Nin is a small town situated 15km northwest from Zadar, and 45km from Biograd. Population of Nin is 1256 inhabitants. The center of the old town is a small island, radius of 500m, which is conected to land with two bridges. The convinient position and a fertile area around the settlement enabled it to become urban, cultural and political center already in the ancient times. The settlement on the today’s island developed at the beginning of the iron era, ca 3000 years ago. It was established by the tribe of Liburnians.
The earlier settlement from the younger stone era (neolithic) was outside the island, near the present-day salt pans and we can date it ca 5000 years B.C., according to the cultural findings. The name of Nin developed from the Liburnian name Aenona. Nin is mentioned in the historical origins very early in the works of Greek writers fom the 4 th century B.C. The whole historical development of Liburnians from the 9th century till 1st century B.C. can be better seen in Nin than in any other Liburnian place because it was Nin where the most Liburnian graves and the remains of Liburnian culture were found so that we can follow best here the development of Liburnian culture. The discovered things speak about the richness of life in this settlement, where the main economic branches were agriculture, cattle raising, fishing, shipping trade, maritime affairs, handicraft and trade.
The most important complex from the Roman times is the Forum with Capitolium. There was a monumental temple, one of the largest on the whole coast. At the Roman Times Nin had an aqueduct and most probably thermes. The most important are the monumental sculptures of Roman emperors who stood in the Forum of Nin. During the late Antique Nin bacame one of the most important early Christian centers on the Adriatic coast. By coming of the Croats to the area of Nin during the 7th and 8th century this city becomes their first cultural, administrative and religious seat. The great role in the baptizing of Croats had the Francs. With Francs came all city patrons of the city of Nin: St Anselm, St. Ambrosius and St. Marcella. About the baptizing of Croats speaks also the baptismal font of Prince Višeslav (about 8oo) which was found in the complex of the parish church of St.
Anselm and which is one of the most important monuments of Croatian national history. In Nin was founded during the early Middle Ages the second oldest Benedictine Abbey in Croatia – St. Ambrosius. Nin is a seat of the first Croatian bischop, whose jurisdiction spread over the whole early medieaval Croatian state. Venice burnt and destroyed the city in 1646 and evacuated the inhabitants because they didn’t want that Nin fall to the Turks and become starting point for the attacking Zadar. The restoration of the city in the 17th century has never given back to Nin its former importance. -St. Nicolaus Church – Is located on a hill-earthen grave in the field for crowning Prahulje near Nin and represents the most romantic monument of the history of Nin. “According to the people tradition seven kings were crowned in Nin and on the occasion of crowning the crowned ruler would arrive riding with the suite to the church of St. Nicolaus where he introduced himself to the people and made a sign with a sword to the four sides of the world.
The church is the only preserved example of the Romanesque architecture with the central ground-plan and the cross-ribbed vault from the end of the 11 th and the beginning of the 12 th century.” -Church St. Cross – Among the most important preserved monuments of the oldcroatian church architecture, of an unique architectural style the church St. Cross from the 9th century ,called «the smallest cathedral in the world» dominates over the area with its position and beauty. Near the church 170 earlymiddleages graves were found with relatively little findings which could be dated from the 8th till the 15th century. One of the most significant bishops from Nin (60 bishophs are known) is certainly bishop Grgur from Nin, the chancellor f the Croatian Court. In the 10th century he was the main fighter for oldslavic language and the peoples’ alphabet and for using of glagolitsa in liturgy. The bronze sculpture of bishop Grgur awaits you proudly in the center of the old city of Nin «making» your wishes true if you touch his tomb..