THE CENTRE OF THE CROATIAN ADRIATIC The Central Mediterranean, a fortified town by the sea, the library of the historical sites and culture, protected by the limestone rocks and mountain hinterland, blessed with more than 300 islands, islets, cliffs and reefs in its waters, a rich vineyard treasury united in a unique poetry of the urban centre.
UNESCO: THE CATHEDRAL OF ST. JACOB
Imagine yourself living in the 15th century and looking at the outstanding construction made of white stone blocks in the clouds without any supporting part made of wood or any other connecting material – surely it would seem to you as a dream. Today exactly this construction is the most significant one in the area of Šibenik, built up in precisely 105 years in a unique Gothic and Renaissance style with a frieze of 71 human heads in the exterior, and sculptures and mosaics in the interior – the Cathedral of St. Jacob was enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2000.
TWO NATIONAL PARKS
Gods had mercy as they drew this area; from the National park of the river Krka, its rocky surroundings, waterfalls and the islet Visovac, on which the Franciscans monastery found its setting, to the canyon of the river Krka, where the oldest orthodox monastery is situated; from the picturesque vineyards of Primošten to the National park Kornati looking like the white tears spread on the blue sea.
ŠIBENIK – THE OLDEST ORIGINALLY CROATIAN TOWN ON THE CROATIAN COAST
The fortified town of Šibenik was founded by Croats around the 9th century. Due to the development of the medieval Croatian state the town Šibenik made a progress and it was mentioned for the first time in the 11th century in a document written by the king Petar Krešimir IV. Shortly afterwards there were many different nations fighting for this town – from the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy over Byzantium to Venice, but the town was still making progress, spreading and developing its culture, art, navigation, trade and economy in general. Šibenik was under the Venetian rule for long 400 years, but from that period we have the most significant historical and cultural sites of Šibenik today. Among them is also the main symbol of the Town today – the Cathedral of St. Jacob.
CROATIAN LEONARDO DA VINCI: FAUST VRANČIĆ
In the times of the Venetian government Šibenik becomes one of the most important humanistic and Renaissance centres, a gathering place of different writers, architects, historians, artists among which a special place belongs to Faust Vrančić, the Renaissance figure interested in different fields from science to theology, who published the book of inventions „Macchinae novae“ as well as the „Dictionary of the five most noble European languages“, making it the first dictionary of the Hungarian and Croatian languages at the same time ever printed.
There were many different governments, empires, monarchs and armies here, until the Croatian National Party came, taking over the community authorities of the Town. In the meanwhile, the town makes progress, it grows, builds the water supply system, and the first power station in the whole of Europe… The inhabitants occupied themselves with navigation, shipbuilding, and fishing; the islands were distinguished by the tradition of the sea sponge and coral fishing, viticulture, agriculture, olive and vegetable growing.
COASTAL SETTLEMENTS OF THE ŠIBENIK REGION
The olive growing and viticulture had a leading role in the whole area of Šibenik for centuries, as well as in the surrounding settlements such as Vodice and the island of Murter. On the other hand, Primošten has, since its beginning, the most picturesque and the richest vineyards in the whole area, speaking about the human diligence and struggle with the poor soil. In 2009 the vineyards were presented as the UNESCO candidate for the register of the World cultural heritage, and a picture featuring Primošten’s vineyards is permanently exhibited in the main building of the UN in New York representing the hard human work through the centuries and struggle with the Dalmatian stone. Places as Jurlinovi dvori or Pakovo selo cherish their autochthony, tradition and the original way of life.
The settlement of Betina on the island of Murter is known for the building of wooden ships, the settlement of Murter for the fishing tradition, the islet of Krapanj – the lowest Croatian island and the smallest inhabited island on the Adriatic coast is known for the sponge fishing tradition, the island of Zlarin next to it for the coral fishing tradition, and the island of Prvić making a line with Zlarin and Krapanj is known as the island of innovations thanks to Faust Vrančić – inventor of the first usable parachute in the human history, who spent his childhood on the island, and was buried here as well according to his wish. The construction of the Memorial park dedicated to this great Croat is in the progress. Only a few meters away from the grave of Faust it is possible to visit the exhibition of the handmade models of inventions of Faust Vrančić described and represented in his book „Macchinae novae“.
THE HINTERLAND OF ŠIBENIK
In the Dalmatian Zagora people occupied themselves with agriculture and cattle-breeding as well as with traditional crafts. The Town of Knin, a constituent part of Zagora, was the most powerful fortified town in Dalmatia and one of the seats of the Croatian kings as well, due to very good visibility towards the whole of Liburnia and Dalmatia.
THE ARCHIPELAGO OF ŠIBENIK
The islets of Zlarin, Krapanj, Murter, Žirje and Kaprije are the closest to the coast of Šibenik representing places of rich history and culture. They abound in agriculture-friendly soil, vineyards and fishing boats. The traditions of navigation and fishing are preserved until today, and besides farming they were the only source of life. Beautiful and aromatic beaches of these islands, the crack of wood warmed under the sun and variegated fruits are what adorn these beautiful romantic islands.
THE ŠIBENIK’S KITCHEN
The Šibenik’s kitchen is a typical Dalmatian kitchen, in which aromatic plants and olive oil are the constituent part of every meal preparation. The so called „sir iz mišine“ (sheep cheese) is an autochthon product made following the antique method of milk fermentation, that isn’t made before maturation, but it is formed in the natural shape of a ball, maturates in the lambskin and it has been delivered at the market place in the same one because of the strong, refined and unforgettable taste, smell and flavour. It suites best with the domestic bread made under ‚peka‘ and aromatic red wine.
The Region of Šibenik is also well-known for the famous red wine Babić produced from from Primošten’s world-known red-grape sorts, representing one of the Croatian highest quality red wines.
Another gastronomic souvenir of the Šibenik’s area is the smoked ham of Drniš, awarded many times because of its quality and technology of preparation and as such is world-known.
Young lamb is a speciality of the whole coastal part of Croatia and of the Croatian islands. It is made under „peka“ or grilled and served together with boiled vegetables and potatoes. Among the sea specialities the tuna fish takes a special place; grilled fresh soft meat or made as „carpaccio“, it suites perfectly to the overdone bread and local white wine. Among other sea fruits the Šibenik’s kitchen can emphasize shells, especially mussels, scampi, calamari and octopus, that could be made on „buzara“, „brudet“, grilled or under „peka“. The octopus salad or octopus under „peka“ with potatoes is a meal of perfect taste, flavour, smell and look. With the tasty sea fruits go the local white wine, bread and a salad grown in the garden. There are plenty other specialities of the Šibenik’s area on offer. It is up to you to immerge your senses into the Mediterranean Šibenik and its surroundings.
Šarić Courts serve to exemplify agritourism and the renovation of old stone cottages which have been rejuvenated by the Šarić family, thus returning to their chambers the scent of Dalmatian herbs, ancient recipes and traditional Dalmatian dishes which perfectly accompany the famed Babić wines, also from Primošten and protected by UNESCO.
Autochthonous dishes prepared in accordance with grandma’s recipes are just part of the enjoyment the Šarić family’s stone courts have to offer. All dishes are prepared traditionally, so as to preserve the authenticity of Mediterranean cuisine. Not more than 4 kilometers from Primošten’s beaches, seething asphalt and marine recreation, you can enjoy agritourism with all its specificities and advantages, which particularly relate to the beauty of the ambience, the quality of the food and the hospitality of the hosts, all of which will mesmerize you. You will undoubtedly wear a smile on your face for long after you have left Šarić Courts.
THE AUTUMN IN ŠIBENIK
The autumn in Šibenik and the surroundings emerges easily into the sunset of warm colours and the harmony of flavours and sounds. You can go to the mountain Dinara, where you can find the highest point of the Republic of Croatia (1831 meters) and enjoy the walk through nature. Visit the historical town of Knin and its prehistoric and historic remains, buildings and fortifications, and a natural phenomenon – the karstic river Krčić that joins the river Krka. You can try climbing or jeep safari tours on Vrana, Krka and Dinara, take the educational hiking-ecological path if you enjoy visiting fortresses, and the parks Jamnjak and Kamenar, as well as the Falconry centre in Dubrava. Let the paths lead you to the theme park in the Šibenik’s hinterland – the only museum of the Dalmatian tradition in Croatia – „Etnoland Dalmati“ in Pakovo village, where you can get to know better the Dalmatian way of living, and as it used to be, visit the workshop of the traditional crafts, and find out how our old people used to live.
THE WINTER IN ŠIBENIK
The winter in Šibenik and the surroundings is dry, but windy. For the sunny days we recommend you to take warm clothes and to visit the island of Žirje where you can enjoy biking. Follow the paths in the Zaton’s area to explore the untouched nature, take the trip to the river of Krka and the lake of Prokljan, where you can enjoy the natural beauties of the area. When in Zaton, taste the rich gastronomic offer of the fresh-water autochthon specialities – eels, fresh-water pilchards and other fish. Following the sea come to the town of Šibenik and participate in the traditional Šibenik’s regatta, visit the nautical fair, take a walk by the sea, visit the three monumental town fortresses: St. Michael, St. John and Šubićevac.
THE SPRING IN ŠIBENIK
The spring in Šibenik and the surroundings reveals its multicoloured new born nature. It is a perfect time for visiting the Hinterland of Šibenik and exploring the old fortresses situated along the river of Krka, stone houses and historical sites such as Bribirska Glavica near Skradin and its partly conserved Illyrian walls and the remains of the Roman and Early Christian town. Visit the archaeological site of Burnum – the remains of the Roman military camp by the canyon of the river of Krka, the site Danilo with the remains of the prehistoric settlement, and the most significant monument of the Šibenik’s hinterland – the Church of the St. Saviour from the 9th century known as the oldest Croatian church with the preserved bell tower.
For those who are seeking adrenalin rush and adventure ideal is to enrol diving or hiking school, enjoy in paintball or make use of the riding centre. Visit the islets of Zlarin and Prvić and explore historical sites, the river of Krka where you can find more than 222 bird species and where you will be speechless looking at the seven waterfalls of the clear blue colour decorated with white foam.
For those a bit more calm, we recommend the peaceful atmosphere of one of the Šibenik’s islands. Take a walk and enjoy the untouched scenery. Visit the marked points or fortresses or simply indulge in the Easter breakfast in the centre of the town, which marks the beginning of a new summer and a new tourist season.
SUMMER IN ŠIBENIK
The summer in Šibenik, its hinterland and its islands sings a romantic song about the sun, crystal blue sea and the white stone. It is a perfect time for visiting the islands of the Šibenik’s archipelago, getting to know the customs of the area, immerging for corals or sponges, trying the „brudet“ or grilled calamari drunk from the sun and a glass of local wine. Enjoy the flavours of lavender, almonds, laurels and rosemary, feel the calm sea and a breeze in the sunset and listen the sounds of crickets and sparkling of fireflies.
Go and visit the National park „Kornati“ and enjoy the calmness and the peace of the distanced islands, sail to some hidden bay and visit a peaceful beach, immerse into the Kornati’s underwater – the treasury of the sunken karstic relief with numerous caves. On the Kornati island it is possible to find more than 600 plant species and unnumbered many sea fish sorts. In the evening, after enjoying the untouched and wild nature, relax in the „konoba“ tasting the fresh lobster on „buzara“ and enjoying the guitar sounds and the flavours of Mediterranean.
EVENTS AS THE MOST IMPORTANT CHARACTERISTIC OF THE ŠIBENIK’S AREA
During the day and in the evening enjoy different events: The International Children’s Festival, The International Medieval fair in Šibenik watching the original traditional costumes and objects, enjoy a capella song evenings („klapa“ evenings) and the Dalmatian chanson evenings, the antique fair and the sport-entertainment events „Bodulska pripetavanja“ („The quarrels of the islands‘ inhabitants“) accompanied by organized programs, performances, plays and the whole day entertainment on every island of the Šibenik’s archipelago.