Croatia numbers 78 larger islands and more than 500 inlets, each of them having its own tale and place in the history book. Yet, it is Baljenac, an isle in the vicinity of Sibenik that is gaining notable attention on global scale. This relatively tiny spot in Adriatic Sea has no more than 0,14 square meters in size, but it is possesses a rather unique trait. It is almost completely covered with hand-built drywalls.
The structures were built through a long period of time, and were used for variety of reasons, mostly of agricultural nature. The entire length of the drywall system numbers 23 kilometers and 357 meters. The construction included no modern tools or machines. It was made by physical strength and mental endurance of local people.
Most of these were residents of the neighboring Island of Kaprije. They were very active in managing their estates on Baljenac just one century ago. The males would usually transport women on rowing boats to inlet’s wild shores. The ladies would work in the fields, while men would spend their day on the sea. Once evening would come, the fishermen would return for their spouses and bring them back to Kaprije.
It was a difficult life, by every mean, but it was surrounded with fascinating beauty of Croatian Sea and its lovely coastline. Today, however, times have changed. New generations are showing little interest to work on Baljenac, as its soil is slowly giving ground to an emerging pine tree forest.
However, the island is receiving notable attention on international scale. A letter from local officials was sent to UNESCO, inquiring whether drywalls in Croatia could become a part of World Inheritance List. If this request is approved in future, Baljenac might truly become a very popular destination in Croatia, and one of its most prominent cultural and historical symbols.
If you are venturing the waters near Sibenik, feel free to explore this little-yet-original site. Note that inlet has no port, so you should be careful if approaching with your own vessel.