Top Historic Sights in Nin, Croatia

Explore the historic highlights of Nin

Church of the Holy Cross

Church of the Holy Cross Crkva svetog Križa) is a Pre-Romanesque Catholic church originating from the 9th century in Nin. According to a theory from an art historian Mladen Pejaković, the design has an intentionally unbalanced elliptical form designated to 'follow' the position of the Sun, retaining the functionality of a calendar and sundial. In its beginning, in the time of the Croatian principality, it was ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Nin, Croatia

St. Anselm Church

The parish Church of St. Anselm located in the centre of Nin, was the Nin cathedral during the rule of Croatian Kings and later. It was built in the 6th century and restored during the reign of King Zvonimir in 1070 and through history suffered damage several times and assumed its present-day appearance in the 18th century. On one side of the Bell Tower the lateral chapel of St Marcela called Our Lady of Zečevo leans aga ...
Founded: 1070 | Location: Nin, Croatia

St Nicholas Church

A recognisable symbol of Nin is the Church of St Nicholas, located in the field of Prahulje, it is very important for the rulers of the Croatian dynasty and for the history of Croatia and Nin. According to tradition, seven Kings were crowned in Nin, and every crowned ruler rode on horseback to the Chruch of Saint Nicholas, and it was in fact here that he would be presented to the people by the same symbolic ritual-on that ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Nin, Croatia

Roman Temple of Nin

Remains of the Roman temple from the 1st century AD in the time of the Roman emperor Vespasian. It was the largest Roman temple on the east side of the Adriatic sea with the dimensions of 33 meters in length and 23.5m in width. It is located in the very center of Nin.
Founded: 1st century AD | Location: Nin, Croatia

St. Ambrose Church

The Church of St Ambrose from the 13th century is a beautiful single-nave church with Romanesque-Gothic characteristics. It is located near the Upper City Gate where once the Benedictine Monastery of St Ambrose stood, whose original construction was mentioned as early as 941. The church got its present-day look when it was renovated in 1992. The front side of the Church has characteristics of Romanesque architecture with ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Nin, Croatia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.