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Primosten is not an unknown name to visitors of Croatia. This charming settlement can be found in region of Dalmatia, between two larger towns called Sibenik and Trogir. It has numerous sites of astonishing natural beauty as well as very developed tourist infrastructure, making it one of the most notable destinations of Croatia’s renowned coastline. But in addition to all aforementioned traits, history of Primosten is also something worth reading about. Here is a short introduction to this town’s glorious past.

Primosten Shores

Our story begins in 11th century Bosnia, which was under attack by Turkish forces. Thousands of people were seeking refuge, running away from conflict which won’t cease for centuries to come. Some of them belonged to Bogomil religion, a Christian sect influenced by Gnostic teachings. These people moved to Croatian town of Sibenik, asking the officials whether they can dwell on their territories. Fundamentally, they were brought to a small southern valley, and formed a coastal settlement in the vicinity.

However, war was going pretty well for the Turks, and they arrived to this region as well. At the end of 15th century, descendants of bogomil refugees had to flee the old foe, moving their settlement on a nearby island. They connected it with the mainland via large wooden bridge, which could be lifted in case of enemy invasion, keeping local population safe. In the middle of 16th century, historical documents begin to mention the settlement by its name.

Primosten, beach, Adriatic, Dalmatia, summer

Time went on, and Primosten slowly became a notable regional source of culture and commerce. With Ottoman invaders retreating from Europe, the wooden bridge was no longer needed, so the locals replaced it with a causey. As Austro-Hungarian Empire crumbled, the town was occupied by Italian forces during World War One.

World War Two has been a very difficult time for Primosten residents. In late 1942, fascist forces were ordered to perform a strike against civilian population of the town in order to retaliate for certain Allied successes. One Italian commander didn’t want to cause such suffering, and has notified Primosten clergyman about upcoming assault. When fascist troops begun their attack, a lot of civilians have retreated from their homes. Nevertheless, over 50 locals were killed, and many structures were destroyed. This happened on November 16th , which became a very important date for people of Primosten, and is annually celebrated as thanksgiving holiday dedicated to Lady of Loreto.

Years following World War Two were equally harsh to Primosten. A lot of infrastructure was destroyed, but locals refused to leave their homes. Instead, they turned towards production of wine. Even today, their brand “Babic” is highly regarded on Croatia’s enological scene.

Zvonimir Barisin / CROPIX Agency
Zvonimir Barisin / CROPIX Agency

Things changed in 60’s when the settlement developed close ties with Esperantists. Promoters of universal language made their own camp in Primosten, which was annually visited by thousands of their sympathizers. Naturally, this gave a huge boost to settlement’s tourist potential, and soon first hotels were built in the settlement.

Indeed, history of Primosten has been full of falls and rises. The town remains to be one of the most vital assets to Croatia’s tourist offer, and will certainly provide a hospitable home to multitudes of guests in the upcoming summer. If you plan to be among them, don’t forget to send us a photo or two of your Dalmatian leisure. Just upload them to LC’s Facebook Wall and earn a chance to become our daily contributor.


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