Vieille ville de Nin
Nin’s old town in the middle of its lagoon

The small town of Nin is located in the middle of a shallow lagoon, about 14 km from the regional center, Zadar. Nin is the first and oldest royal town in Croatia. Its old town is only 500 meters wide. It has exceptional architecture. The Church of the Holy Cross is particularly well preserved, and is a unique attraction in the entire Mediterranean. In fact, the church is known for the small size of its structure, and is nicknamed the “smallest church in the world”. The building is a work of art and a witness to history.

Nin’s history

Nin is the oldest Croatian city. Its history spans three thousand years. It was the residence of Croatian kings and a very important port for centuries. Nin was attacked twice by the Ottomans in 1571 and 1646. The city was under Venetian control and the authorities of the time ordered the burning of the city to prevent the invaders from using it as a stronghold. This led to the population abandoning the city completely.

Nin bord de mer
Branimir’s statue in Nin

Today, Nin has about 1,700 residents. The partially preserved medieval center is a major tourist attraction. The beautiful sandy beaches, the mineral springs and the modern tourist complex called “Zaton Holiday Village” have turned Nin into a seaside destination

What to see in Nin

Visitors can enter the small town by crossing one of the two old bridges or through one of the main historical gates leading directly to the city walls. The city is full of cultural and historical monuments and archaeological sites. Among these are several religious buildings such as the parish church of Saint-Anselme, the Gothic chapel of Saint-Marcella, the church of Saint-Ambroise, the Romanesque church of Saint-Nicolas or the church of Sainte-Croix, previously mentioned for its small size (7.80 m long and 7.60 m wide).

Other interesting religious sights are the bronze statue of the famous Croatian bishop Gregorius and the baptismal font of Višeslav. There is also a Roman temple and the ancient Croatian ships called “Condura Croatica”.

eglise à Nin
Holy Cross Church of Nin

Attractions and spa

Nin has been a famous spa for a long time, dating from Roman times to the present day. The shallow sea, heated by the sun, is perfect to treat different diseases and rheumatism. Deformities, rickets and the resulting disorders, as well as male sterility and skin diseases have been treated here. These treatments are done in a very pleasant natural environment and include many therapies such as bathing in warm sea water.

For entertainment, Nin has a n number of nightclubs. In the summer, “Saturnus” at the Zaton vacation village (the most modern and trendy resort in town) is a popular venue.

Accommodations in Nin

The Zaton Holiday Village is the most famous attraction in the area. The resort is located in the shade of pine trees, next to a long sandy beach, well protected from the wind and waves. Apart from this place, Nin and the surrounding resorts welcome their guests in furnished apartments, as well as in small campsites with charming settings.