphitheater, aqueduct, etc.
Church of St. Crisis
One of the important historical sites in Nin is the pre-Romanesque so-called „smallest cathedral in the world“ – the church of St. Crosses (Sveti Križ). This small charming building with a cross plan probably dates from the 9th century. The name „cathedral“ is rightly worn by the local church, as it has been a bishop's church since the time of the Croatian prince Domagoj (in the 9th century). Especially in the new age, historians, together with scientists from other disciplines, pay great attention to it, because the church was designed so that on a certain day of the year at a certain hour a ray of light penetrates a certain place in the temple and illuminates it.
The upper gate to the city
After walking through the whole town, you will walk to its upper gate. Near this place is also a reminder sign, on the event of the great flood of 2017, which flooded the city.
Gulf of Nin
The city is surrounded by walls behind which the Gulf of Nin already extends. There are also extensive wetlands in the area, which are used for salt mining. There is also a salt museum.
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