Murter - Island above the islands

Due to its history, recognizable settlements rich in tradition and culture, indented coast and large archipelago, organization and way of life, and above all the attachment to the ship and sailing, which has remained the dominant identity of Murter, Murter is an island above islands.

From traditional farmers in Tisno to fishermen and sailors in Jezera, to the Kornati from Murter and the builder of ships "kalafata" from Betina, each of them tells his story through songs, customs, events and gastronomy of one of the most special Croatian islands. Murter is also the largest island in the Šibenik region, and it hides one of the most beautiful beaches on the Adriatic - Slanica beach.

Murter owes its name to a carved stone trough

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During its long but little known history, the island of Murter has changed its name several times. The first mention of the island is recorded in the works of Pliny the Elder and Ptolemy under the name Scardon, on which was located Colentum. The Croatian name of the island Srimac (Srimač) appears in 1251 when the Hungarian-Croatian king Bela determined the borders of the Šibenik commune. Since the 14th century, the island has been known as in theula Mortari, probably because of the dangerous navigation along its shores. Over time, the name was shortened, and from 1740 the name Murter was established.

Although it was believed that his name had something to do with death, the prevailing opinion today is that Murter owes its name to an ancient carved stone trough that was part of an oil press, and was called mortarium. Such an origin of the name points to the long tradition of olive growing in this area, where over 170 olives were once cultivated and about sixty wagons of oil were produced annually. It was the Murter olive oil that won the gold medal for quality at the international oil exhibition in Eix, France, in 000, and the tradition in the quality of olive oil production has continued to this day.

Ancient Colentum

It was located near today's settlement of Murter the ancient city of Colentum whose remains lie at the foot of Gradina hill. Colentum flourished most probably during the reigns of the Roman emperors Nero (37-68) and Vespasian (9-79) whose money was found during the first archaeological excavations. The city had typical ancient architecture, two-story houses, water cisterns, thermal baths and narrow streets paved with stone slabs.

Archaeologists have discovered luxury terraced buildings arranged down the slope of Gradina, with facades facing the sea. Colentum is believed to have been torn down and looted by pirates in the early 2nd century or to have been destroyed in an earthquake. Although part of the ruins along the coast have been restored, Colentum has never regained its old splendor. Formerly Colentum, it is today archeological park with lookouts, promenades and a unique archeological beach.

From the Middle Ages to the present day

In the Middle Ages, the island of Murter was inhabited by Slavs. It is assumed that the Slavic population inhabited the island, finding an empty ancient settlement. At that time, two settlements were formed on the island, Villa Magna and Veliko Selo - today's Murter and Jezera, while settlements Tisno and Betina formed later at the time of the Ottoman attacks. Over time, due to the overcrowding of places and islands, the hunger for new arable and pasture areas became a way of life and behavior. All desirable areas were located outside the home island on the adjacent mainland and on the islands.

Due to historical events, the town of Murter had its first port, and even today it has, in proportion to its population, the most ships on the Adriatic, the most wooden ships and the most ships with traditional sails. In memory of sailing, which was a way of life due to such a scattered estate, the largest regatta of Latin sails on the Adriatic is held in Murter at the end of September. 

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