History of Nin
The past for the present
Nin has a three thousand year old history, which is not only recorded in history books but the visitor literally walks on it, or learns about it from the rich museum collections. It was founded by the Ilyrian tribe of Liburnians in the 9th century BC and known by the name Aenona. Thanks to archaeological excavations in this place, the development of Liburnian culture can be followed. The settlement on the small island was surrounded by walls, and the houses were built using the drystone- wall technique, and judging from historical evidence the people were prosperous.
During the Roman rule, Nin was an important municipality and sea port. The remains of houses and the mozaics bear witness to a pleasant and wealthy lifestyle considering the circumstances. For trade purposes a large port was built located in the present day area of Zaton Holiday Resort. The most important complex from Roman times was the Forum with Capitolium. There was also a monumental temple, by size one of the biggest in our area. The level of development is supported by the fact that Nin at that time also had a water supply system and along with important public buildings, it is also supposed to have had a thermal bath and amphitheatre.
In its long history Nin was destroyed several times, but it rose again, only to be completely destroyed in 1646 when Venice sacrificed it in order to save the fort of Zadar from Turkish invasion. That end, as many times earlier was also its new beginning.
But what most clearly determines and connects the history of Nin with the present day, is the fact that it was the first political, religious and cultural centre of medieval Croatia. It was the place where the Croatian state was born. Nin is also the oldest Croatian royal town, a permanent or occasional seat of national rulers: dukes Višelav, Trpimir and Branimir, Kings Tomislav, Petar Krešimir IV. and Zvonimir, dukes Šubić from Bribir etc… Nin was a diocese from 9th -19th century. Nin's bishops were famous for the Croatian Church, among them the most prominent was Grgur Ninski, a fighter for the preservation of the Croatian folk script, glagolitic..
Rich archaeological finds from Nin's history can be seen in museums, illustrating how in the course of their history they have been deeply intertwined with the present of the oldest royal Croatian town, and the cradle of the Croatian state. Rarely does a visitor find such a rich history and dynamic present so intertwined as a tourist offer, and all of this with just one wish: that the visitor has something to see and enjoy, and because of this will come back again.
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.