There are some important elements of the cultural heritage present int he Nature Park. Here, we will mention just some of them and describe the most important ones.
Late-antiquity tower Osridak (4th century)
The only known round fortress from Antiquity on the east Adriatic coast, built in the 4th century, at the time when Roman Empire strengthens its positions against raids from the east. It was the focal point of the complex fortification of the entire hill and a permanent watch-tower, as well as the garrison’s shelter from sudden raids and storms. The object’s form has been preserved in about 30% of its original condition. The remains give sufficient information about its original shape.
Venetian tower Osridak (15th century)
The object was built as the last line of defence against Ottoman incursions into the it area and the Adriatic coast. It is rather well preserved – about 40% of the fort’s original form has been preserved. The construction material remains are scattered close to the sea-line.
Khan Maškovic – Caravanserai / Inn (17th century)
It’s the westernmost monument of the secular Ottoman architecture in Europe. It was commissioned by Jusuf Maškoviæ, a high ranking official in the Turkish court, originally from it, who planned to use it as an inn and residence after his retirement. After the Ottomans were finally driven out in 1699, the Khan came into the possession of the Borelli family, who ruled over the entire fief from this building. The object has preserved about 50% of its original form. Several construction elements of Islamic architecture, like pointed arches and “bulbs” have remained.
Babin Škoj (3rd millennium BC to 16th century)
This tiny peninsula has an excellent strategic location, suitable for long and active defence, as well as accommodation of a lot of people, livestock and food supplies. It has therefore retained the same function over the millennia. Before the Prosika Channel connected the Lake with the sea Babin Škoj (Old Lady’s Island) was a small island, and it becomes a small island even today when the water is high. Defensive walls from the Late Antiquity are not as preserved as the older Liburnian fortifications, because the superior quality of stone blocks used by the Romans made these walls a convenient source of building material for centuries.
Venetian frontier observation post (16th century)
The observation post was most likely built after the Venetian – Turkish borders had been consolidated for the first time at the beginning of the 15th century. The border ran straight across it until 1699. Because of the unstable conditions on the border and frequent incursions from both sides , the Venetian Republic built a whole chain of such structures along the entire land borderline, while the Ottomans occupied old Croatian strongholds a little deeper in the territory they controlled. About 70% of the locality’s original form has been preserved.
Traditional corbelled stone-hut (19th-20th century)
A corbelled stone-hut, or bunja in Croatian, is an archetypal agrarian stone hut, built on stony terrains in coastal Dalmatia and Istria, in more remote olive groves and vineyards. It is located in Modrave, an across-the-sea estate of the inhabitants of Murter and Betina. It was built to provide shelter from sudden storms and for over-night stays, so that its users didn’t need to walk back to the sea and row their boats to the settlements on the island. Such huts were also used by shepherds as shelters from sudden storms. There are about a dozen of these structures and they have been out of their original use for mere twenty or so years, although they can still be occasionally used by a visitor to the Park who has wandered off to investigate less accessible and frequented parts of the Park. The object has survived in its original form with no visible damage. It was built using scrabbled stone found at the site. It has a narrow entrance, protected from strong winds.
Benedictine monastery in Park (9-16th century)
The fort of Castrum Aureanae, was recorded in the 9th century. The monastery was taken over by the Knights Templar in 1136. They controlled it until their order was abolished in 1312. Referring to the declaration that Croatian King Zvonimir made on the occasion of his coronation in Solin in 1076 by which he presented the Benedictine monastery to the Pope to provide his legates continuing accommodation in Croatian lands, the Templars exempted themselves from the local bishop’s jurisdiction. The monastery had been a major religious and political centre until it came under Ottoman rule in 1529. It exercised its jurisdiction over the entire area of the Croatian-Hungarian “language”. The insignia of the Croatian kingdom were guarded within the monastery’s walls for a long time, which is why King Koloman of Hungary had to come to Biograd, as the closest royal residence, to be crowned in 1102 . After it came under the Ottoman rule lost its glory and importance, which were never regained. Around 20% of the locality’s original form has been preserved. It was demolished by the Venetians during the Candian war (1645-1669). No restoration work has been undertaken ever since. The devastation continued until the modern times, because the fort’s ruins (carved stone) was used as a building material supply by the local population. Parts of the monastery chapel and the main defence tower have also been preserved.