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Zadar Travel Blog: Top 5 Things to do in Nin
Nin, the place where the Croatian state was born, and seven kings were crowned. Nin is only 15 km from Zadar, making it a short drive or bus ride and perfect for a great day trip.
The town of Nin was founded by the Liburnians in the 9th century BC. So it’s fair to say it has a long history. The age of Nin is evident as you walk through its cobblestone streets and pass by buildings and ruins which are centuries old. With all this history there is quite a bit to see, and you can easily make a day of it. Nin town center is located on a small island in the middle of a shallow lagoon and is connected to the mainland by two stone bridges.
Here are our top 5 things to do in Nin.
1. Take a Dip at Queens Beach
Nin has over 8km’s of beaches, but the Jewel in the Crown is the 3km long Queens beach. As most of you are aware, long stretches of sandy beach are rare in Croatia, so this place is perfect for those that prefer a sandy beach. The beach is part of the Nin Lagoon, which is made up of sand and mud, which shift with tides, weather, and prevailing currents. The beach is perfect for families as the sea is very shallow in this bay making it easy for your kids to play safely.
2. Make a Wish by Rubbing The Gregory of Nin’s Toe
The Grgur Ninski (Gregory of Nin) is a legend in Croatia. He was a 10th-century bishop, who opposed the Pope and introduced Slavic language in the churches. There is a big bronze statue of him in Nin, which was designed by Croatia’s most famous sculptor, Ivan Meštrović. It’s actually quite impressive, and if you’re not familiar with Ivan Mestrovic’s work take a look. You’ll also find the Grgur Ninski in Split and Varaždin. It is said, that rubbing his big toe will bring you luck. You will see for yourselves that Gregory’s big toe is very well polished.
3. Pay a Visit to The Remains of a Roman Temple
In the heart of Nin, you’ll find the remains of a Roman temple, which is the biggest on the east coast of the Adriatic sea. The temple dates from the second half of the 1st century AD from the reign of the Roman Emperor Vespazian 69-79 AD. Interestingly, there are all types of remains from the Romans around Nin, if you look hard enough, they are easy to find.
4. Visit The Churches of Nin
OK, this may sound a little boring but trust me it’s not. The first is the church of Saint Nicholas, and it’s the cool little church you see perched on a mound as you drive into Nin from Zadar. This church has in some ways become a symbol of Nin and makes for a fantastic photo. Historically, it was paramount, because seven Kings were crowned in Nin, and every crowned ruler rode on horseback to the Chruch of Saint Nicholas, and it was here that he would be presented to the people.
The second is the Church of the Holy Cross and is unofficially known as the smallest cathedral in the world. This is one of Croatia’s most famous remaining monuments to Croatian religious architecture and was constructed in such a way that light fills the chapel on the exact date of the equinox and solstice.
5. Visit The Museum of Nin Antiquities
When I first visited this little museum, I was completely shocked about some of the antiquities they had on display. Seriously, who knew women in pre-historic times were also obsessed with their appearance! Tweezers, brushes, and clips along with many other things. This place has some very cool exhibits including two 11th century Croatian boats called Condura Croatica. All the items housed in the museum were discovered in Nin over the years.
What other things to do in Nin would you suggest?
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