A lot of people do not know about Kosljun, a small island in the vicinity of Krk, although it actually has some rather unique features. It served as a retreat for family vacations of Roman nobles, and later became a hermitage to Roman Catholic clergy of the Benedictine order.
Local legend says that Kosljun was actually a fruitful plain in the past, owned by two brothers. One of them was blind, and was cheated by the seeing brother over the land property. This made God very angry and a huge flood struck the plain, leaving only the blind brother’s house and his land intact. This is how Kosljun came to existence.
Today, island’s main inhabitants are members of the Franciscan order who live in a 600-year-old monastery. They also keep a library with over 30,000 books, some of them as old as the monastery itself. Other buildings of interest include Crkva Navjestenja Marijina (The Church of Mary’s Annunciation) and Crkva Svetog Bernardina (The Church of St. Bernardino). The age of the first one is about half of a millennium, and the second one is even older.
A local forest path brings visitors to the stations of the cross and the small kapela Svetog Kriza (The chapel of St. Cross) also known as “Jerusolim.”
A miracle occurred on the island in 1723, when tears and sweat started to pour from a statue of crucified Christ. Several witnesses confirmed the story, although the official Church did not proclaim an official stance towards the phenomenon.
Since most of the island is under the surveillance of the monks, some rules have to be followed during the visit. First, there are no beaches and there is no swimming on Kosljun, and guests are instructed to dress politely. This might put some people off, but those who understand the concept of hermitage will probably respect such a decision.
Such will probably love the idea of living in the monastery. Believe it or not, every now and then the monks accept young males interested in spirituality to join them for a week and live as one of them. Who knows, they might actually feel for the vocation to such a life and join the order on Kosljun forever.