Nin is a charming city just 14 km from Zadar. Old town is situated on a small town in the center of bay, connected with two bridges to the mainland. The fairytale impression of the city of Nin is enhanced by the view of the magnificent Velebit mountain. Discover an impressive sandy lagoon, a church that is also a sundial, a 1500-year-old saltworks and other hidden historical treasures.
Listed below you will find a list of a must see and do for Nin, if you love exploring the city on your own. But if you are up to experiencing the city with friendly guide and all the tastings included then click for the Tour to Royal town of Nin, story of salt and wine tasting.
1. Church of Holly Cross
The Church of Holly Cross is considered a symbol of the city of Nin, and also a symbol of the Zadar region because it is located on the amblem and flag of Zadar County. The church was built in the 9th century, and due to its original shape and beauty, it is considered a representative example of early medieval architecture. The church is often compared to the famous Stonehenge because the windows on the church are set so that during the solstices and equinoxes sunlight falls at a specific angle, so the church serves as a kind of sundial. Therefore, on the first day of summer, locals organize the Festival of the Sun and Light.
2. Parish church of St. Anselm
Parish church of St. Anselm is situated in the center of Nin old town. It is built in 6th century and during the time of the Croatian national rulers it was the cathedral of the city of Nin. It has been destroyed several times throughout history, and its present appearance was formed in the 18th century. Nin’s rich religious and cultural past is confirms valuable Treasury of the parish church, held in the side chapel, which has been open to the public since 1981. The most significant objects are the relics of St. Anselm, St. Marcella and St. Ambrose, some of them dating from 8th century.
3. Nin’s lagoon and Queen’s beach
Nin’s Lagoon and Queen’s Beach is one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Croatia, it was once a favorite relaxing place of King Tomislav’s wife. It is about 3 km long and is an ideal place for families with children because of the shallow and warm sea. In the vicinity of the beach is the largest locality of medicinal mud in Croatia. Mud is used to treat various ailments such as rheumatic diseases, spinal deformities, locomotor system problems, various skin problems and more.
4. Nin saltworks
Salt is one of the essential spices in food, used for food conservation and it also regulates vitality processes in the human body. The importance of this spice was recognized in ancient times and it was valued as gold, so it is often called “white gold”. Thanks to its position and natural wealth, Nin beared the title “king” among salt producers for centuries. Nin’s salt is special because of its traditional production and specific taste, which can be attributed to its convenient geographical position, a large number of hours of sunshine and characteristic winds blowing from Velebit mountain, and as well a high percentage of iodine. The main characteristic of salt production in Nin is that it is not produced with the help of technology, but the whole production process takes place in the traditional way. If you find yourself in Nin, be sure to visit the Nin’s salt works, which includes the Museum and the House of Salt, where you will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the traditional tools that were used and are still being used in the production of Nin salt.
5. Remains of the Roman temple
In the very center of old town, on the location of former’s Roman forum you will spot remains of monumental Roman temple. According to its dimensions, it was the largest temple on the Eastern coast of the Adriatic. The temple dates back to the 1st century and today the space of the former forum is dominated by a Corinthian pillar in the original height of 17 m.
6. Remains of the Roman villa and mosaics
A 2nd century Roman urban villa was discovered in 1999. It is the most preserved Roman villa in Dalmatia. Rare black-and-white floor mosaics of high quality and interesting depictions of animals and geometric decorations have been preserved in several rooms in situ.
7. Condura Croatica
The recognizable historical ships Condura Croatica date from the end of the 11th and the beginning of the 12th century. Those 7-8 m long and narrow wooden boats were used as fast rowing boats. The remains of the mentioned ship were accidentally found in Nin in 1966, and today it is in the Museum of Nin Antiquities in Nin, and you can find a replica in the sea near the city bridge.
8. Gregory of Nin
Gregory of Nin was one of the most important bishops of Nin and a great advocate of the Old Slavonic language and the Glagolitic alphabet. The bronze statue located in Nin is the work of the famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović and is one of three such statues in Croatia (the other two are in Split and Varaždin). It is believed that whoever touches Gregory’s thumb will have his wish fulfilled. Our advice is to visit Nin and try your luck yourself!
9. Šokol (Authentic cured meat product)
Šokol is traditional cured meat product that has been prepared in Nin area since ancient times. It is prepared from pork meat that first lies in salt for a few days, then it is put into cooked red wine and specific spices. After that, just like Dalmatian prosciutto, it is put on smoke for a few days, and then on the wind with a “bura” north-east wind, which is often considered to be the most crucial factor for the quality of Šokol. The recipe is secret and is passed on for generations. Due to the growing popularity of Šokol, since 2003, the so-called Šokol Festival is being organized. It is a competition among local producers that attracts more and more visitors every year.