Biograd provides excellent opportunities for nautical tourism and boating as one of few parts of the Mediterranean. In the close vicinity are three national parks: Paklenica, Kornati Archipelago and Krka, as well as Telascica Nature Park...
Biograd na Moru is the centre of the riviera consisting of Petar na Moru (Peter on the Sea), Turanj, Sv. Filip i Jakov (Sts. Philip and James), Biograd na Moru, Pakostane and Drage, as well as of several places on the island of Pasman. Thanks to its position in the most indented part of the Croatian Adriatic coast, the area provides excellent opportunities for nautical tourism and boating as one of few parts of the Mediterranean. In the close vicinity are three national parks: Paklenica, Kornati Archipelago and Krka, as well as Telascica Nature Park.
Apart from cultural and historical heritage, Biograd is also characterized by nice beaches, picturesque bays and various accommodation facilities. The town has a number of restaurants offering specialities of local and international cuisine.
The tourist development of Biograd started between the two world wars. The first guest, the Czechs, started to visit Biograd during the 1920s. The first hotel was erected in 1935 on the location of the present hotel Ilirija.
A number of cultural and entertainment programs and sports events are offered in the summer months: folk feasts in the open, on the swimming pool next to Hotel Ilirija, at the cinema; sports tournaments and competitions are regularly held.
The picturesque Pasman Channel with a series of small islands protects Biograd and its riviera from strong winds from the sea, which is an advantage for swimmers and boaters. Excursions to the Kornati Archipelago (by boat) are offered, as well as excursions to the nearby Telascica Nature Park. In the immediate vicinity (7 km) is Vransko Lake, the largest lake in Croatia, abundant in freshwater fish. Fishing excursions are also organized.
Biograd na Moru has one of the largest and best equipped tennis camps in this part of the Adriatic, comprising 14 lighted tennis courts with clay and 6 courts with hard surface. It is situated in a pine forest, along the beach. The camp provides excellent opportunities for sailing and diving and also offers sailing and diving courses.
Biograd is a port frequented by boaters whose destination is the Kornati Archipelago. Regattas, sailing schools and other nautical activities are organized throughout the year.
Biograd na Moru was first mentioned in the mid-10th century (Constantine Porphyrogenitus) as a Croatian town. In the 11th century it was the seat of Croatian kings. Around 1059 it was the seat of a diocese; in the same year the Benedictine monks' monastery of St. John was founded and in 1069 the nuns' monastery of St. Thomas. In 1102 Koloman was crowned the Croatian king here and in 1125 the town was destroyed by the Venetians. It also suffered much damage during the Venetian-Turkish wars, particularly in 1646.
The core of the ancient habitation was located on a small peninsula. Until the end of the 19th century, the town had walls with circular towers. The remains of the cathedral, a three-nave basilica, were destroyed, and the remains of the monastery church of St. John, also a three-nave basilica, have been explored and conserved. The church of St. Thomas has been preserved only in fragments. Outside the ancient settlement, the ruins of a smaller one-nave church with an apse have been found and close to it also early Croatian graves. The parish church of St.Anastasia, built in 1761, features Baroque altars, one of which is of gold-plated wood.
Outside the ancient settlement are also the small churches of St. Roch (Rocco) and St. Anthony (1850). The broader area features also prehistoric sites and the remains of an antique aqueduct. The Town Museum houses an archaeological collection with prehistoric, antique and early Croatian finds, as well as a collection of ships' cargo from the end of the 16th century.
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