Biograd – The Heart of Croatian Kingdom

19. August 2022

Biograd na Moru is only a 15-minute walk from the Mediterranean village of San Antonio and is an inevitable destination for exploring the historical and cultural heritage. Traditionally known as a holiday spot thanks to its proximity to the natural attractions such as Kornati National Park and Lake Vrana Nature Park, this picturesque medieval gem has it’s own share of historical intrigues worth exploring.

Royal Town

The story of Biograd goes back to the 12th century when it was the official seat of Croatian kings and bishops.  It’s most notable piece in history happened on the occasion the Croatian-Hungarian king Koloman was coronated in 1102. About hundred years later, the city provided shelter to the refugees fleeing Zadar from the Crusaders, while in the later periods (15th to the end of the 18th century) it had to cope with destruction, given that it was a territorial part of the Republic of Venice which was involved in continual wars with the Ottomans Empire.

Biograd, Photo by Tourist Board of Biograd – Discover Biograd

Biograd, Photo by Tourist Board of Biograd – Discover Biograd

Biograd – St. Anastasia Church – Photo by Tourist Board of Biograd – Discover Biograd

Prominent Monuments

The most prominent building in the old city center is the Church of St. Anastasia, patroness of the city. It was built in the middle of the 18th century, and is dedicated to the martyr Anastasia (Stošija) from Srijem. The church has numerous peculiarities, and it is highlighted by the statue of the patron saint on top of the gable.

Church of St. Anthony was built in the 19th century on the sea coast, at the bottom of a deeply indented cove – Jaza, and due to the filling of the terrain and the construction of residential buildings in the 20th century, the church has since remained at a lower level than the surrounding terrain. This one-nave church is covered with a wooden roof, while the semicircular apse is vaulted with a semi-dome and covered with stone slabs.

The remains of the St. John the Baptist Basilica is the story of the Benedictine monastery from the 11th century, which was built by the Croatian king Petar Krešimir IV. Unfortunately, it was razed to the ground a hundred years later during a campaign launched by the Republic of Venice. The Benedictines fled to the city of Šibenik, before moving permanently to the island of Pašman, establishing churches of St. Kuzma and Damjan.

Biograd – St. Anastasia Church 2 – Photo by Discover Biograd-800×533

Plan Overview of St. John the Baptist Basilica – Photo by Roberta F. as licensed under Creative Commons Solution

Remains of St. John The Baptist Basilica – Photo by Roberta F. as licensed under Creative Commons Solution

Did You Know?

  • Walking tours will give you an insight into historical intrigues of this medieval Croatian town. You will hear details about legends and historical figures, such as Pope Alexander III who sailed through the Pašman Canal in 1177, as well as the story on what it was like to see the world-famous singer Beyonce Knowles celebrating her birthday on her yacht in the same canal.
  • Sunken Venetian ship from the 16th century as part of the same tour tells historical details about the famous merchant ship that sank in 1583 and whose exact location was not known for more than 400 years.
  • The treasure from the Venetian ship was accidentally discovered by fishermen from Murter in 1967. Today, more than 10,000 valuable objects are part of the “Cargo of a Sunken Vessel from the 16th century” collection in the Homeland Museum of Biograd na Moru.
  • The local Homeland Museum was built on the ruins of the medieval walls at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, and as part of it, the District Court established for the Emperor and King Franjo Josip I – in 1876 operated for a number of years. The museum preserves valuable monumental heritage as part of collections that include archeological, ethnographic, historical, artistic and special collection “Cargo of sunken broad from the 16th century”.

Homeland Museum -Photo by Homeland Museum of Biograd

Homeland Museum -Photo by Homeland Museum of Biograd

Homeland Museum -Photo by Homeland Museum of Biograd

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