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Dugi otok History and archeology


Dugi otok writes its own history for thousands of years, and the fact that it was inhabited from the earliest times is testified by the remains of buildings scattered around the island.

Dugi otok was first mentioned in mid-10th century by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, who in his “De administrando imperio” mentions it under the name Pizuh. In the beginning of the 11th century the island was called Insula Tilagus in written documents, and this name is preserved in the name of Telašćica bay. The island’s present name was given in the 15th century.

The island was inhabited very early as evidenced by archaeological finds from the field Krševanje polje, Veli Rat and cave Vlakno which originate from the Old and Middle Stone Age (Paleolithic and Mesolithic). The island holds the remains of Illyrian settlements (Omišenjak, Koženjak, Veli Brčastac) with or without fortified characteristics (Vrtlaci), then numerous piles (Gominjak,Čuh polje) and a cemetery (Dugo polje). During the excavations in the cave Vlakno in 2011, the remains of a human skeleton were found, whose age was estimated at 11 000 years ago (early Mesolithic). The press named him “the oldest Dalmatian Šime” (a very common Dalmatian name) and the archaeologists estimated that he was 40 years old at the time of death, between 168 and 172 centimetres tall and died of a nonviolent death. The scientific value is enormous because there are almost no human findings in Dalmatia from this period. The finding has been transferred to the Department of Archaeology, of the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences, and further research will reveal new details.

Testimony of the ancient time are the numerous scattered fragments of pottery, small monuments (sarcophagi, votive monuments) and remains of commercial buildings including the remains of which considerable attention should be paid to the economic complex at Mala Proversa and a votive monument of the imperial slave Euhemerus in honour of the goddess Diana, which indicates the existence of the imperial estates in the area of the Žman lake.

Early Christian and pre-Romanesque period is accompanied by a number of churches (St. John and St. Victor in Telašćica) many of which are well preserved churches like the church of St. Pelegrin in Savar.

Of the profane residential architecture a few examples from the period of the 16th to the 18th century have been preserved (Guerrini houses and the house Petricioli in Sali). These buildings represent a valuable contribution to the profane architecture of mannerist and baroque periods of the islands and Zadar.




100 mil.yrs. b.c.

Brbišćica The wider area of the island Dugi otok around the Brbišćica bay is built of carbonate rocks formed hundred million years ago. The rocks along the bay are the finding site of many tiny fossils invisible to the naked eye and also lots of fossils of large organisms. Beside the usual fossilized shells of that time, an extremely valuable fossil marine reptile was found. Today the limestone in this area is more karstified and we find interesting karst forms: sea flooded caves, passages and pits. Because of the geomorfological diversity, divers are very interested in the bay Brbiscica. That is the reason why several diving schools in Dugi otok provide diving lessons on this location.

Cave vlakno

11 000 yrs. b.c.

Cave vlakno An almost complete skeleton of one of the inhabitants of the cave, approximately 11 000 years old, was found lying in straight position placed near the fire site.
Flint and bone artefacts and remnants of their production point to the lifestyle of inhabitants of the cave.

Cave Strašna peć

5 000 – 3 500 yrs. b.c.

Cave Strašna peć Archaeological researches within the Cave Strašna Peć were never carrie d out. However, considering the immediate vicinity of the cave Vlakno, which represents an exceptional location as well as the caves Goat and Badanj, we can suggest that this cave, thanks to its geographical position, at the very least served as a temporary habitat for early human populations on the island. A flint artefact, a small knife from the Stone Age, was accidentally found and due to the shape of the rope and the handle it is possible to date it to the Neolithic representing a rare finding at this moment.

Grave mounds

2500 - 400 yrs. b.c.

Grave mounds The largest concentration is in the area of Čuh in Telašćice Nature Park. They were used for rituals or as lookout positions.

Illyrian grave

800 - 400 yrs. b.c.

Illyrian grave Based on the items found in the grave, it was established that it originated from the Liburnian Iron Age culture or from 8th - 5th century B.C. A tumulus of 15 m in diameter was surrounding the tomb.

Villa Rusticae

I st. a.d.

Villa Rusticae Telašćica has been inhabited since ancient times, as can bee seen from the remains of a Roman complex Villa Risticae in Mala Proversa passage. In 1951st research of the remains were carried out.

Small church on the hill koženjak

II-XI st. a.d.

Small church on the hill koženjak There are more hypothesis about the type of structure represented by the existing archaeological remains. One says that the ruins are from the Pre-Romanesque period, while the other says that the ruins may represent the remains of the Late Antique or Byzantine fortress.

Church of st Anthony

IV. ili V. st. a.d.

Church of st Anthony It is believed that it originates from the earliest Christian times. Today it is dedicated to St Anthony of Padua. Every year in the church a solemn mass is held.

Remains of the church of St Victor

VI. st. a.d.

Remains of the church of St Victor The church of St Victor is located on a high ground called Citorij, at 92 m above sea level. It was established that the church originated from the Early Christian period.


IV. – VII. st. a.d.

Crkvina On the SE part of the Island of Dugi otok, there are ruins that are dated back to the Early-Christian period, 4-7th century. Today here are only traces of the walls.

St Pelegrin, Savar

9. st. a.d.

St Pelegrin, Savar Sacred object of cultural heritage (7th -9th century). The church consists of the nave, the altar and the sacristy. The core is a square altar space vaulted with a dome. The altar area is actually a small pre-Romanesque church to which the nave and the sacristy were added later.

The oldest mention of fishery in croatia

10. st. a.d.

The oldest mention of fishery in croatia It is believed that fishing in this area was one of important activities for the survival of man since ancient times. Croatian fishery is for the first time mentioned in the 10th century in one document.

Remains of the church of St John

10.- 11. st. a.d.

Remains of the church of St John On the field margins, the small sacral object was built. Documents mention it also as Sancti Iohannis. It is assumed that it has been used as parish church.

St. Nicholas, sučevno luka

14. st. a.d.

St. Nicholas, sučevno luka According to archival sources the construction of the church begun in 1378. A tank was subsequently excavated within the church. The church walls are preserved in full height as well as the buildings’ shallow vaulted apse which is completely preserved.

Fortification Grpašćak


Fortification Grpašćak The fort was built during the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in the first half of the 20th century (1911) and served exclusively as the military lookout point of the Austro-Hungarian Navy.

Traces of the past

Dugi otok

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