About the island

Traditional arts of the island are the stitched lacework of Pag (the lacework school was founded in 1906) and the crochet lacework of Novalja...

PAG, an island in the north-Dalmatian archipelago, third largest in Kvarner, situated between Kvarneric and theVelebit Channel, with a northwest-southeast extension. Most of the island is rocky; smaller areas are covered with Mediterranean shrubs. The southeast of the island contains karst lakes Velo Blato and Malo Blato. The island's highest peak is Sveti Vid (St. Vitus, 348 m).

Vine (zutica), vegetables and fruit are grown in the valleys and fields (Novaljsko, Kolansko, Povljansko, Vlasicko and Dinjisko). The area of the Lun peninsula (20 x 2 km) is mostly under olive-groves. Sheep rearing (cheese of Pag, wool) and viniculture also represent main occupations on the island.

Major places on the island are connected by a road and a 300m-long bridge built in 1968 (the length of the arch over the sea is 195 m), via Cape Fortica, Razanac and Posedarje with the main road. Ferry connection Prizna - Zigljen. Major ports and yachting marinas include Stara Novalja, Pag, Caska, Metajna, Dinjiska, Stara Povljana, Nova Povljana, Kosljun, Simuni, Mandre, Novalja and Tovarnele.

In the past Pag was inhabited by the Illyrian tribe called Liburnians (the ruins of a fort and a necropolis near Kolan, in Mihovilje near Novalja, in Dabor and Vidasov Kant); fields with tumuli from the Bronze Age lie between Kosljun and Simun. At the beginning of the 1st century at the latest, the Ancient Romans constructed a fortification system to defend themselves against Illyrian tribes: a large castrum Cissa (Caska), a port castrum Navalia (Novalja) and smaller forts: Kosljun above the Novaljsko field, Svetojasnica on the cape of the karst Zaglava. Apart from the forts, there were also larger (Pagus) and smaller Roman settlements (the ruins of a town in Tovarnele near Lun, in the fields Brbonovica and Lesandrovica, etc.).

The Croats inhabited the island early; their major settlement after their population of the island was Kesa (a part of which is included in today's Novalja). King Petar Kresimir IV donated (1071) the northern part of the island to the church of Rab; the southern part of the island became the property of Zadar. In the Middle Ages Pag was very often the scene of frequent clashes between the inhabitants of the island of Rab and those from Zadar. At the end of the 12th century, after the fall of Kea, the old town Pag assumed the leading role on the island. - From 1409 to 1797 Pag was under the rule of the Venetian Republic, afterwards shared the same destiny as the rest of Dalmatia under the Austrian rule. After the German-Italian occupation in 1941, it fell under the Italian rule, afterwards occupied by the Germans. In 1945 the island was annexed to Croatia.

The old folk tradition has been partly preserved: tunes (following the same melody, the type of singing known as "na kanat", both the heroic and the love ones, traditional dances ("po starinski", "po paski", "the ring of Pag") in Pag and Novalja ("po naski"). Traditional arts of the island are the stitched lacework of Pag (the lacework school was founded in 1906) and the crochet lacework of Novalja.

Regardless of the weather conditions, the island is accessible through the Pag Bridge from Cape Osjak on the mainland to Cape Fortica on the island, 20 km from the town of Pag, the centre of the island. In winter, the bora blowing from Mt. Velebit can disturb the ferry schedule.



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