Often referred to as Croatia’s Bethlehem, Nin is Croatia’s oldest royal city and cradle of the Croatian state. Located 14 kilometers north-west of Zadar, the small town has an astoundingly rich history, evident in the ruins of the biggest Roman temple on this side of the Adriatic, to name just one of its archeological findings. The Museum of Nin Antiquities can make you feel even closer to the life of the area in ancient times. But what else can one see and do in Nin?
You can see one of Judas’ silver coins
Of the 30 pieces of silver Judas received for revealing Jesus, approximately 16 have been preserved to this day. One of these identical coins dating to the 4th century B.C. is on display in Nin. You can find it in the Treasury of Sacred Art, located in front of the 13th century chapel of Gospa od Zeceva. You’ll have to leave the city, though, to see it, as this particular church is located on the small island of Zecevo, 5 NM by sea or 13 KM by land to the north of Nin.
You can eat sea-salt chocolate
The saltworks located in Nin produces salt employing the very same methods used in Roman times. In addition to ordinary salt, it makes “Fleur De Sel”. This hand-harvested, top layer of sea salt, rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium, is considered the caviar of salt and is accordingly priced in the ballpark of 350 HRK / 46.50 € per kilogram. It is used in a surprising alliance of sweet and salty in the form of sea-salt chocolate, which you can purchase in the saltworks’ souvenir shop.
You can have your wishes fulfilled
In the heart of the old part of Nin you will find the bronze statue of Bishop Gregory of Nin, an important figure in Croatian history who struggled to preserve Croatian Glagolitic script. An identical statue is located in Varazdin and a larger version stands tall in Split. The shiniest part of this statue is the big toe on Bishop Gregory’s left foot. This is because it is believed that touching it will make your wish of the moment come true. There’s one way to find out if it works.
You can get dirty and well
With six long, sandy beaches, Nin has more sand beaches than any other destination on the Croatian coast. Among them is Kraljicina plaza (“Queen’s Beach”), considered to be one of Croatia’s most beautiful beaches and known for its Peloid mud. This black mud has been used for medical purposes since Roman times. Today, medical staff from the Zadar Medical center assists visitors and patients with mud therapy on the beach every day at 8 a.m. You are more than welcome to join. Go ahead and get dirty. It’s good for you!