Island Pag is sometimes referred to as the Moon surface, are scarcely covered with vegetation.

ISLAND PAG, Attractions

ISLAND PAG
Because of its position below Mount Velebit, the entire island of Pag is exposed to the salt from the Velebit Channel, brought to the island by the strong wind called bora, which blows throughout the year, especially in the winter. Therefore, some parts of the island, sometimes referred to as the Moon surface,are scarcely covered with vegetation.

Predominantly rocky scenery, with only a few stalks of aromatic plants being grazed by sheep, creates a unique impression and a renowned cheese. The west of the island can be reached by ferry from the Prizna port and the south of the island can be reached by crossing the bridge, with the antique fortress Fortica nearby.

According to the legend, Fortica was the place where the people of Pag welcomed Hungarian king Bela IV. while hiding from the Mongolian army attack. The island of Pag has been inhabited since the Stone Age, and there are also sites with dwellings from the iron and Bronze Age. Because of its geostrategic position and a huge importance of salt, since ancient times the island of Pag has been a place where Greek and Roman empires left their trace.

For a long time the island had been part of The Republic of Venice, and since the 7th century a place where Zadar and Venice fought wars, which left island’s towns devastated and looted many times. Administrative division of the island into the West and the East has remained up to the present day, as well as the four dialects. The inhabitants of the island are especially proud of their rich cultural heritage and tradition, namely, national costume, Pag lace, summer and winter carnival and pilgrimage site for Catholics from all over the world.
 


THE OLD TOWN
In the place of the Old Town the evidence of existence of the antique Greek settlement was found. After the destruction of Cissa in the 12th century the Old Town became the centre of the island, right after The Austro-Hungarian king Bela IV. bestowed the town the status of a free Croatian town.

Because of the constant attacks and pillages, the complete city was removed to a new location, 2 km to the west. On the very location of the Old Town there are remains of the Franciscan monastery and The Saint Mary’s Church, both built in the 12th century in the place of the old Croatian basilica from the 8th century. There is a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary dating back to the 14th century in the church, which is very precious to the people of Pag.

In the New Town of Pag an epidemic of cholera appeared a couple of times throughout the 19th century, and after the people brought the statue of The Virgin Mary from the Old Town to the New Town, not a single death was reported, so the people of the New Town vowed that each and every year on that exact day, the day of the Assumption on August 15th, they will carry the statue back to the church in a procession and prayer. That day is celebrated as the island’s greatest holiday.


THE TOWN OF PAG

The town of Pag is a renaissance 15th century town architecturally planned and shaped in most part by the greatest Croatian constructor, sculptor, and artisan, Juraj Dalmatinac. He had begun to construct the renowned Šibenik cathedral just three years before he began work on the town of Pag.

Juraj Dalmatinac brought constructive and decorative elements of the late Venetian floral gothic into the Croatian towns. All those features can be found in the concept of construction of Pag, the central position of the town’s mail square, and diagonal streets with uniform facades.

In that respect, especially interesting is the cathedral which dates back to the 15th century, with its simple, frm, nondecorative front, as well as The Franciscan monastery dating back to the 16th century. Be sure not to miss The Saint Margerita Monastery, where nowadays nuns prepare tasty baškotin following an ancient recipe, the last fortress Skrivanat, a museum in the salt depots, Saint Francis and Nicola’s Church and Duke’s Palace, a place from where the town had been governed.


SAINT VITUS PEAK (Sv. Vid)
Saint Vitus is the island’s highest peak situated on the altitude of 348 m above sea level. The church dedicated to the saint, which dates back to the 14th century, graces the peak.

From the top there is a splendid view of the entire island, as well as neighbouring islands and the nearby Mount Velebit. Some studies suggest that in the pre-Christian era the people worshipped an ethereal God after whom the peak was named.

In the old belief system, the thunderer God from the mountain shaped like an eagle was in a constant fght with the snake which kept attacking it from its den across the sea. The discovery of the script in Kolan mentions God named Vitus and the sacrifcing of the victim to call for rain and good return.


 


DUBRAVA HANZINE
Signifcant landscape and a special forest vegetation reserve on the island of Pag. The reserve borders the Adriatic sea with its sandy beaches on one, and bare rocky landscape stretching to Saint Vitus Peak on the other side.

This reserve is the only forested part in the town of Pag area where the authentic holm oak forest is quite well preserved. Scientists fnd this sylvanian area quite interesting. They found out that flora of the area developed a genetic immunity to the harsh climate of this part of the island, marked by strong wind bora and salt.

Geomorphology of the coastal area 6 km wide is landscape specifcity. Geologists fnd this landscape interesting because Crnike beach is nearby, which is a protected geological and paleontological reserve in which 20 million years old Miocene layers have been found.
 


LOOKOUT GRADAC
Defnitely most beautiful panoramic view of the town of Pag. It is located on the road connecting Pag and Novalja, so when you are either coming to the town of Pag or leaving it, don’t miss to stop and have a look at the splendid panorama with the magnifcent Mount Velebit in the background.

We strongly recommend an excursion to Vidikovac at night when the lights sketch the outlines of the town.


THE TOWN OF NOVALJA
Numerous archaeological sites and remains tell the story of the town’s millennial and turbulent history. The antique Roman aqueduct dating back to the 1st century excels among other sites, since it is the only aqueduct of that kind on the Croatian coast of The Adriatic sea.

Its intense development Novalja has been experiencing in the past 50 years thanks to tourism which has completely changed the way of life and opened the door for different possibilities of development.

In the heart of the town there is a small church which dates back to the 17th century and features a well preserved floor mosaic from the 4th century.


 


CISSA/CASKA

First time being mentioned in the work of a Roman writer Plinius in the 1st century, Cissa (Kissa) is probably of Illyric origin. The settlement was destroyed in an earthquake in 361 AD when one part of the settlement sank into the sea.

In the middle ages the settlement continued its life, and fnally failed in the fghts between Rab and Zadar in the 12th century, so most of the inhabitants moved southern, to the area nowadays referred to as the Old Town. The remains of the buildings, aqueduct and acropolis ruins have been preserved.

After numerous explorations and discoveries, ranging from the Roman anchor, old Illyric ship, to a skeleton wearing 10th century jewellery, the latest discovery in 2012 exalted the explorers and once again confrmed that the sludgy sea bottom hides numerous surprises.

Not far away from the shore, only a couple of meters deep, the remains of the huge antique ship were discovered. Its exploration is highly anticipated in the forthcoming period.


The town of Novalja museum

With its content and activities the museum is the centre of the cultural and historical traces in the Novalja area.

Besides its rich ethnographic collection and the exhibitions of more and less famous Croatian artists, the museum is especially renowned for its Talijan buža, antique underground aqueduct 150 long, which is entered from the museum, and exited in the feld of Novalja.

Antique aqueduct was probably constructed during the 1st century AD. The analysis of its very well preserved wooden roof-construction showed that it was still in use in the beginning of the 3rd century. Nine vertical quadrangular shafts, so-called odiha, were made for the construction of the subterranean canal. The highest of them is on the summit of mount Močišćak, 44 meters high.. In later periods the shafts were probably used for clearing up and maintenance of the aqueduct.

The museum fundus is constantly being enriched with the fndings from the Caska archaeological site. .  

  


Sunken roman ship from the 1st century BC
Among the most interesting attractions is the shipwreck of the Roman merchant ship with amphora cargo dating back to the 1st century BC, whose valuable fnding site is shielded and open to public.

If you are a fan of sea depths and amazing underwater sceneries, feel free to contact some of the diving centres in Novalja or Stara Novalja.

From the deep and dark secrets of the underwater we recommend the divers sightseeing of the amphorae from the sunken Roman merchant ship dating back to the 1st century BC, located in the Vlaška Mala Cove in the Velebit Channel, not far from the Žigljen port, 30 m underwater.



Olive gardens in Lun
On the north of the island there are olive groves which have been intacked for centuries. Authentic self-grown olives, which have been there for more than a millennium and a preserved tradition of olive growing, obliged the people with whom they share history with to make this area of cultural and natural heritage prosper.

Lun olive groves stretch over approximately 24 hectares and number more than 80 000 trees of oblica sort inoculated to the wild base of the Olea oleaster linea olives. There are round 1500 oblica trees 5 to 8 meters high, whose average age is estimated to 1200 years, while the oldest olive in Lun is 1600 years old.

This olive grove is unique in the world because of its large number of millennial trees, a feature that even famous olive groves in Israel or Greece don’t have.


The Pag triangle
It’s the name of the megalithic print investigated by many, from ufologists to geologists and palaeontologists. Amateur explorers and scientists came to establish how the triangle emerged and what signifcance do the holes on its edges have.

These holes resemble holes needed for setting up a large construction. Nevertheless, 13 years after it was discovered it still puzzles explorers as no one still hasn’t explained how this construction emerged in this rocky remote area that can’t be reached by any kind of vehicle or a machine.

This entity in the shape of a triangle has stones inside of it completely different and brighter from the stones in the surrounding area. Since there is no scientifc explanation, a number of theories have emerged, two being the most cited. According to the frst theory, supported by ufologists, The Pag triangle is the result of the extra-terrestrial ship landing.

According to the yet another theory, The Pag triangle is the work of a highly developed civilization that lived on the Earth more than 10.000 years ago. Whatever it is, the triangle arouses curiosity among visitors.


 


Povljana
The ancient life goes on in Povljana. So far the oldest artefacts being discovered are axes made from stone from the Eneolitic era. Liburns and Romans left a trace in the history of the island. Croatians founded their settlements on the island quite early.

Their presence in the Povljana region can be traced at a number of medieval cemeteries (Stara Povljana, Grušna, Belotine ograde and Gomilica) and churches.

The name Povljana is frst time mentioned in the historic sources in the 14th century, when the Church of Saint Martin was being built, even though the settlement dates back to an earlier time. In the Stara Povljana cove there was a settlement named Povljana.

Its inhabitants were relocated to the opposite cove, present day Povljana.


Saint Nicola’s church
It is located in the old cemetery in Povljana. That old Croatian pre-Romanic 9th century church is a priceless cultural monument. It’s a simple building whose diagonal nave is arched with the barrel-shaped vault which ends with a semi-circular apse.

On the front there is a church bell with one hole for the bell. Especially interesting is the interior of the church with the remains of the mural picturing a saint, being one of the oldest examples of the wall painting in Dalmatia, as is written by I. Petricioli.

Even more interesting are the two valuable fndings: the gable of the altar barrier and the saint’s body made from lead, found at the altar, dating back to the 11th century. It is assumed that the St. Nicola’s Church was built on top of some older object, which will be proved in future investigations.


 


Segal lake
West from Povljana, next to Dubrovnik beach and surrounded by pine tree forest, Segal Lake with sludgy sediment is located. Peloid with healing powers is suitable for treating degenerative diseases, rheumatic arthritis and skin conditions.

It is often used as a compress for the stomach and the kidney area among people who suffer from gastroenterological disorders, reproductive system diseases and urinal diseases. It is also used to treat rheumatic conditions of limbs as a compress, and an arm, wrist, ankle or back coating.

It is a known fact that natural mud is a great means to detoxify body.

 


Veliko & malo Blato – ornithological reserve
Ever since it was protected as the ornithological reserve, the area represents a sanctuary to many nestingbirds from the Charadriiformes family, especially in the time of their breeding, moving and winter time.

There is an watchtower in the reserve and a notice board with information about the birds. There are 143 types of birds there, and experts made a bird check-list and highlighted the best times in a year for bird watching, as well as type of birds which can be observed in a specifc time of year. Among the most notable birds are Anas strepera, Circus pygargus, and Melanocorypha calandra, which are endangered in Europe, and very rare in Croatia.

Such a well preserved swamp area is a rarity nowadays because swamp orintofauna is becoming extinct throughout Europe. To visit the reserve Veliko Blato you have to purchase the tickets in The Tourist Offce in Povljana, where permits for fresh-water fshery can also be obtained.


 


Kolan
The place was probably named after the Roman aqueduct which brought water from the spring in Kolan field (named Bunar nowadays) to Roman settlement Cissa.

Kolan is an ancient settlement which had existed long time before the Romans invaded this area at the beginning of the Christian era. Before the aqueduct was built, by the end of the 1st century, the name of the place was surely different, and many Celtic remains witness its existence, as well as Liburnian graves found in the area of the town.

During The Middle Ages, up until more recent times, people were used as slaves, many ended up as rowers on galleys, and pirates invaded the place both from the sea and from the ground.

Today the town houses 450 inhabitants, there are two cheese factories, a couple of restaurants and taverns where you can try local home made fresh food.


Kolan mud – Rogoža mud
It was proclaimed an ornithological reserve in 1988. It stretches in the area of 175 hectares. Kolan mud is a Mediterranean swamp characterized by brackish water and swamp vegetation. Its imminent surroundings are felds and rocky pastures.

It is important because of a diverse Mediterranean flora and fauna. It is especially important because the birds from Croatia and other parts of Europe stop here during spring and summer to feed, rest and sleep. Apart from that, many birds land here.

There are 163 bird species, 66 out of them nesting birds. The reserve is endangered in many ways. The cane is growing on the borders of the reserve so each year there is less free water space. Irrational bird hunt and fshing and the spread of the Gajac settlement all endanger this area.

There are nine springs with fresh water within the reserve and the so-called wells from where the Romans built a 12 km long aqueduct to supply the Cissa settlement with water.


Dry stone walls
They are one of the pearls of the island tradition and the construction craftsmanship.They are more than 1100 km long but they stretch so far it’s almost impossible to measure them.

They had been erected as a natural border between the pastures, high enough so it is impossible for sheep to jump over it and strong enough so that bora can’t knock them down.

Their construction wasn’t easy,because of their immense importance and in aim to prevent their destruction,the activities have begun to preserve the dry stone walls on the island Pag.

 

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