Croatia is a country of sea, sun, and more than 1000 islands. Knowing this, it might sound little bit strange that one of the most beautiful and most recognizable Croatian islands is not surrounded by sea, but river. That is an island Visovac, situated on it’s namesake lake in the very heart of Krka National Park. Visovac’s gorgeous landscape is breath-taking: above the island is an infinite horizon, a bluish-green verdure of stone, surrounded by green tree trunks and blue-green water surface with the resemblance of willow, sieve and cypress. This scenery makes Visovac truly a unique oasis of peace.
The island of Visovac was inhabited in 1445 by the Franciscans who escaped from Bosnia, running away from Turkish attacks. On Visovac they have built a monastery of Mother of Grace and in the 17th century church dedicated to Our Lady of Visovac. In the church there is a picture of Our Lady of Visovac from 1576, which was intertwined by people in calm, joyful and painful moments.
What to see at Visovac?
A monastery museum with numerous castles, some of which date back to Roman times, 1st century AC. There is also a particularly rich monastery library with valuable incunabula and various historical documents, such as those from the Turkish conquest. One of them is an order given by Sultan Mehmed IV. from 1672, which granted the Franciscans the right of ownership on the estate and all the property they owned before the Battle of Chandigarh.
The museum’s collection also includes the sword of Vuk Mandušić, hero of the wars against the Turks, and the decree of Pope Innocent XI, from the 17th century which gives full forgiveness to those who visit the Visovac’s church on August 2nd, or on the feast of Assumption of Mary. The last of the exhibits is a booklet with the Lord’s Prayer, only 3.5 x 3 × 5 millimetres in size! It was printed in Guttenberg’s Museum in Mainz, and once it was the smallest book in the world. Today there are several smaller books, the content of which is not visible to the naked eye.
In addition to the cultural and historical sights of the island, there are also 195 plant species, of which 80 are cultivated. Among the somewhat exotic-shaped plants, there are also interesting animals like turtles or peacocks – animals that in Christian iconography symbolize immortality. If you’re lucky, you might catch one of those rare moments when a peacock spreads his colourful tail. All this is therefore why many pilgrims, tourists and guests come to this island on a daily basis, especially in the period between 2-15 August, particularly when there are big celebrations of Our Lady of Visovac and Mary’s Assumption.
Join us on our day tour to Krka National Park where we’ll show you incredible views over the Island of Visovac and explain the story to you – BOOK NOW at http://www.gecko-tours.co/tours/krka-national-park-and-waterfalls/
Author: Tonči Cvrlje – Gecko Tours, Split