The poet Petar Zoranić of Nin
Each famous place has its own poet or chronicler, famous or anonymous. With its historical role of being the cradle of the Croatian State, Nin deserved to be the forerunner in every respect, and so in 1536, it was here that the first Croatian novel called „Planine“ (Mountains) was written.
Its author was Petar Zoranić from Nin, born in 1508. The earliest data about his life originates from 1531 when he was mentioned as a paid public notary of Nin, lawyer and court scribe from which can be concluded that he had studied law, probably in Padua. It is not known how long he lived, the latest written information about him dates from 1543, and it is known that he died before 1569 when „Planine“ was published in Venice. It is thanks to him that Zadar along with Hvar, Korčula, Split and Dubrovnik became on of the centres of Croatian Renaissance Art and Words.
The pastoral novel „Planine“- the predominant genre in the 16th and the 17th century-is a unique work of its kind in Croatian literature. This pastoral-allegorical novel was written in prose and verse, and the poet tried to awaken his fellow countrymen's love towards their native land, toward the Croatian homeland and towards Croatian people. The main point of the fable is the poet's imaginary journey across Croatian mountains which he undertakes in order to forget unrequited love. The starting point of the journey is Nin from which the poet set off by sea to Starigrad at the foot of Velebit, and then uphill, through Paklenica across Velebit to Lika and then to the Dinara Mountain and then down the river Krka to Šibenik and form there by sea back to the starting point-his Nin. Although at first sight it is a travelogue, the idea of the work is patriotic-under the influence of his poetic idols such as Sannazar, Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio, Ovid, Virgil, ....he describes his country and realistically talks about the misfortune that happened to the people upon the Turkish invasion. At the same time he gives comfort to his fellow countrymen prophesises the future downfall of the Turks and reprimands the Croats who prefer to use the language of others rather than their own.
It is not surprising that the people of Nin are emotionally connected with their peot Petar to whom in 2008, they dedicated a memorial park marking the 500th anniversary of his birth. Today guests in Nin have organised trips to take them on the same routes described in his novel „Planine“.
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.