Discover why Nin was chosen by the Liburnians in the 9th century BC as their centre and most important port in the Adriatic, why it was an important Roman municipium, why the largest Roman temple on the eastern coast of the Adriatic was built there, and why it was chosen by the Croats in the Middle Ages as their political, religious, and cultural centre… Its pre-Roman structures are known far and wide: the 9th century Church of the Holy Cross, known as the smallest cathedral in the world, and the 11th/12th century Crown Church of St. Nicholas in Prahulje field. Catastrophic destruction in the 17th century erased many of the particularities of this famous city, however its past is wreathed in many stories, folk tales, and legends. The island of Nin has been settled continuously for over 3,000 years, and you can see evidence of its rich and long tradition in Nin’s museums of antiquities, in the City of Nin’s Church Treasury of Gold and Silver, and the Salt Museum.

In addition to its long and interesting history, Nin is a city with wonderful natural heritage: 8 Natura 2000 protection areas with five endemic plant species, four critically endangered plant species, five vulnerable plant species, and 1 endangered plant species. Nin also has fields of salt, medicinal mud, natural sand beaches, and over 200 various species of bird have chosen the Nin lagoon as their home. Nin’s natural sand beaches are one of its trademarks, and once you see them, you will remember them forever. It’s no surprise that some of them have been listed among the most beautiful beaches in Croatia and the world. Their total length amounts to around 8,000 metres, and Nin’s best known beach, also the longest in Croatia (3km), is Kraljičina beach, lined with a natural botanical garden with four Natura 2000 protection areas. Thanks to its long beaches and its warm and shallow sea, Nin is an ideal place for both families with small children and the elderly, and it is a favourite holiday spot for the romantic at heart. East of the old town are the salt works, which bear witness to one of the oldest businesses in Nin – the production of salt, which is still performed today in an ecologically friendly manner. The salt works are also an oasis for birds, and are home to two especially interesting, rare, and endangered species of nesting birds, whose numbers in both Croatia and Europe are dropping — the black-winged stilt and the Kentish plover, both of whom have been entered into the European Red List of Endangered Bird Species. To the west of the city is a deposit of medicinal mud with a summer open-air sanatorium on the coast known as the Eco Natural Sanatorium, where patients have been treated and rehabilitated under medical supervision for 45 years.

Lovers of active holidays will also find something for themselves. Their choices include: the kitesurfing school at Ždrijac beach, surfing school at Kraljičina beach, volleyball on all of the beaches, over 110km of cycling paths and archaeological routes, and a modern fitness centre, while Zaton Holiday Resort offers scuba diving courses and swimming school, water aerobics and other water sports, tennis school, horseback riding, futsal, bowling, table tennis, mini golf, etc.

Today, Nin attracts tourists with its especially rich natural heritage, especially its long sandy beaches, rich cultural heritage, and the famous Zaton Campsite. Beginning this year, Nin bears the title of one of the most romantic destinations in Europe.

Our Lady of Zečevo Sanctuary

Celebration of the 500th anniversary of the miraculous appearance of the

Virgin Mary – 2 May 2016

The appearance of Our Lady of Zečevo has been celebrated in Nin for five hundred years. It is tied to fascinating records that lead us back to the early 16th century, during the Turkish invasions of the Croatian lands. After a military defeat on the island of Zečevo in the Bay of Nin, the church and monastery were set afire, its hermit monks were killed, and its statue of the Holy Virgin Mary was taken away. How the statue was later returned to Nin, whether by a miracle or by the endeavours of Nin’s residents, is unknown. In the year 1516, the Virgin Mary appeared a number of times to a shepherdess named Jelena Grubišić, bearing a message for the people. Out of fear, Jelena did not transmit the message immediately. On the evening of 4 May 1516, while Jelena was praying at the altar on Zečevo, the statue of the Virgin Mary began crying in both eyes, a miracle witnessed by many church officials and the people on the island at the time, after which Jelena finally delivered the message. The celebration of the Apparition of Our Lady of Zečevo on 5 May was declared by Nin bishop Juraj Divnić in 1517, and it has been celebrated with numerous traditions that have been kept until today. Moved by the documented miraculous events of the past 500 years, pilgrims come from all over to the sanctuary of Our Lady of Zečevo to be healed and to have their prayers heard. In modern times, the Virgin Mary is celebrated in Nin three times yearly. Two of these three times, there is a pilgrimage of boats to the island of Zečevo, and the statue is brought out – 5 May, the day of the apparition, and again on 5 August. The third and largest celebration of the Virgin Mary is held on the first Monday before Ascension every year, and thus the date changes (2 May 2016).



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