Nin had s turbulent history. The Illyrian Liburnians founded it in the 9th century B.C. It was then known as Aenona. The kings Tomislav, Petar Krešimir IV, and Dmitar Zvonimir were crowned here. During their coronations, each of them rode to the Church of St. Nicholas, where he presented himself to the people. From that humnack as s sign of his royal power, he would strike a sword to all four cardinal points. In this ancient city Prince Višeslav, Prince Branimir and the Bribirski princes all lived. This is Nin – the first capital of the Croatan people and the oldest Croatian royal city. We invite you to walk through the city and its history of more than 3,000 years because Nin itself is history in which every stone has its story.
The Statue of Prince Branimir
Arriving at the bridge that connects the new and old parts of Nin, you come to the statue of Prince Branimir. Pause for a moment and look at it. You will feel as if it is greeting you. In the 9th century, Prince Branimir ruled the medieval Croatian state, whose capital was Nin. After you have been "greeted", you can cross the bridge and enter the old Croatian state. Walking across the stone bridge, you will feel as if you are entering the royal city through the old gate. Looking around, you will see a copy of the 11th century Croatian ship Condura Croatica. If you want to see how the ship looked in its original form, you can then walk to the Museum of Nin Antiquities, which sits in the middle of the historic island.
The Church of St. Anselm
Stepping onto the small island, you will feel the spirit of times past. If you ask yourself whether it is better to walk along the left or right side of the island, we recommend that you take the central historic street. Each of its stones has a story to tell. Step by step, you will reach the Church of St. Anselm. Enter the beautiful church to pray or just close your eyes and its ambience will take you back to the past.
The Statue of Gregory of Nin and the Remains of Ancient Nin
To come to Nin and not touch the toe of Bishop Gregory of Nin is like going to Rome and not seeing the pope. Touch it and make a wish. And believe me, it will come true. A wish is never enough, but now it is time to continue the tour of Nin. Not far from the statue of Gregory of Nin, you will find the ruins of a settlement dating from the 1st to the 7th centuries, including the remains of a Roman temple and forum, and the Church of the Holy Cross from the 9th century, which is known as the smallest cathedral in the world, and where you can enjoy the improbable play of light. The street to the church will bring also you back to the central historic street and you will come to the Museum of Nin Antiquities. Do you remember the ship that we talked about at the beginning? Go into the museum and you will see it. However, if you decide to continue to the Church of the Holy Cross, you will pass the park of Petar Zoranić Ninjanin and the Church of St. Ambrose and reach the Upper Gate. Continue along the path to the Museum of Salt.
The Church of St. Nicholas
If you go out through the Upper Gate and leave the city, then you definitely must visit the Church of St. Nicholas, dating from the end of the 11th century, and which is linked to the coronation of kings. It is 500 meters away from the urban area along the road connecting Nin with Zadar. The church was built on a small hill and is the only preserved example of this type of early-modern architecture in Dalmatia.
The Church of Our Lady of Zečevo
How can you come to Nin and not visit the small island of Zečevo and the Church of Our Lady of Zečevo? This small island is often visited by pilgrims and the faithful, especially on May 5th, the day of the Presentation of Our Lady of Zečevo. The extraordinary calm and contemplation will capture you, and every tourist who comes to this small island.
Little by little we have come to the end of our walk through the history of Nin. Come, walk around, and experience for yourself the magical influence that Nin has on every visitor.
Foto: Ivo Pervan