The old croatian boat Condura Croatica
The historical story of Nin is the story of prosperity based on salt as well as its long maritime tradition, together with recognisable boats called Condura Croatica.
These boats were found at the entrance to the port of Nin in 1966, and taken out of the sea in 1974 when the desalination, conservation and restoration began in Zadar. They sailed at the end of the 11th and the beginning of the 12th century, and is supposed that it was these very boats mentioned by the Emperor Constantin Porfirogenet in the 10th century when he spoke about the old Croatian navy. This is the reason why the boats were called Condura Croatica.
Interestingly, these are the smallest but the most deadly war ships in the world's history, of which the Croats-as we find out from the description of the Byzantine Emperor Porfirogenet –possessed around eighty. They were 7-8 m long, narrow and built in the classical manner, with the ribs and panelling of the boat's starboard connected with wooden and iron nails. In the situation where there were favourable winds, a square sail would be used. They were also used as fast rowing boats.
These boats were made and probably sailed during the reign of the Croatian national Kings, Krešimir IV and Zvonimir. Historical records say that during the reign of King Krešimir IV. Croatia possessed up to 20,000 rowers on Conduras. Some sources also say that King Tomislav, in Nin alone had 15,000 rowers ready on Conduras.
The discovered Condura Croatica, is kept today in the Museum of Nin Antiquites in a special pavillion, and a replica is exhibited in the sea near the lower city bridge. But that is not all-in the same museum a copy of part of the boat Serilia Liburnica from the 1st century can be seen, exactly the same as the one found in the ancient port of old Nin (Aenona), in present day Zaton Holiday Resort.
However, in order to visualise the appearance of these historical boats, it is not necessary to go to museums, it is enough just to look at the shallow Nin sea where about 100 wooden boats, masterpieces of traditional boat-building, sail, and are called „kaić“, „plazulja“ or „batela“. To see them and sail in them will be an encounter with tradition and pleasure at the same time. Past and present have joined in Nin for you....
Church of st. Nicholas
Did you know that a widely known symbol of Nin is the Romanesque church of St. Nicholas from 11th/12th century, built on a hummock and also used as the coronation church? National folk legend has it that in Nin seven kings were crowned, and during the coronation, accompanied by a magnificent escort, the crowned ruler would ride to the Church of St. Nicholas where he was presented to the people. From that hummock, as a sign of his royal power, he would strike a sword to all four cardinal points.