Dugi otok › Culture
The cultural heritage of Dugi otok is exceptionally rich and diverse. In each place on Dugi otok one can find centuries-old buildings, especially when it comes to parish churches.
The island was also known for its Glagolitic tradition and in various archives and private collections of Glagolitic texts from almost every place on Dugi otok can be found. There are also inscriptions in stone on churches and on private homes. The most striking are the sacred objects that testify to the concern that the residents dedicated their spiritual life.
Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sali
In the church collection of monuments there are two fragments of stone plastic decorated with threefold braids. These two fragments are part of the same baluster that is secondarily used as a gravestone. Many such sites have been found on the area of the early medieval Croatian state and based on these analogies we may assume that the time of construction of the church was from the end of 9th to the end of 10th century (pre-Romanesque period).
This church was pulled down in 1465 and a larger one was erected by a local artisan Juraj Lukačević. In the 16th century its portal was modified and a new one of renaissance form was built in as well as a font with the year 1561 marked on it. Twenty years later, in 1581, its shrine was pulled down in order to add an ample space consisting of three naves with a sacristy and the church was then given a ground plan in form of a Latin cross.
The monumental wooden high altar dates back to the 17th century and has a Baroque relief panel with two subsequently inserted early Renaissance pictures that are actually parts of destroyed polyptych. These are the pictures of “Mother of God “and “Dead Christ”. Drawing, shape and certain objects of the pictures point to Padua circle of the second half of the 15th century. Among goldsmith pieces worth of mentioning are several crosses and chalices of Gothic style and without a doubt the work of goldsmiths from the city of Zadar.
Church of St. John, Sali
The church of St. John appeared very early in documents. Its oldest monument dates back to 1064 or 1065, when the church was mentioned under the name Cela Sancti Iohannis. Based on found remnants of architecture and stone plastic it is estimated that the church dates back to the pre-Romanesque period (9th century). However, in more recent studies there are conclusions that it originates from earlier period dating back to the 5th or 6th century, what is evident by the discovery of votive altars with dedications to Hercules what lead us to the conclusion that the church itself was build partly integrated into the ancient commercial property.
Its continuity went through pre-Romanesque period, which is confirmed by discovered remnants of stone plastic dated from that time. The church existed also in Romanesque and Gothic period, which is confirmed by written documents and discovered fragment of Roman console.
Church of St. Victor, Sali
The ruins of the church of St. Victor are located on a high ground called Citorij, on the south-eastern end of Stivanja gora. It was built on a gentle slope of the plateau on southern side at 92 meters above sea level, with a view of the open sea.
During 2008 the Archaeological Museum of Zadar conducted a revising research of the ruins of the church which fully clarified the character of the building.
Based on older flooring found in the church board, on movable items (pottery, bronze cross and fragments of glass) and layout characteristics, it was established that the church originated from the early Christian period, i.e., the second half of the 5th or the beginning of the 6th century.
The renovation took place in the late 10th century.
At that time the church was equipped with new stone furniture whose fragments were found in earlier research. Pottery from the Early Bronze Age was discovered on the site and that testifies that before the construction of the church there was a Bronze Age tumulus on the same site. This church is the oldest sacred building from early Christian time and the inner part of Telašćica, the port of St. Victor got the name after it.
There are ruins of architecture and fragments of church furniture (two fragments of baluster and impost capital). Unfortunately, until today there have been no archaeological excavations on Koženjak in Sali, so that we don't have any indications as to how the church, whose fragments of stone furniture those are, looked like. This site is interesting considering that it is a prehistoric structure which later in late antiquity served as a fortress that oversaw the marine waterway as evidenced by the small fragments of Byzantine ceramics found recently.
Possible remnants on the locality of Koženjak in Sali is possible to determine only by archaeological excavations, which, considering the existing ruined walls and discovered fragments of stone plastic, should be conducted at all costs.
On the small hill of Sukavac, in the southeast of Dugi otok, in the midst of peninsula that on the north side closes the Telašćica bay in Sali, are the ruins of a small church that are traditionally called “Crkvina”.
It consists of a longitudinal right-angled nave measuring 5 x 3, 70 m and semicircular apse 2, 5 m wide and 1, 70 m deep. According to some sources this church was probably dedicated to St. Luke. In the immediate vicinity, remains of the Illyrian and Roman times were found and it is very likely that there existed a small settlement for whose purposes this small church was built in late antiquity.
St. Pelegrin, Savar
Church of St. Pelegrin (World Heritage Site) is a pre-Romanesque construction of central shape, angular ground plan with ovoid dome on pillars. Although the date of its origin is a matter of dispute and some scientists estimate that it was built even before the 9th century, it presents an original specimen of that architecture period.