Island Zlarin

Zlarin (Italian: Slarino) is a small island of the Dalmatian coast of Croatia near the city of Šibenik. Administratively, it is part of the Šibenik-Knin County. In winter times the island has a population of 276 people,[1] but from March to October its population grows substantially up to 1,500 people. Zlarin has a large expatriate community.Zlarin’s highest point is Klepac at 174 metres above sea level. During bright and sunny days from this point you can see Mount Velebit and volcanic Jabuka island in the Adriatic sea. Zlarin has a myriad of fig and cypress trees, and other natural plants. Inner parts of the island are uninhabited and covered with thick forest. Zlarin is one of few islands on the Adriatic Sea that do not allow access to cars.

Geographical position

Zlarin is, with an area of 8.19 km², and 18.7 km of coastline[2], the third largest island of the Šibenik archipelago, south-west from Šibenik in middle Dalmatia. It is situated a bit more than 2 km far from the mainland. In the administrative and territorial partition of the Republic of Croatia, Zlarin belongs to the Šibenik-Knin county, more precisely to the city of Šibenik. The island is connected to the mainland cities of Šibenik and Vodice by ship, about 10 times a day.


There is evidence of life on Zlarin since prehistory from Neolithic times to Roman ages. There is also evidence that Liburnians often visited and maybe lived on Zlarin.1245. In a document called “Privilegije” from Béla IV of Hungary, the name of Zlarin is mentioned as part of the City of Šibenik.1298. The name of Zlarin is mentioned in an official paper where the city of Šibenik gives the entire island to the Bishop of Šibenik (until 1843).1458. The brotherhood of the Lady of Raselj Church has its own statute which is the first Čakavian matricula on Latin script. The legend about the building of the church of the Lady of Raselj says that the church was planned to be built on the hill of Klepac. However, some people found a picture of the Lady on a tree near the today’s location of the church. They moved the picture to Klepac, but next day it disappeared and was re-discovered on the same place. So, they decided to build the church there. The correct date of the construction is unknown but it is confirmed that it occurred before March 1448.1621. In the bay of Bućina a small chapel is built, with one picture from the Tizian painting school.1649. Šibenik nobles are escaping to Zlarin because of the plague epidemic.1735. The second church in Zlarin is built, the Assumption of Mary Church, bigger, on the place of the old church.1810. An elementary school is opened on the island.1826. Zlarin becomes the center of the district.1835. A cholera outbreak kills 70 of approximately 1400 inhabitants of the island.1839. The public clock tower, the Leroj, was built.1852. Zlarin school becomes the main district school.1909. The Leroj clock is renovated.1929. A small power plant is built.WWII During the Second World War the inhabitants of Zlarin were resisting the Fascist occupation, many of them died. After the war, many Zlarinians have reached high positions in the Yugoslav Army and Navy. During the war, Zlarin was bombed several times.1956. Zlarin is connected to the energy web of Croatia.1972. A small telephone central is opened; an everyday ship line to Šibenik is introduced.1975. Zlarin has its own magazine called “Pisma s otoka” (“Letters from the island”).1976. In the most significant development project on the island, water is brought there by waterway from cape Jadrija; 8 km of the waterways are built on the island.1977. A monument consisting of two great anchors, dedicated to all Zlarin sailors and emigrants, is risen on the second biggest pier of the Zlarin port.1991. During the Croatian War of Independence Zlarin is bombarded for the second time in 50 years, by Serbian artillery. In a separate incident following the ballistic mistake, the centre of the village was shot by a cannon grenade from Žirje.1993. The Papal nuncio opened a renovated and enlarged telephone central.2000. A waste processing plant is built; primarily sponsored by Anthony Maglica, as of March 2007, it has yet to become operational.


Zlarin is famous for its red corals. In summer, when many tourists are on the island, one may witness a ceremony that is held for sailors who are going to the sea at night to find corals. Dalmatian songs are sung, and men and women are dressed in folk costumes typical of the area. The ceremony is held to wish luck to the sailors.Traditional clothes are usually made of light fabric with three different colors, black, red and white. Women’s clothes are profusely decorated. It is customary to wear gold necklaces and earrings with folk clothes, as well as white socks and black shoes. Ladies wear knives on the back of folk clothes.Each year the yacht club of Zlarin organizes three boat regattas, “Zlarinska regata krstaša”, “Latinskin idrun na kureja” and New Year “Zlarinska regata krstaša”. “Latinskin idrun na kureja” is reserved for wooden boats built on old, exclusively hand-made traditional ways, and propelled by Latin sail (mainsail, triangular sail).Source: Wikipedia

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